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Old 27-01-2015, 16:23   #16
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

Two years ago, a new member spent 6 to 18 months on our club's wait list before getting a slip. Now the people at the bottom of the list can expect 4+ years, and we are now not accepting new members for a while.

Could be slight economic improvement, but I think it may have more to do with the dot-com boomers approaching middle age and seeking something more fulfilling than X-Box and 75" 4k TVs.
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Old 27-01-2015, 18:56   #17
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Could be slight economic improvement, but I think it may have more to do with the dot-com boomers approaching middle age and seeking something more fulfilling than X-Box and 75" 4k TVs.
This was my impression too. I just took an ASA dinghy course, and half the students were past middle-aged, looking to expand their retirement horizons, and the other half were middle-aged or less and looking for alternative lifestyles--or rather alternative lives. I think with the rise of the independent tech worker, and the early-retirement crowd (also from tech), young people are looking for getaways (sailing and RV'ing seem to be the biggest winners). There were some very popular examples of both of these recently: Rebel Heart and Bumfuzzle, respectively, and others on Sailfeed.

I do think there is also an effect from the improving economy and West-Marine-as-a-fashion-statement crowd, but if you get enough Bumfuzzles out there, you will have a more durable revival--especially if they have kids aboard to carry on the tradition. Also family world-cruising is on the rise it seems (or at least better documented through blogs--which will have the same effect: more exposure).

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
ASA schools are becoming platforms for churning out "ASA cert holders" to help them occasionally charter boats rather than real life long sailing enthusiasts and sailors.
But you can't have one without the other, can you? Plus, someone who "occasionally charters boats" seems like a "life-long sailing entheusiast" to me. They are pro-sailing on coastal and political issues, and they are pumping dollars into the charter businesses, which support sailing jobs, chandleries, and other people's boat mortgages. Plus, I think there is a much greater potential population of occasional charterers than there are people ready to live-aboard or work around boats.
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Old 27-01-2015, 19:31   #18
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

Actually, maybe Bumfuzzle was a bad example, because they're RV'ing now and haven't kept any ties to sailing. But even so, their blog is still online, enticing a younger crowd into sailing.

But I had another thought: do not discount the people who go sailing for 1, 2, or 4 years and then move on to another "lifestyle." It does seem fickle, but if you get a constant stream of these (and again, the blogging really seems to encourage this), you have a bigger user base. You have more people buying boats (both new and used) and supplies, more need for dock spaces (good and bad), more services available. And some percentage do stay on. I saw that when I visited Hawaii: tourism is the major industry (equivalent to the 1-week charterers), but an undocumented part of the economy are the mainlanders who go to live out their dream in paradise... for 2 years and then get rock fever or homesick and move away. They fill up the rentals (again this can be good or bad), they buy a lot of household goods, they try to start local businesses, or they take entry-level jobs nobody else wants, they spend some savings, and then they leave. It's all mostly good for Hawaii's economy. And the churn is also good for the economy, as rentals don't get locked away until someone dies and those household goods get resold at garage sales to the locals.
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Old 27-01-2015, 20:07   #19
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
There is a separate discussion here on CF of how WM is moving from boat parts to higher profit margin "lifestyle" items i.e. brand name clothing, kayaks, and all other non essential boat related doodahs. I was conecting the two threads that way. Just as ASA schools are becoming platforms for churning out "ASA cert holders" to help them occasionally charter boats rather than real life long sailing enthusiasts and sailors.
Ah ok.Thanks for the clarification

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Old 20-03-2015, 10:52   #20
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

A ten percent increase in the number of new sailors...five new people? In the last two marinas where I've lived or kept my boat. I was the youngest sailor - at almost forty - to leave the dock regularly. I was one of three who left the dock. The rest were still 'preparing the boat' to take off.....sailor parks are what we have around here.


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Old 20-03-2015, 11:01   #21
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

"sailor parks"....what a great term.
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Old 20-03-2015, 11:20   #22
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

I would be interested in knowing the age breakdown of who is taking the courses. But I will assume there is an increase in the "older" new sailors as the article gave credit to the number taking the Bareboat course.
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Old 20-03-2015, 12:09   #23
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

Another line of analysis. Some insurance companies give sizable discounts to boat owners who have passed boating courses. I posted in another thread that simply passing a test, even a practical one, does not mean someone is a good captain. But if it means a reduced insurance rate it might explain the increase in the number of folks taking courses.
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Old 20-03-2015, 13:02   #24
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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A ten percent increase in the number of new sailors...five new people? In the last two marinas where I've lived or kept my boat. I was the youngest sailor - at almost forty - to leave the dock regularly. I was one of three who left the dock. The rest were still 'preparing the boat' to take off.....sailor parks are what we have around here.


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I would say we have a 30ish crowd and an over 50 crowd. At 42, everyone assumes that Ms. Greenhand is in the younger crowd and the one other person that we guess to be in their 40's calls her "kiddo."

That being said, a young couple just moved back on land and we haven't seen another of the youngers since he introduced his girlfriend around So, it seems most of the youngers are doing something until they settle down, rather than actively pursuing a long term lifestyle.
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