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Old 26-01-2015, 05:58   #1
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ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

I must admit I am surprised to see this, but if it is a start of a trend, perhaps the common wisdom of no new sailors us incorrect.

American Sailing Association reports growth >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

From the article:

"... an overall annual increase of 10 percent in the number of new sailors who participated in its introductory sailing programs. The Association credits this growth to its progressive educational system, and its professional network of affiliated schools and instructors."

Although I suppose the argument could be made that this increase as a result of the ASA having a more effective marketing program, it may also be that there is an actual increase in new sailors.

I see it as good news.

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Old 26-01-2015, 06:06   #2
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

Well it is a step up from racing around on personal watercraft.
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Old 26-01-2015, 06:17   #3
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

My my buddy who works in the local sailing club has told me a few years back that this was the trend. The club holds open houses first weekend of May and 10-12 years ago one could've usually walked in and be offered a few hours' sail around the harbor. Last few years on a good day they have a line all the way to the parking lot for such a sail and they had to limit those sails to 30 min to accommodate the crowds.

But he also says this growth comes with its own set of issues. Like the inability of many of these newbies to understand that sailing is much more about self-reliance than what they're used to in life. The stories he tells me are hilarious. Mostly about newbies expecting their boats to behave more like cars or iphones and how their first reaction to ANY problem aboard is to call the club's office. Even if the "problem" is just forgetting to turn on the battery switch before attempting to start the engine.
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Old 26-01-2015, 06:39   #4
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

Wait till they anchor ten feet off your starboard side and jump in the dink to run to shore, then crank up a generator to run the boom box....oh the humanity!
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Old 26-01-2015, 08:34   #5
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

If it is teaching self sufficiency then only good can come from it. It is still lonely out on the Pacific around Cape Flattery. Lots of room for growth...
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Old 26-01-2015, 08:43   #6
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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If it is teaching self sufficiency then only good can come from it. It is still lonely out on the Pacific around Cape Flattery. Lots of room for growth...
Indeed. Hardly any sailors around Kodiak when we were there either.

If more people "get it" and learn how great it is on the water they will become a force for protecting our currently eroding rights as sailors. Or maybe I'm being way too optimistic!

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Old 26-01-2015, 09:20   #7
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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Well it is a step up from racing around on personal watercraft.
Heard on the news last week, That boating activety will increse due to the drop in fuel at the pump. More money in your pocket to purchase and more to fuel the boat. Even interviewed a couple owners and they stated that this comming year, they'll be making more trips out due to the drop in fuel..

For a couple thousand, you can buy a PWC on CL and fill the tanks cheep and add watter..
If anything at all, we'll see more power boats, more noisey wake board boats, and thousands more personal watercraft.
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Old 26-01-2015, 09:24   #8
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

I would attribute it not so much to ASA but to an improving economy.
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Old 26-01-2015, 09:48   #9
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

Earlier in the season last year we were talking about just this subject with long time prev. owner of a sailing club. He's been running one since mid 70s and retired just few years ago. Very smart gentleman, very knowledgeable sailing wise (and otherwise as well) former world champion in several racing classes, etc. Most forum members probably read one of his books. )) He was saying that at some point he noticed that the club was getting a totally different type of newbies. Whereas before a newbie couldn't wait to get his certs and get out of the club and into his own boat. So the club in his first 20 or so years was not growing as people were constantly leaving after buying their own boats. But at some point the club membership began to bulge as people were staying and most of the newbies had no intention of moving to ownership. So they had to increase their staff, number of boats, facilities, etc. He wasn't complaining of course as this trend gave him a great opportunity to sell a growing business while he was getting on in years. So may be the same thing is happening to club sailing that happened to WM - it's becoming more of a "lifestyle" to show off to one's girlfriend or business associates rather than a true sailing activity.
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Old 26-01-2015, 10:55   #10
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

This is just an observation:

What I've noticed is that about 1 percent of those who take a basic course ever really become lifelong avid sailors and many lifelong avid sailors have never taken an official sailing course.

I think ASA does a good job in marketing and having charter companies tell potential customers that they must have qualifications to be able to charter helps that marketing a lot.

My last set of long expired instructor credentials were with U. S. Sailing which I don't see as being very competitive with ASA. If I were to do it again I'd pick ASA.
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Old 26-01-2015, 14:06   #11
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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... his first 20 or so years was not growing as people were constantly leaving after buying their own boats. But at some point the club membership began to bulge as people were staying and most of the newbies had no intention of moving to ownership. ...
So may be the same thing is happening to club sailing that happened to WM - it's becoming more of a "lifestyle" to show off to one's girlfriend or business associates rather than a true sailing activity.
What's WM?

I don't quite follow the logic. Many people are also reducing the number of cars they drive and using sharing services or "car on demand" services instead. That's not a lifestyle thing, it's just financially prudent.

Most people buy a $30k dollar boat, sail it for a couple years, then let it sit in a $500 per month slip for years before they sell it. Boat sharing co-ops make sense for lots of people.
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Old 26-01-2015, 14:22   #12
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

I am going to use my fuel bonus to get paddleboards....
Think I aught to get an outboard for each one?
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Old 27-01-2015, 02:32   #13
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

WM = West Marine. National chain of retail/professional sales in stores and catalog for marine products. They are aligned with BOAT/US which is an association that offers vessel and trailer insurance and on the water towing services.
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Old 27-01-2015, 14:12   #14
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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WM = West Marine. National chain of retail/professional sales in stores and catalog for marine products. They are aligned with BOAT/US which is an association that offers vessel and trailer insurance and on the water towing services.
Ah right. We have them here, too. I would have figured that out in context, but now I really can't figure out Island Time's post. When did West Marine become something you show off to your girlfriend?
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Old 27-01-2015, 16:15   #15
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Re: ASA advises 10% increase in new sailors

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Ah right. We have them here, too. I would have figured that out in context, but now I really can't figure out Island Time's post. When did West Marine become something you show off to your girlfriend?
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.
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