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Old 04-12-2010, 02:07   #1
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Is Cruising on the Decline ?

Having recently returned from Asia to Australia's East Coast , I have noticed that Australian anchorages that were chock a block full of boats in years gone by are now comparatively empty. Marinas are full to bursting, but fewer boats are actually out there cruising.Over exploited destinations such as the Whitsundays appear to still have their fair share of boats at anchor whilst the bays islands and towns on the ant trail south from cape york appear sparsely populated, comparatively, from recent years.

As with previous sailing crazes like the surf cats, the trailer sailors and the windsurfers before, is the cruising fad over?

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Old 04-12-2010, 05:35   #2
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Having recently returned from Asia to Australia's East Coast , I have noticed that Australian anchorages that were chock a block full of boats in years gone by are now comparatively empty. Marinas are full to bursting, but fewer boats are actually out there cruising.Over exploited destinations such as the Whitsundays appear to still have their fair share of boats at anchor whilst the bays islands and towns on the ant trail south from cape york appear sparsely populated, comparatively, from recent years.

As with previous sailing crazes like the surf cats, the trailer sailors and the windsurfers before, is the cruising fad over?

Regards
Just my thoughts, but up here the economy is in pretty bad shape. Most people I know are part time sailors and sailing is something they can do without. Keeping a boat is expensive, so it is usally one of the first things to go when one has a choice between house and boat.

I think if the economy gets better, you'll see the marinas chock full of weekend warriors again.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:56   #3
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I wonder if word is getting round that Australian beaurocracy is ridiculously administered, and sailing here is just becoming too hard.
Could be that overseas cruisers are giving Australia a miss...
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:16   #4
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Reading the forum here sometimes makes me think everyone has either gone or is planning to go off cruising ASAP, so maybe this is a good thing. I've been wondering ... how crowded is it getting out there?
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:04   #5
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In Europe, the economy is in pretty bad shape too.. Dufour is going to be brought by Bavaria, Wauquiez is under perfusion, etc.. The Paris Boat Show opens this morning and we will see what the mood is (remember Beneteau and Jeanneau are french companies) ...
But, it doesn't change anything to the development of sailing practice ... More and more retired sailors everywhere... And as the Mediterranean sea is concerned, marinas and ports are full, and there are more and more people sailing along the coasts of France. Italy, Greece, Turkey, etc..
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:14   #6
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I definitely think cruising by traditional definitions is on the decline. Today's populace want experience on the water with all the conveniences and supposed safety of home, which means more systems and ultimately more maintenance for breakages. Much easier and less risky to marina hop because facilities, uscg, and towboatus are close at hand. I guess the prior generations accepted that they were part of the circle of life...and if they were lost out there, well at least they had an adventure. Now, life is too...what's the word....valuable?? People fear the unknown and death more it seams.

So they go to marinas, nose their bow out the inlet...have an "adventure lite" then scurry back to slip 75b in time for the potluck at night.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:21   #7
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Is it really the need for marinas or is it the legislation folks who outlaw anchoring for one reason or another and force people to use marinas (Read pay to stay)?

This makes it near impossible to transit areas without using the harbors, marinas or the like...

Makes one wonder just how far into our freedoms the legislators will reach?
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Old 04-12-2010, 13:00   #8
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But, it doesn't change anything to the development of sailing practice ... More and more retired sailors everywhere... And as the Mediterranean sea is concerned, marinas and ports are full, and there are more and more people sailing along the coasts of France. Italy, Greece, Turkey, etc..
Hmm, they might be full where you are but let me tell you that the Costa Del Sol in Southern Spain is by no means full.

Where I am in Duquesa, there are LOADS of free moorings, one pantalan (jetty) is nearly empty and this in a marina that had a waiting list less than two years ago. This is the same in Sotogrande, Estepona, Marbella and even the once very exclusive Puerto Banus.

However, for people like me and cruisers in general, this is no bad thing as A, you can be almost sure of getting berth if you're passing through and B, they are having to cut prices to encourage people to stay.
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Old 04-12-2010, 13:04   #9
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since the anchoring laws in sin diego are not pro boating, there have been fewer folks thru here in the traditional cruising season, but then the economy suxx so bad there isnt a lot of money fro those who like the brand new boats and gear---mebbe we will have a reversion to old(omg) boats and used gear---perhaps the FAD of HAVING to have brand new shiny stuff may fade>????
i really think cruising, itself , is not the fad. has been happening for centuries....but the use of shiny new stuff just for hanging out in a strange and underprivileged place has been only within the past coupla decades.
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Old 04-12-2010, 14:02   #10
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A LOT of people have been hit VERY hard by the recession. Especially because of housing. 3 years ago they could have sold their home and pocketed some cash. But now, they are upside down, owing more than the house is worth. That puts a big dent in the cruising plans.

For USA, health care cost is projected to go up 6% per year. So it will only make things much more expensive for early retirees to try.

Add in hostile law enforcement and limits on free anchoring and it is apparent that cruising is getting more expensive at a time when most have less money. The result is predictable
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Old 04-12-2010, 16:02   #11
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one does not megabucks for cruising. one does not need to live one's overly opulent lifestyle when cruising. there are many cruising on their disability and social security incomes. there are many places in this world much less expensive than usa. cruising does not have to cost every penny one makes in life...health care so much less costly elsewhere than at home--is only 50 dollars to be seen in and office in other places--sometimes less. medications cost much less in other countries than usa.
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Old 04-12-2010, 17:51   #12
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A large percentage of cruisers that i meet are baby boomers, retired or forced retirement and for once in ther lives want to be independant. The children have grown up and the man has this dream of sailing off.

the problem is not many wives also have this dream, they want to stay at home and be grandmothers. Some wives however really enjoy the life cruising on a boat, however you may need to add a few comforts, like a fridge/freezer and fresh water.
Or change wives? like I did.
It will be interesting to see how the next generation enjoy their cruising.
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Old 04-12-2010, 17:57   #13
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I have to agree Beau, it has always been mans dream to sail off into some faraway distant islands, but as you say, those are mens dreams and wives see it differently..... maybe that is why you see so many guys sitting on their front verandas... simply gazing into the distance.... dreaming their lives away...
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Old 04-12-2010, 18:32   #14
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i tellye--is a real BEAR trying to find decent male cruising partner for a formosa 41 ketch and, me, a baby boomer female---too bad kat(feline, as opposed to 2 hulls or rig type) cant steer when he is on watch.....sailing off into sunset/sunrise isnt quite the "thing" whenye are solo...except for the awesome beauty we are gifted ...
i presume it would be funner to share this with somene, especially someone special
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Old 04-12-2010, 18:54   #15
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Riffing off of what Z and others have written:
Travels of Serrafyn aside, it's interesting that at least among us yanks the big cruising "fad" of the 70's was arguably set in motion by Westsail's ad campaigns featuring an underpowered, stoutly built, simple go anywnere 32' double ender like it was expected that you'd be crossing oceans w/o the benefit of expensive hi-tech electronics. Cruising was presented in a more "rustic" light where the expectation was that you were looking to get away from contemporary societies demands and distraction.
It seems like that morphed into more sales opportunities and the developnment of an industry that would create the need for more equipment and now with tough economic times that industry retracts a bit and there sems less going on...????
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