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Old 10-01-2012, 00:56   #46
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Originally Posted by cfarrar
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 10-01-2012, 04:50   #47
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
But, this really doesn't address the issue of the dearth of younger cruisers. I don't think that it is only the cost of cruising that keeps them away... I think that many of them just are not interested in our life style. Immersion in the (to me) superficial realities of current American (and other western cultures) behavior doesn't lead them to join us. As someone else said, Facebook friends (and even CF correspondents) are more important to many than the kind of friendships developed in the cruising community.

How sad for them.

Cheers,

Jim
I blame the Jumbo Jet .

Time was that travel to far off places was exotic, difficult and expensive - nowadays a few hundred pounds or so can get you to the other side of the world......so why would folk want to travel by a cold, wet (and a sometimes scary) mode of transport? Far cheaper (and IME just as good, if not better ) experiances to be had travelling / living on shore in tropical places - certainly a lot easier to meet and interact with the locals, rather than simply "fellow cruisers".

Throw in that debt is the new money - many folks simply unable to afford to not work for the time required to make a trip by a slow sailboat, even if can sign paper to buy a boat.

And of course a lot more recreational options available for folk, both onshore or with boats........including being able to fly out to a boat - whether charter or own that is already in the tropical paradise.....and for many that will be enough.......especially when having onshore commitments.

Personally I think one of the more exciting times to be growing up onshore, especially with all the new technology and ways of interacting with folks (including "old school" stuff like........a Forum ). Certainly a lot more opportunity for self to create own opportunities - rather having to rely on others and / or simply being stuck in a single "career" grinding out the years to the gold watch.

FWIW I have always found the attitude of some that "Land is bad" and "Water is good" somewhat strange, and bit too log cabin in the woods for my tastes ......as someone who in the past has lived a carefree existence around the world (interspaced with work at "home" ), albeit sans boat (did a lot of that extended living afloat as a kid, albeit only locally / northern France - novelty long gone) one of my regrets (??) is that I never built a regular life onshore - including the wife, 2.2 kids and a Volvo . But not all the time, as I know I would have fooked that up .

Hey, life is all about choices .
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:39   #48
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

We've seen many more families with younger kids cruising once we left US to go south and across the Atlantic (no, not charters). For us, a younger couple, the US east coast has always been a nice provisioning and boat maintenance/equipping stop, more so than a place we'd like to cruise.

Yes, there are some nice cruising grounds (still remembering Ocracoke and Pamlico Sound fondly), but, in our experience, they are separated by large expanses of over-developed land. Moreover, the lure of Bahamas and Caribbean just around the corner always set our eyes on a "bigger prize" - nicer weather, better snorkeling/diving, more anchorages, better sailing, etc.

Granted, we still haven't been further south than Fort Lauderdale in US, but that [and Chesapeake] was what scared us off And from Fort Lauderdale Bahamas is just 60 nm away!


Oh, and a small note about ICW: we found ICW to be one of the most demanding sailing... err... motoring experiences. You must always be vigilant for the canal borders, shoals, tides, currents, other boats, manatees, flotsam, bridge opening times and clearances. For us it was more attention-demanding than driving a car.

Anchoring was also not a very enjoyable experience as we were bound to share the anchorage with a bunch of partying boats while being rocked by passing wakes. And forget about swimming/snorkeling before dinner or breakfast.

We found it much easier on ourselves to stay offshore and only go the inside route when a northerly storm was forecasted for the next few days.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:19   #49
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

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Originally Posted by Downtothesea View Post

The sailing magazines and sailboat manufacturers have made sailing and cruising seem like a BIG BOAT endevour with large expensive boats filled with lots of expensive electronics, watermakers, airconditioning, autopilots, radar, chartpoltters, etc. being REQUIRED to go cruising. And young people have been led to believe that you HAVE to have all that or you can't go cruising and they can't afford that kind of cruising. When we were young a 25 to 32 foot sailboat with minimal systems and electronics were considered to be more than good enough to go cruising or even circumnavigate. Young people could afford that (still could!).
This is exactly what's been driving me a bit mad over the last few months that we've been cruising. What others (other boaties, marina staff, police, insurance companies....) think is "safe" or "appropriate" for cruising with children. Would it be alright, officer, if I perhaps made those decisions for myself?

We are a small er, young, family - two (late) 30 somethings, a 2 year old and a 1 year old on a 28' - yep, 28, 107 year old wooden, high-maintenance boat. With no winches or any other new-fangled stuff. OK, except for the windlass. Certainly no electric ones. It's all about good old-fashioned rope pulling on our boat. Our water maker is a bucket when it rains, our self-steering is a well-placed rolling hitch and a few shock cords on the tiller, we don't have a chartplotter (I can hear the sharp intake of breath from here...) and radar, well, don't get me started. (Just for the record, we do have some electronics - GPS, AIS transponder, Yeoman plotter, not everything on the boat was built 100 years ago, we just didn't go overboard.) So as Downtothesea suggests, it IS affordable if you don't believe the hype.

So why are we doing it? Well, mainly because we can. This beautiful old girl we live on cruised just fine in the 70s and 80s with my husband's family on board, has done 4 Atlantic crossings, and so we are headed to New Zealand in her a generation on. Without the extra 20 feet or 500 amp hours of a modern boat.

Financially, it's a leap of faith. We both gave up our (good) jobs, and will not have enough in the bank when we get to NZ to support ourselves for long. What we both know though is that we are adaptable, have never had issues finding employment before, and simply believe we will find a job, if not one from our previous life. Naive? Perhaps. Difficult? Definitely. Worth it? Without doubt. Some opportunites only come up once in a lifetime - literally - and if you don't take them when you can, well, I for one don't want to be drinking gin with regrets in the old folks home I spent half my working life saving for. And even if I hate it, at least I can say I tried. No shame in that.

My husband had this life as a child, in this boat, and we both think that there is nothing better we can do for our kids but to continue what may have just become a family tradition!

So any other kid boats out there - you'll spot us, we're the antique. Come and say hello.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:17   #50
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

I'm 30, and my boyfriend and I are heading out in April to cruise for a couple of years. We bought a boat in August for a good price and have been fixing it up and saving. We don't have a ton of sailing experience, but we both wanted to see the world, meet interesting people and have an adventure. I can't think of a better way to accomplish those goals than sailing!

But I would like to stand up for my generation for a moment. Saying that young people live in a virtual world or that we can't fix anything because of our devotion to the throwaway culture or that we are too focused on material goods and status to live in a small boat or that all young people do is watch MTV are pretty cliche arguments. Kind of like saying that all boomers are self-involved.

The fact is you have to have some money to do this. Many young people are struggling right now, and many are so laden with student loan debt they wouldn't be able to dream about going cruising without the bank charging them interest. The other fact is that there are a lot of young people cruising or planning to cruise. There are probably just as many as in the '70s. It's just there are so many retirees now that it looks unbalanced. And why are there so many retirees? Because they have the financial resources to do this easily. It has absolutely nothing to do with MTV, which incidentally was invented by a boomer.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:01   #51
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

Quote:
if you don't marina hop, it seems hard to just leave your boat alone at anchor and then get to shore and find a grocery store or do anything. I worry about what I can do and where I can do it. Maybe it is irrational, but it's there. It is the reason I don't live in my car, I don't know where you can park, where free parking is, where the shipping lanes are, and local ordinances against anchoring or beaching your dingy are.
I can relate to this. In the olden days, it was a lot easier to anchor in a town harbor and row ashore to the town dock. Now, the harbors are filled with permanent moorings and it's often a long dingy ride from the anchorage into town, and then it's hard to figure out where it's okay to tie up.

If you are on the ICW, The Skipper Bob Anchorage book is a big help, and the Claiborne Young books are also excellent.

The Embassy cruising guide, which is the only one for my local area, is largely mute on the subject of how to get ashore from an anchorage (although fine in other respects). They just assume you are going to pay for a marina berth or mooring, and ride ashore in the marina tender. And I guess that is what most people do.

I personally like to anchor out and row ashore, but it's a challenge. And I even have an unfair advantage: I sail in a very sweet wooden boat that reminds many people of the Pardy's boat. Whereever I anchor, someone invariably rows over to take a look and ask questions. This often gives me a chance to make friends and hitch a ride into town in their fast tender.

And I can't tell you how many dinners and glasses of scotch I've had on huge power boats, because the owner was nostalgic for the little wooden gaffer that his dad sailed. I have no problem swapping stories for scotch, steak, and (the sometimes blessed) air conditioning!
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:31   #52
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettiedelMar View Post
I'm 30, and my boyfriend and I are heading out in April to cruise for a couple of years. We bought a boat in August for a good price and have been fixing it up and saving. We don't have a ton of sailing experience, but we both wanted to see the world, meet interesting people and have an adventure. I can't think of a better way to accomplish those goals than sailing!

But I would like to stand up for my generation for a moment. Saying that young people live in a virtual world or that we can't fix anything because of our devotion to the throwaway culture or that we are too focused on material goods and status to live in a small boat or that all young people do is watch MTV are pretty cliche arguments. Kind of like saying that all boomers are self-involved.

The fact is you have to have some money to do this. Many young people are struggling right now, and many are so laden with student loan debt they wouldn't be able to dream about going cruising without the bank charging them interest. The other fact is that there are a lot of young people cruising or planning to cruise. There are probably just as many as in the '70s. It's just there are so many retirees now that it looks unbalanced. And why are there so many retirees? Because they have the financial resources to do this easily. It has absolutely nothing to do with MTV, which incidentally was invented by a boomer.

+1! Well said, thanks. I am sure that their predecessors said that same about them ("Radio is gonna ruin today's youth! They don't even have to chop wood for heat!")

Not to turn this into an offshoot of the $500/month thread, but there is no way someone can cruise for 10, 20, or 30 years without some wealth beforehand. Even taking the well-famed/goal $500 figure, that's 60k per 10 years, not talking about the initial cost of a boat, or the money it takes to make that 60k through investments, etc. And I haven't read the whole $500/month thread, is that based on a family of four, per person, or is that "double occupancy"?

The good news for us "young'uns" is that if the "old farts" on this thread are right we should have relatively clear anchorages in 10-20 years at the most!

Frank
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:54   #53
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

When I started boating it cost almost nothing to keep a boat. Moorings were from the town and were usually free to residents. When cruising, you always anchored or picked up an available mooring for nothing. This style of cruising is difficult today because communities and the marine industry favor the wealthier boater who can pay for a marina slip. As a result, moorings cost $50+ a night in the North East.

The wealthier boaters who can afford those slips are older because the 55 plus age cohort is - on average - much healthier and much, much wealthier than 20 years ago. You can't say the same for the 20 somethings who are among the poorest age cohort. Their wages pay for their own retirement and healthcare as well as the the healthcare and much of the retirement of their grandparents and sometimes parents.

I just turned 55 and am embarrassed by the financial inequity the young face in the US including my two 20 something, college educated, hard working, sons.


Carl
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:25   #54
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

All of these are good points. I can't point to any grand trend, but I can comment on why I am sitting here in my office during my lunch break on CF in stead of cruising on my boat.

Cost is a big factor, fuel, debt, and I, like many after the housing crash, now have a house that I owe more than I can sell it for.

I have put off buying a new car for over 8 years. I cannot afford to take much time off for recreation.

The taxes I have to pay take over 6 months of the year to pay. I have to sell my house before I can even take a leave of absence from my job, (the property tax bill is over $20,000), Thats $2000 a month, it was a fraction of that when I bought it, but then the house was valued for less then also. Now it is valued, thanks to the housing bubble, for many times what I could sell it for, if at all.

The local assessor has raised valuations under pressure to keep revenue up, to make up for the many foreclosures that aren't paying anything.

NO matter how high the priority, selling the house and buying a bluewater boat is not in my imediate future.

My only hope is to work enough overtime to pay down the house loan to what I can sell it for. Then I can leave my job.

If I do leave it is a one way street, technology changes, even a 6 month absence will leave me hopelessly outdated.

Health insurance is another thing, affordable individual policies are gone, due to new regulations. It will be when I reach 65 that I can get on medicare.

I still plan on doing it, but it will be a few years. My peers, are too busy even for the weekend fishing trip.

Divorces, and other of lifes little bumps have left many of them without any substantial savings. I am luckier than them, but market crashes, layoffs, and bad investment decisions have left me with only a fraction of my savings as well.

Until the economy improves I'm afraid it will be only a small minority that can afford it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:51   #55
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

Maybe we should use Eric Hisscock's distinction between 'Cruising' and 'Voyaging', where 'cruising' means relatively short trips... say up to a couple of months, but more typically a weekend to a couple of weeks, and 'voyaging' means long distance and long term trips.

Though every sailor dreams of going on a long voyage, few do... and I'd bet the average voyager age is actually fairly young.

Cruising doesn't require you to abandon your job and family. It's just a fun thing to do with your spouse and kids. That's the real mystery to me: why there aren't more families 'out there', when 'out there' just means out of the marina and anchored in some lovely cove.

It's NOT because they can't afford it. There are tens or hundreds of thousands of young families with boats in the US. They are out there, buzzing around every weekend. What they are not doing, at least in large numbers, is dropping the anchor at night and enjoying one of the best things (I think) about owning a boat.
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Old 10-01-2012, 13:38   #56
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

Hello All

My wife and I will start our crusing adventure in May. I am 44 and she is 32. I guess we are the younger part of the crowd. My opinion is that cruising is a lifestyle. It is not that people do not have the money to cruise, it is that they would rather spend that money on other things like larger houses with more rooms than they have kids. They want expensive cars and fancy clothing.

In the end, they live in the "best"neighborhoods, but don't know any of their neighbors. A few years ago, a relative of mine mentioned that he was jeallous of me for my life style, despite the fact that he "has it all."

We did not choose cruising, it chose us. We chose a lifestyle and cruising is the byproduct. We are people who care about each other and each stranger. We know the value of independence and of interdependence. We show each of these atributes each time we set sail dependent upon ourselves and ready to help other sailors in need.

It is not about money. It is about culture. This is the culture I choose.

The Witchdoctor
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Old 10-01-2012, 14:28   #57
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

I'm 33 and at least looking for a boat to start off with. I'm not married, nor do I have kids (yet), but if I did, I'd teach the young ones about sailing and enjoying the water.
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Old 10-01-2012, 14:35   #58
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

Witchdoctor, do you have kids? How long are you planning on cruising? Are you cruising full time? Or are you planning on working while cruising?
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Old 10-01-2012, 15:47   #59
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

I think alot of it is speed and excitement. The younger set is still into "go fast"....with the least amount of effort. They like the ease of powerboating, skiing, wakeboarding, flying across the lake....and in party coves, it's the big expensive cabin cruisers that dominate the raftups. It's fast, exciting, adrenaline rushes that make the weekend.

I used to be that way too. But things have changed for me in the last few years. I sold my Corvette and now drive a Jeep. Got rid of the sportbike and bought a Harley. Now, I enjoy taking it slower, enjoying the ride, and the scenery which was previously a blur in my peripheral vision.

Sailing is relaxing. I can sit back and reflect, enjoy the day and listen to music. If the wind is up there are still moments of excitement, but usually it's just a nice blow around the lake....and a search for anchorage away from party cove for a quiet steak on the grill and a peaceful night up in the V Berth gently rocking away the night's sleep....so I can wake with the sunrise and watch the lake come alive....with coffee in the cockpit....and the smell of sausage wafting up from the galley.

These are the things I like now.....didn't used to be that way though. I had to get here. I'm lucky I survived to make it here.
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Old 10-01-2012, 17:20   #60
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Re: Is family cruising dead?

Most all probably know of this site, for the 1 or 2 of you that don't......

Cruising with Children: 12 Questions to 12 Sailing Families, on the WOMEN & CRUISING website
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