Author Topic: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?  (Read 4971 times)

Jim23

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2016, 10:24:53 AM »
Bilgemaster, That picture of a guy staring in to the matrix while sipping soylent green scares the hell out of me!

Offline HenryC

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2016, 12:01:41 PM »
I have two lifelong passions, sailing and amateur astronomy, and they are both suffering and I think for the same reason.

When I was in my twenties, trying to scrape out a living in an endless string of blue collar jobs, chasing women and going to school, I still had the free time and resources and enthusiasm to own a trailerable sailboat, and a small telescope.  As I got older, and a bit more affluent, and had more free time (I was happily married and no longer chasing skirts) I got a bigger telescope and bigger boat.  That's when I noticed the overhead. 

The more complex and fulfilling an activity, the more time and effort goes into maintaining that effort.  Bigger and bigger boats require more maintenance and repair, certainly more expense, and they're tied up with docking fees, insurance, finding crew and all the other administrative crap.  With the astronomy, it usually means driving further and further into the wilderness to find a sky dark enough to see the faint fuzzies your big new scope is capable of revealing.

Eventually, laziness takes over.  You come to resent spending more time in travel, set-up, clean-up and put-away than in execution.  A boat capable of doing overnights and weekends, and even extended coastal cruising, is simply too much trouble to take out for just an afternoon.  And afternoons just don't seem to cut it any more. Driving two hours just to get far out enough to find a really dark sky is frustrating when half the time it is overcast when you get there.

If you have a companion who shares your passion, a spouse or child or friend, maybe its worth it.  But I never could keep one for long.  My wife gladly joined me, but I could tell she didn't have the same love for sea or sky I did.  It was just something she put up with for my sake. It broke my heart, but I just couldn't make her come along, no matter how much she pretended she was having a good time.  And unless you can share what you love with someone else, it just doesn't seem worth the hassle, especially as you get older and slower, and everything seems to be more and more of an aggravation.

I don't believe the "I don't have the time anymore" excuse.  It is an excuse, and it is used to hide the real truth from us, a truth I have been forced to accept, whether I want to or not. I have learned that the older and more settled I get, the more free time I have, and the more I can compartmentalize my time and resources.  But I have also learned that I am no longer willing to spend the time and effort dealing with the overhead.   I've gotten lazy. Maybe if I lived in a house by the water with its own dock and access to blue water, or had a backyard observatory behind my mountaintop Arizona home.  But I don't.  And it was never likely I'd have either, certainly not both.

Its easy blaming today's young people, but maybe they've learned by watching us. As for those of you who have learned or worked your way around this dilemma, I salute you, and I envy you.

http://i.imgur.com/3ehMD3L.jpg

Artwork courtesy of Mr Fritz Seegers.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 12:26:16 PM by HenryC »

Offline philb Junkie19

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2016, 11:03:54 PM »
Brian, glad to hear that Community Boating is going strong. That organization, for a dollar a summer, gave me an introduction to sailing that I probably never would have found despite my love of the water.  That I could learn and sail was beyond my 14 year old perception.  There is one part of the sport that I do care to see grow, that's youth sailing programs. Catch kids when they still have broad imaginations and give them a chance for some challenge, some adventure, some chance to be competent at something real.  Give them some basic skills, put them in command of a small boat  and stand back. Maybe they will stay with it or come back to it like many of us but more importantly they will have the chance discover important things about themselves and what they are capable of doing. 

In the town where I live there is an active free youth sailing program that runs daily for two weeks each summer. I don't know how it was started but the annual budget is small and its staffed largely by volunteers. The kids keep coming back and many help with the younger ones. 

Offline Vectordirector

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2016, 02:02:33 PM »
They are out there.  Look here:  www.sailinganarchy.com.  Check out the videos and links to other sites.   The Fort to Battery race last weekend will open some eyes. 

The youngsters are into going fast.  Foiling kite boards, foiling moths, and foiling cats.  The foiling tech is trickling down from the America's Cup races a couple of years ago.   

They are drawn to the quick setup, ease of storage, and it is relatively inexpensive to start out (you can carry your equipment around in a SUV with a small trailer), and fun.   Just like my Sunfish was when I was 15 and my Hobie was when I was in my early twenties. 

Philb has it exactly right.  Get them young, like they do at Lake Geneva and many other lakes in the midwest.  Inland racing is still very popular because it is family oriented, fairly cheap to start out and lots of fun.  Some will stay with it, some not. 


Fair winds, sail on,
 

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Offline Bilgemaster

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2016, 04:06:50 PM »
Bilgemaster, That picture of a guy staring in to the matrix while sipping soylent green scares the hell out of me!

Oh yeah?  Well, don't you worry, Jimmy.  I mean, haven't you ever wondered what on earth could be going on any given nondescript Tuesday morning when you happen to call for some technical assistance or something, and a recording assures you that "Your call is very important to us" and further that "We are experiencing higher than normal call volume, but our representatives will be with you shortly.  Please remain on the line," whereupon you're then treated to just shy of an hour of Opus No. 1?  Catchy tune, right?  Well, our man here and his cohort, you see, they're all goggled up just waiting patiently for their guy to score that Sacred Floss from the Dental Hygiene Fairies of Gummerygoo.  So, just relax and enjoy the music.  because, although you may not realize it, you're already well "acculturated", and after all...Your call is very important to "Them."

[/size]

Offline Mas

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2016, 07:26:35 PM »
My, we have opened a larger issue that less younger sailboaters may be a symptom of. I use my cell phone as my backup electronic chart but just received the updated paper charts and am on the trail of that sextant! I love the digital age but with it comes much need to balance such. We didn't need gyms when lives involved more physical activity. Even more reason to encourage younger folks who may confuse virtual lives form real ones! Can't think of a more contemplative, in the moment, physically active activity as sailing.
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S/V  'Interlude' 89' PSC31

Offline jdklaser

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2016, 10:19:14 PM »
First let me say that we are the proud new owners of a beautiful older Sun Cat.  Love the line, love the fact that it was designed by the guy who designed the first boat that I sailed (opti).  Cat boats are cooler as I grow older.  The first boat I owned was a beetlecat so I'm kind of coming back home a bit.
     I believe that the future of the sport lies in community sailing programs.  The growth in our area is huge.  Kids can get into the sport for next to nothing.  Around here we have a huge program in New Bedford, Fall River, programs on Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Pleasant Bay in Orleans, and most of the towns have programs that cater to as many as 700 kids per summer, like the program in the Town of Yarmouth.  Sail Cape Cod caters to all including special needs.  Leave the porch bunnies and martini drinkers to the yacht clubs.  The next generation of sailors will come from the many wonderful community programs around us. 

Offline Jason

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2016, 05:58:09 AM »
Darn kids and their phones.....


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Offline Bob23

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2016, 07:03:23 AM »
I like your humor, Jason and it's true. Everyone everywhere seems to be worshipping their phones. The most fun I have with mine is leaving it in the car! "Bad phone-stay!"
Bob23

Offline Mas

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2016, 08:22:55 PM »
I like your humor, Jason and it's true. Everyone everywhere seems to be worshipping their phones. The most fun I have with mine is leaving it in the car! "Bad phone-stay!"
Bob23

Yup, just went for a good block of time (days not long ago) with no phone, or for that matter any connection with the digital age. Ah.......:)

Also just attended our first yacht club event, (we got talked into it) and no youngsters there! Cant really blame them. The bloodies and mimosas were good though and blessing of the fleet kinda neat. Not many people really understand we have a 23 foot boat though! We did run into a couple our age from the same hometown that keep their Precision 23 at the same marina. Yea....for small boats!
S/V  'Mas'  87' CP16/2
S/V  'Interlude' 89' PSC31

Offline Mas

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2016, 09:00:00 AM »
Just got back from Annapolis and in 'the sailboat capital of the world' we truly got a chance to see a multitude of boots and sailors. The Wednesday night races brought out all ages and hitting 'The Boatyard' restaurant/bar afterwards there was a definite skew to the older sailor but a healthy mix of many ages. It was also a midweek night and we remember what having kids in school, and jobs does to mid-week events! Overall in such a location you are immersed in the boating community. Heck having the Naval Academy certainly puts a bunch of young boaters nearby!

There are many reasons anyone into sailing should go to Annapolis at least once (have been many times) but there are other reasons to avoid it.......found myself on a few boats thinking........
S/V  'Mas'  87' CP16/2
S/V  'Interlude' 89' PSC31

Offline MKBLK

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2016, 01:16:26 PM »
Apparently, my youngest son has gone over to the "dark side". He just "acquired" a 2002 SeaRay 210. Prior to that, he had been dreaming about a 42 foot cat to sail the Caribbean. Now he'll have a real "hole in the ocean" to pour his money into.

Marty K.
"...when you're on your deathbed, you don't regret the things you did, you regret what you didn't do."  Randy Pausch

Offline Mas

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2016, 11:09:24 AM »
Well as we come up on a year since we returned to the world of boats and sailing I reread this thread while sitting on Interlude and thought more about the discussions that were tenured. In Particular Henry C's comments about the trouble with the time and effort involved in a task have resonated with what has happened in this past year. We have gone through three boats in 11 months. Currently have two, a 31 and a 16. In a nutshell we put 26 years of no boats into one and as a result have arrived at a point that feels right. The 31 is our home away from home and dream maker while the 16 is our low overhead, no hassle, get out and sail boat. It was the acquisition of the 16 that reminded me of why we got into sailing when young. It was affordable, simple, few hassles, just the act of sailing with dreams of more someday. The only difference is that now that dream of cruising more is something we can touch and actually begin to do.

Henry's comments about how when he was younger and had simpler things (boats and telescopes) it was easier to just do them may explain much about the "Where is the Next Generation". We have always known that less is more but sometimes forget. Kids now, compliments of many parents, are exposed to and given more not less and thus become less inclined to take less and thus give it more. I am more excited about the 16 for bringing my son and grandson into sailing than the 31. Heck I am almost more excited about the 16 than the 31 for myself because of the less is more understanding that has finally returned. Don't get me wrong though, we love our 31 too! Just gunna use the little boat to stoke the dreams of our younger generation and keep ours fired up.

Now wondering if we really should keep the farm!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 01:35:04 AM by Mas »
S/V  'Mas'  87' CP16/2
S/V  'Interlude' 89' PSC31

Offline Mas

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2016, 06:07:02 PM »
It has already happened! During a musician's session last night with close friends and a 35 year span in years (guess who is on the upper end!) it became known we got Mas. Her description and cost has peaked the interest of one of the folks at the session (age 31) to get a sailboat!

This forum and group is the best. Wonderful, approachable boats with folks having the same qualities!

Go out and get one! (boat and/or younger sailor  :))
S/V  'Mas'  87' CP16/2
S/V  'Interlude' 89' PSC31

Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Where are all the next generation of sailboaters?
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2016, 08:39:51 AM »
That is awesome.  I am glad that we are getting new people involved.

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