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Old 06-03-2015, 08:35   #91
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

While I agree that statistically our standard of living has declined somewhat since the 70s, most of the perceived decline in sailing/boating is more due to our changed attitudes and not just income and/or time constraints. Go back to our fathers/grandfathers generation. Most of them were changing their own oil (if they had a car). Many knew how to fix an appliance or two. And many did their own renovations or at least were handy enough to do a good deal of it. Sure todays's appliances are less prone to user fixes but in general the Millenials IMO are totally clueless as far as fixing anything goes.

Thus boat ownership becomes not just tinkering with the boat on weekends but a big deal requiring an expensive boatyard involvement which in turn necessitates working those weekends to afford the repair bill. So then it begins to look like one does not have free time to enjoy the boat as this inability to personally take care of one's objects of ownership creates the need to work overtime to be able to afford professionals working on them.

It's not just the boat. It's car repairs, house repairs, vacations (where good old camping is now passe and one needs to slave extra overtime to fly to Hawaii even if one already lives in another vacation destination such as CA or FL.

Basically we did it to ourselves by lapping up marketing crap about this or the other "sorely needed" thing without which our lives will not be fulfilled. And we burdened ourselves with big houses, new cars and things we can't afford. IMO if you can't pay for it in cash you can't afford it and should not be buying it. And if more people subscribed to this philosophy we would see prices coming down to their true marketplace, i.e. unfinanced level and we would still be living as we do today without having to slave overtime or at 2-3 jobs. Just a lot of salesmen/ad people, middlemen and mid level managers would be doing something useful than simply hiking up the price of service or product.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:56   #92
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
While I agree that statistically our standard of living has declined somewhat since the 70s, most of the perceived decline in sailing/boating is more due to our changed attitudes and not just income and/or time constraints. Go back to our fathers/grandfathers generation. Most of them were changing their own oil (if they had a car). Many knew how to fix an appliance or two. And many did their own renovations or at least were handy enough to do a good deal of it. Sure todays's appliances are less prone to user fixes but in general the Millenials IMO are totally clueless as far as fixing anything goes.

Thus boat ownership becomes not just tinkering with the boat on weekends but a big deal requiring an expensive boatyard involvement which in turn necessitates working those weekends to afford the repair bill. So then it begins to look like one does not have free time to enjoy the boat as this inability to personally take care of one's objects of ownership creates the need to work overtime to be able to afford professionals working on them.

It's not just the boat. It's car repairs, house repairs, vacations (where good old camping is now passe and one needs to slave extra overtime to fly to Hawaii even if one already lives in another vacation destination such as CA or FL.

Basically we did it to ourselves by lapping up marketing crap about this or the other "sorely needed" thing without which our lives will not be fulfilled. And we burdened ourselves with big houses, new cars and things we can't afford. IMO if you can't pay for it in cash you can't afford it and should not be buying it. And if more people subscribed to this philosophy we would see prices coming down to their true marketplace, i.e. unfinanced level and we would still be living as we do today without having to slave overtime or at 2-3 jobs. Just a lot of salesmen/ad people, middlemen and mid level managers would be doing something useful than simply hiking up the price of service or product.
While I don't quite fit into the millennial definition given earlier, I would say I'm competent to perform much of my own maintenance.
I have this discussion with my dad on a regular basis. He worked in a union environment for 35 years and had 6 weeks vacation plus week ends off. I get 4% in lieu of vacation. I worked absolutely every week end between Easter and Christmas last year. This wasn't because I was greedy or too lazy to fix my own things. This was because my baby boomer boss was lazy and wouldn't work on any of the week ends or hire enough people to provide any of the employees with time off.

Their used to be meaningful labour laws in Canada, but now with 72 hour work weeks and over time averaging permitted- the worker is SOL.

If you want to be employed in this country then you have no choice but to work like a slave. Would I be in this position if I had gone to grad school and become a veterinarian or a lawyer? Probably not, but the relaity is the economy can only support a finite number of doctors engineers and lawyers, the rest of us are either unemployed or slaves to a very flawed system.




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Old 06-03-2015, 10:11   #93
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

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While I don't quite fit into the millennial definition given earlier, I would say I'm competent to perform much of my own maintenance.
I have this discussion with my dad on a regular basis. He worked in a union environment for 35 years and had 6 weeks vacation plus week ends off. I get 4% in lieu of vacation. I worked absolutely every week end between Easter and Christmas last year. This wasn't because I was greedy or too lazy to fix my own things. This was because my baby boomer boss was lazy and wouldn't work on any of the week ends or hire enough people to provide any of the employees with time off.

Their used to be meaningful labour laws in Canada, but now with 72 hour work weeks and over time averaging permitted- the worker is SOL.

If you want to be employed in this country then you have no choice but to work like a slave. Would I be in this position if I had gone to grad school and become a veterinarian or a lawyer? Probably not, but the relaity is the economy can only support a finite number of doctors engineers and lawyers, the rest of us are either unemployed or slaves to a very flawed system.




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I learned this way back and it was one of the reasons (may be even THE reason as I was making financially comfortable, for me, if hectic living right out of college) I went to grad school so that I can work as much as my needs require. And I also kept my needs in check and reasonable as I'd rather have more leisure and down time than another overmarketed expensive trinket to keep up with the Joneses. If you look back on all the things you acquired so far or wish to acquire you will see than not all of them are "must haves" but rather "nice to have" and only unless you're flipping burgers than sure you need to put in long and hard hours just to cover the rent. But that's another issue alltogether. I bet you you can live in a smaller house or apt, can drive an older car and not have half the stuff you may have in the house, etc.

I assume that a vast majority of CF members are not in min. wage positions nor without any post HS education and thus do have a choice I am talking about. And that whatever they end up doing is the consequence of that choice. But I may be wrong on that.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:21   #94
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

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I learned this way back and it was one of the reasons (may be even THE reason as I was making financially comfortable, for me, if hectic living right out of college) I went to grad school so that I can work as much as my needs require. And I also kept my needs in check and reasonable as I'd rather have more leisure and down time than another overmarketed expensive trinket to keep up with the Joneses. If you look back on all the things you acquired so far or wish to acquire you will see than not all of them are "must haves" but rather "nice to have" and only unless you're flipping burgers than sure you need to put in long and hard hours just to cover the rent. But that's another issue alltogether. I bet you you can live in a smaller house or apt, can drive an older car and not have half the stuff you may have in the house, etc.

I assume that a vast majority of CF members are not in min. wage positions nor without any post HS education and thus do have a choice I am talking about. And that whatever they enda up doing was the product of that choice. But I may be wrong on that.
I'm by no means in a minimum wage job. I said i didnt have a graduate degree i didnt say i was uneducated or broke. I think you missed my point. Money isn't my issue. I don't actually have any debts, I own my sailboat outright. No mortgage.

I don't want to work over time- I'm not given a choice in the matter. Its a condition of employment. It's the nature of the work force. If you want to live and have a "job" in Canada (or the US) you're going to be working long hours whether you need the money or not.

Furthermore, most of the posters on cruisers forum (who actually own boats) are retired or semi retired- they're not millennials. That's what this thread is about- why aren't young people taking up the sport.

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Old 06-03-2015, 11:30   #95
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

Looking at country-level statistics from the OECD, it shows that workers in the USA work more hours per year than the average (1788 vs 1770). Canadians work fewer hours per year at 1706, Aussies are even better at 1676. UKers are 1669, France 1489 and the winner is the Netherlands at 1380.

It's always interesting to look at these country comparisons. The OECD Better Life Index is hours of fun b/c it looks at a wide range of datasets, and lets you weight factors differently. For example, if you just look at the "Life Satisfaction" factor, the top five countries are: Iceland, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland on top. Looking just at "Work-life Balance" the top five are Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Denmark. Canada comes in 11th from the bottom and the USA is 8th from the bottom. But if you preference "Income" the USA comes out on top, followed by Switzerland, Canada, Australia and Sweden.

As I say, hours of fun .
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:51   #96
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

I think IslandTime has it right. As part of my last book, we looked at home ec classes in the US. Still the same amount of classes penetration wise, but they cover things like how to balance your checkbook vs cook for oneself. Useful material to be sure, but also lacking in past curriculum. Similarly, of the four high schools I went to, only one had a shop class, and it was on woodworking. I understand shop used to a rite of passage for teenage boys, no longer.
Even though I flipped houses throughout high school with my brother, and we did all the work ourselves with advice from his father-in-law, I'm still on a steep boat ownership learning curve.
Similarly, because I own the best car ever produced, the gen 1 Honda Insight, I'm part of a group that strives to keep these cars on the world. To fix my battery pack, I had to learn electrics from scratch, whereas all the other members knew it from being radio hobbyists back in their youth. Millennials don't build so much as buy; it's about convenience. And again, I am, actually, a millennial.


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Old 06-03-2015, 11:52   #97
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

Those USA numbers must include a lot of part timers. 40 hour weeks minus 2 weeks vacation and another weeks worth of holiday days off gets you to 1960 hours without adding in any overtime.
That's depressing.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:21   #98
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

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I think IslandTime has it right. As part of my last book, we looked at home ec classes in the US. Still the same amount of classes penetration wise, but they cover things like how to balance your checkbook vs cook for oneself. Useful material to be sure, but also lacking in past curriculum. Similarly, of the four high schools I went to, only one had a shop class, and it was on woodworking. I understand shop used to a rite of passage for teenage boys, no longer.
Even though I flipped houses throughout high school with my brother, and we did all the work ourselves with advice from his father-in-law, I'm still on a steep boat ownership learning curve.
Similarly, because I own the best car ever produced, the gen 1 Honda Insight, I'm part of a group that strives to keep these cars on the world. To fix my battery pack, I had to learn electrics from scratch, whereas all the other members knew it from being radio hobbyists back in their youth. Millennials don't build so much as buy; it's about convenience. And again, I am, actually, a millennial.


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I don't think he does have it right. There are just as many skilled tradesmen (who can fix their own stuff) now as there were in the good ol days- but they're the ones without the leisure time I was referring to. Like I said, my dad was a union guy, tradesman, had 6 weeks vacation.

The working chumps (like myself) no longer have the leisure time- you need to be the five percent who as Island Time put it- made the right choice. Well- there you have it, you guys did a better job of arguing my point then your own. 30 years ago- the middle class- or the middle 50% of income earners could expect a reasonable amount of leisure time from their careers. Now only the privileged few can have the expectation of work life balance in North America.

You guys are doing a better job of proving my point then I am.

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Old 06-03-2015, 12:57   #99
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

The disappearance of sailing may be happening in America but I don't think that applies to Europe (I don't know the situation in Australia and NZ but in China seems to be growing as well as in Russia).

First of all we have to look at it at three levels: As a sport that includes kit sailing and windsurfing, dinghy,yacht racing and top sailboats; as a way of leisure that includes any kind of sail vessel and finally, cruising.

Regarding cruising I would wish that it was not growing since the sailboats here are already too much, but I see the number increasing every year, full anchorages and new marinas always full and at terrible high prices.

Regarding sailing as a sport I see a growing increase of races, more participants on the big races, newer boats and at top level an increase of top sailing racing boats and a bigger news coverage.

All seems well by these parts in what regarding sailing
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:01   #100
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

North Americans work way too much, and get way too little time off compared to the rest of the Western world. Why are we so stupid:
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:14   #101
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

Good post Mike. I'd be curious to see a chart showing 1985 and 2015 as well.

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Old 06-03-2015, 13:38   #102
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

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The disappearance of sailing may be happening in America but I don't think that applies to Europe (I don't know the situation in Australia and NZ but in China seems to be growing as well as in Russia).

First of all we have to look at it at three levels: As a sport that includes kit sailing and windsurfing, dinghy,yacht racing and top sailboats; as a way of leisure that includes any kind of sail vessel and finally, cruising.

Regarding cruising I would wish that it was not growing since the sailboats here are already too much, but I see the number increasing every year, full anchorages and new marinas always full and at terrible high prices.

Regarding sailing as a sport I see a growing increase of races, more participants on the big races, newer boats and at top level an increase of top sailing racing boats and a bigger news coverage.

All seems well by these parts in what regarding sailing

Sailing was never strong in the USA compared to Europe. I think for similar populations usa is three times less sailboat pers pop then Europe. What dominates the USA is small sports boats and particularity small open fishing boats. ( source IBF )

As was said Europeans have mandatory vacation entitlement around 20 -25 working days plus public holidays. Some have even more.

Disposal income has grown in Europe and ancillary costs like health insurance etc are lower. Etc. coupled with short distances to the sea or availability of low cost airlines has spurred sail boat ownership.

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Old 06-03-2015, 14:47   #103
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

I think Island Time's point was that in the past your average accountant, general practitioner, lawyer, professor, etc. could change their own oil. That is most often not the case now. Of course there are people in the trades who do their own work-in the past everyone else seems to have had that ability also though.
No one is debating that people have less time now either, that's pretty well established. Lack of time plus lack of knowledge = lack of sailboat ownership


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Old 06-03-2015, 14:57   #104
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

Great article by the economist on this question of why everyone is so busy. Thought I'd share: http://www.economist.com/news/christ...stribution-why

Incidentally, becker's work referenced here formed the foundation of my honor's thesis.


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Old 06-03-2015, 15:20   #105
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Re: Good Dissection of Where Sailing is Headed

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I think Island Time's point was that in the past your average accountant, general practitioner, lawyer, professor, etc. could change their own oil. That is most often not the case now. Of course there are people in the trades who do their own work-in the past everyone else seems to have had that ability also though.
No one is debating that people have less time now either, that's pretty well established. Lack of time plus lack of knowledge = lack of sailboat ownership
Cars are no longer designed to be worked on. In fact, the makers seem to do everything in their power to discourage owners from doing even the most basic of maintenance. Oil changes, forget it. In most cases it's hard to even see the engine, let alone get at it. What with all the onboard diagnostics and computer driven maintenance schedules it's hard for owners to do anything other than put fuel in their cars. I do all my own maintenance on my boat and my motorcycle, but my newish car ... forget it.

The same goes for all the electronic doodads we have onboard. Chart plotters, auto helms, various instruments ... they are all difficult to repair if their computer components go.
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