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Old 09-01-2012, 17:19   #16
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

We're 28 and 25, currently doing small refit (ha thats a good one). We cruised the BC coast for 2 years, but we knew if we wanted to do anything long distance adventure stuff the ol'girl needed some love.

Due to the insane cost of BC boat yards, we decided to move the boat to the family farm to save $$ and do the work. Our jobs suck, but pay alright, and its motivation to keep the dream alive. I refuse to worry about future/pension/work stuff, I'll never be satisfied if I don't make it out there.
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Old 09-01-2012, 17:34   #17
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

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I for one could not talk the wife into it and the kid did not want to leave their friend for any lengh of time . So now we cruise on the weekends. I wonder how many couples have that problem.
Nothing wrong with weekend cruising, except I find it hard, myself, to wind down and get into the cruising groove quickly. I usually find my self rushing and restless for the first few days, until I finally settle down and enjoy the slower pace (hey, I'm a New Yorker!)

There are plenty of boats and boaters out there. Lots more than there were in the 70s, I think. Probably 10x as many. Anchorages that used to be empty are now full-up on weekends, right? So there are more people 'out there', at least on weekends, but mainly oldsters. So I guess it is the money thing?

Which is a bit crazy, since it's a buyer's market for boats. I bought my current boat for less than the price of the extra set of new sails that came with her. In other words, I bought the sails and got the boat for free. Sure, she's on the small side (a beamy 23'... similar size/shape as the Pardy's first boat), but certainly more comfortable than a tent.

The McMansion tendency might have explained the situation pre-bust, but you'd think young people would be disenchanted with money grubbing at this point and be ready for a bit of inexpensive fun? Lessons NOT learned?
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Old 09-01-2012, 17:46   #18
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

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Originally Posted by Freerider View Post
We're 28 and 25, currently doing small refit (ha thats a good one). We cruised the BC coast for 2 years, but we knew if we wanted to do anything long distance adventure stuff the ol'girl needed some love.

Due to the insane cost of BC boat yards, we decided to move the boat to the family farm to save $$ and do the work. Our jobs suck, but pay alright, and its motivation to keep the dream alive. I refuse to worry about future/pension/work stuff, I'll never be satisfied if I don't make it out there.
I wonder... maybe the number of 20 somethings is the same, proportionally speaking, but there are just a lot more older people out cruising?

Think about it... in the 50s and 60s, people wrote books about going cruising, because it was new... a rarity when someone showed up at the town dock flying a distant flag.

Now the ARC is like a mid-ocean traffic jam! Clearly, there are a lot more people out there cruising, even long distance, so maybe the youngsters are just getting lost in the crowd?

I wonder if there are any stats out there?
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:09   #19
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

Okay, maybe I don't qualify as a family cruiser, but: I bought my first boat at 22, currently 24, doing repairs on a shoestring, free mooring, 1968 Haida 26. I don't do it because I can afford it, I can't afford it. I just do it because it's what I want to do!

A large part of the reason that young people don't do it these days is that sailing is no longer a middle class sport. Few young people are debt-free, so owning a sailboat makes little sense.

When triton's first came out in 1959, the marginal tax rate for the top tax bracket in the US was 91%. Now the marginal tax rate for the top tax bracket is only 35%.

The hypothesis that I am trying to support here is this: sailing is no longer middle class. Notice that manufacturers don't make small cruising boats anymore?
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:12   #20
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

I don't see the change. When we moved aboard and started cruising in the 1970's most everyone was our age. Most cruisers were our age in the eighties and nineties too. ...and now, most everyone cruising seems to be our age!
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:19   #21
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

We met several family boats, but for the most part not until we got to Panama. Anchored in Portobello we had Easter (Semana Santa) with a catamaran from the U.S. with a boy & girl and a 27' boat from Great Britain with 2 boys. What a great time coloring easter eggs in the shade of one of the ancient spanish forts.

Then the dads hid the eggs in the fort and of 27 eggs, one was never recovered. We all accused the dads of getting hungry and eating it. We learned a new "roll the easter egg down the hill" tradition from the British boys and they learned about a tap the egg contest from the U.S. kids.

Overall, the cruising kids we've met are so far ahead of "normal" kids their age, it's absolutely amazing. They are polite, interesting, curious, know multiple languages, I could go on and on.

BTW, the 27 footer with 2 adults and 2 boys left Great Britain several years earlier and were on their way through the canal and around the world.

Too bad there aren't more kid boats, they're so much fun .....

Cheers -- Jan
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:33   #22
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

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I don't see the change. When we moved aboard and started cruising in the 1970's most everyone was our age. Most cruisers were our age in the eighties and nineties too. ...and now, most everyone cruising seems to be our age!
Mate, that is really observant! I've noticed the same thing... ho,ho!

Jim
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:36   #23
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

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Too bad there aren't more kid boats, they're so much fun .....

Cheers -- Jan
I think the next generation are all on this site, as they refit and prepare. Maybe in the years ahead we'll all be surprised when all the families get ready at about the same time. I just turned 40 and I've been prepping for long term cruising since I was four. Got a lot of miles under the keel in the interim, finally acquired the dream boat, almost there. Seems like a lot of people here are in the same boat, so to speak.
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:45   #24
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

I'm 48 and sadly if the wife and kids would buy into it we would be off cruising full time. Best I've had was cruising for a few weeks at a time. When we do meet kids on other boats it is great fun. The reasons are 1) daughter is in High School and I don't remember enough math to help her with her school work, 2) son is in 8th grade and wants to play sports in high school, 3) wife doesn't like passages, and 4) kids don't want to leave their friends. I've had to rein in on my desires -- This year we are planning on 6 weeks of sailing. Best I could do. I guess we are worried about getting the kids into college etc.
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:52   #25
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

This has been a most enjoyable thread to read. So many valid points, I'll have to use "power-point".

* Our age group that represents the majority of today's cruisers grew up reading about Robin Graham in "National Geographic" when we were teens. I don't know about the rest of you, but from 1968 on, I knew a cruising lifestyle was in my future.

* As to the comment that in the 70's they were our age group as they are now, it is that way for me too. In the 70's, Sea of Cortez cruisers were my age, same today. Maybe has something to do with in those days we created our own entertainment. Didn't have MTV.

* Couldn't agree more that cruising kids as adults are the best people I know, and as kids they are so adaptable, worldly, confident, and happy in their own skin.
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Old 09-01-2012, 18:54   #26
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Geo hits the nail on the head. I son't thibk it's the case that young families are saving up their money for a 50 footer. It's just that they feel uncertain about their savings, future job opportunities, whether or not their kids will get into college, etc. To say "the heck wiith it, let's go cruising," doesn't require huge amounts of wealth, but it does take optimism about the future.

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Old 09-01-2012, 19:00   #27
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Sorry for spelling... Typing on my Ipod.

Just thought I'd add that we hope to take our kids cruising full time in a few years, when they hit junior high school. Hope to see some other families out there!

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Old 09-01-2012, 19:04   #28
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

From this post..........

I question if at least half the cruisers out there truly want their peaceful anchorage decimated by a couple of boats with cruising kids on them!

Count me in the other half, I welcome all the boat loads of kids to enjoy the same anchorage as I'm in.
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Old 09-01-2012, 19:27   #29
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

It is all about jobs. When I first went cruising in the mid 70s, I had a Union job that didnt make me rich , but paid for a small boat and enough money in the bank to feel like I could take off for a year. My wife and I stretched it for 2 years by being frugal. No marinas, almost no resaurants , and very little frills. THESE WERE THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. One of the big differances of then and now is that when I flew back to California after being gone for 2 years my old job wanted me to go back to work the very next day. I was no super worker or anything like that. There were simply many many jobs available then. Now if a young couple(maybe with kids) can even save enough for a boat and a little money in the bank, they are lucky, and in this economy if they leave their jobs they know that it will be almost impossible to come back to a good job when they need more money. It is no wonder that there are so few young families out there cruising. Most young people can hardly keep food on the table let alone buy a boat. This is not a political rant because I dont think anything except time will cure our economy, but I feel sorry for the younger generation, and the opportunities that are so few and far between now. If you see a young couple out cruising, have them over for dinner and you will probably find that they have all the same dreams that got us old farts sailing so long ago _____Grant.
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Old 09-01-2012, 19:31   #30
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

We are circumnavigating sexagenarians in a 34 footer for 25 years. Just now sailing around in SE Asia we have noticed the same, very few young people in small, (old) boats. But we are overlooking something here. Young people are not taught anymore to be practical, to work with their hands and learn how to use tools and learn about materials. When something is broken they replace it, not repair it. (Like a modern car with plug in electronics - impossible to fix by yourself.) There is no challenge there anymore and you need a lot of diverse skills to maintain and live on a boat (on a small budget). A sailing boat needs lots of maintenance. You have to know about your engine, work with fibreglass and timber, do some sewing, do electrical work, soldering, epoxy repairs, painting, plumbing, know about batteries, too much to mention and you have to learn how to repair with few means and money, sometimes under difficult circumstances. You have to think laterally (if it can't go this way is there another way...) and all those things needs some training and preferably from a young age on. Does that happen anymore? Parents are often an example in that respect. If parents are "practical" and have skills with their hands then they can inspire their children to learn things. That way you breed sailors.
When you are on a boat, from day one the maintenance is straight before you and I think that young people can recognize that and their lack of skills and probably be put off by it. Sad but true.
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