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Old 09-01-2013, 07:55   #106
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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I dont believe there is any evidence of a safety culture affecting sailing,

Dave
Well come to a visit in the USA and have a chat to people. The women, especially, are terrified of all the cruiser fear stories. Death by container at night between Florida and the Bahamas (less thatn 100 nms).
after listening to the made up, fictional horror stories and the fear tripe on internet forums why the hell should they sell the house and go anywhere with their second childhood male when they can just divorce the guy and get the house?
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:56   #107
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

Like some of you, I'm on the wrong side of 60. What I keep an eye out for is young folks passing through marinas here on Florida's east coast. There are a few, but as many have already pointed out, most boats heading south are crewed by baby boomers who are my age or older. It's very rare to come across young couples on a sail boat these days.

Cruising is obviously affected by the economy. Why wouldn't it be? This is not a cheap hobby. It's a way of life.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:19   #108
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

I don't think it is any mystery, back in the day, I was the youngest guy on the boat and caught plenty of gaff from the my older crewmates, I also gained wisdom sometimes in not doing what they did and sometimes by following their example. Back in the day when I was in my 20s running a charter boat, I witnessed a 60+ year old sailor trying to cage a deckhand job on any one of the many vessels at the dock, and I decided for myself that I would never put myself in that position. He was in really dire straits. I decided that I would never put myself in that corner if I could help it. So I continued to work for wages into my 50s, so that I could sail from there on without sweating how I was going to pay for my moorage at the next landfall, or how much longer I could go cruising before, I had to go back to work agiain. So this year I throw off the lines for good and sail around till I fall over. What I see of the younger folks these days is a lack of initiative, I also see some really Skookum kids out doing their thing and loving life. A certain number will get caught in the net of video games and instant gratification, the rest will be stellar. Me, I'll never sit on the porch in a rocking chair.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:43   #109
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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By comparison, The culture in the US is that you need to focus on your career and climb the corporate ladder, and most employers will reject you out of hand if you show a 1-2 year "traveling sabbatical" on your resume.
Yep.


Even though it is because they are jealous as hell.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:14   #110
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

Back in my day...We made our boats outta bark and caulked them with mud.We were so poor our underpants were made of hessian....
Great discussion, I was watching a rolling stones documentary last night that made me understand a lot about the thinking of the boomer generation and it's relationship with authority.Unfortunately i think alot of them have turned into what they so disliked in their youth.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:17   #111
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

I'm still about a decade younger than most of the people at my YC, but I was born in the early '60s...hardly "young". There's no better place to see the demographic "pig moving through the python" than a typical YC: It's like a boomer holocaust.

My wife was born in '74...she's barely out of diapers by cruiser demographic standards. I would hate to be the company that makes those "NO TAMPONS IN HEAD" placards...talk about a fraction of a fraction of the market.

The only way in which we are different is that we are planning on doing our own "big cruise" in the next couple of years. In short, we are taking our "retirement" while young and healthy enough to enjoy it, and screw the "career consequences". We have acquired boats from people who got too old to sail or had too many strings to job or shoreside responsibilities, so we got the message: Go sooner, it's better.

We'll be the couple cleaning the hull of the 70-year-old cruising couple in return for diesel and rum in some tropical lagoon shortly. Feel free to wave or offer us a beer!
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:20   #112
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Back in my day...We made our boats outta bark and caulked them with mud.We were so poor our underpants were made of hessian....
Great discussion, I was watching a rolling stones documentary last night that made me understand a lot about the thinking of the boomer generation and it's relationship with authority.Unfortunately i think alot of them have turned into what they so disliked in their youth.
Yes, although it has to be said that while the "hippie turned entitled prick" can be found yelling at the bar staff, there are quite a few old-but-free spirits actually sailing. I like the old fellas with ponytails, tans and a wealth of seamanship, even if I am overly familiar with their classic rock soundtracks.
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Old 09-01-2013, 14:16   #113
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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If anything kids today are in a far riskier environment, pensions arnt available, real wages have fallen, employment protection laws are being rolled back and the welfare state is on the ropes.Its a much more dog eat dog world then 40 years ago, when most had defined benefit pension plans, and secure employment. Arugably the 60s generation was the ONLY generation to land on its feet ( pensions, house prices etc). Today most kids are trying to scrape a living together, find the loan to buy a house etc. Its far harder being a 21 year old today then possible anytime since the war.

So right!
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Old 09-01-2013, 14:18   #114
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Hurry, Patrick, Hurry!

Jim
For the record, we cleaned up Div 1 in the midweek beercan twilight race, 2nd across line, 1st on corrected, sailing short handed in winds gusting to 35 knots. The beers were cold and a smile was plastered to my face. We still had all the cruising gear on board, all the better to make a quick getaway tomorrow for the weekend cruising!

On the original subject: I was thinking about the active cruisiers from our club... and I could only think of one couple who are younger than us (I just turned 46)
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Old 09-01-2013, 14:55   #115
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

Seems obvious to me. Boats aren't cheap. You need money behind you to be able to quit work and go cruising. Mostly younger people don't have the money behind them. It takes years to get into the financial position to go cruising.

Also, when I was young I was more interested in cars, girls etc. and spending my money as fast as it came in.

Doesn't mean the lifestyle will die though. Todays youngsters can be tomorrow's cruisers. If they're lucky.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:27   #116
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

Another thing that makes me angry (grumpy old man again) is the gradual erosion of our freedom to make decisions / removal of personal responsibility in place of government sanctioned legislation / OH&S bullshit. These days you can barely take a leak without a permit and if, perish the tought, you want to go sailing, you had better have all your paperwork lined up, you EPIRBs and plotters and radar and AIS and licenses and permits and whatever the hell else. And If you don't, you can't go!

I just read a book called "Endurance" about one of Shakelton's epic journeys... everyone should read it, I reckon... itreinforces what can be done without any of that bullc##p.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:41   #117
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Another thing that makes me angry (grumpy old man again) is the gradual erosion of our freedom to make decisions / removal of personal responsibility in place of government sanctioned legislation / OH&S bullshit. These days you can barely take a leak without a permit and if, perish the tought, you want to go sailing, you had better have all your paperwork lined up, you EPIRBs and plotters and radar and AIS and licenses and permits and whatever the hell else. And If you don't, you can't go!

I just read a book called "Endurance" about one of Shakelton's epic journeys... everyone should read it, I reckon... itreinforces what can be done without any of that bullc##p.
Well, yes most all of what you say is true because the world is getting smaller and more crowded with the population explosion. We want controls over the masses so we can have some relative peace, but at the same time YOU don't have to buy into all the BS as you call it. People still go cruising without all that stuff. Here in Thailand, I see lots of backpackers, bicyclers and cruisers out exploring the world without all that stuff. It's up to you, you can buy into it or not.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:57   #118
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Well, yes most all of what you say is true because the world is getting smaller and more crowded with the population explosion. We want controls over the masses so we can have some relative peace, but at the same time YOU don't have to buy into all the BS as you call it. People still go cruising without all that stuff. Here in Thailand, I see lots of backpackers, bicyclers and cruisers out exploring the world without all that stuff. It's up to you, you can buy into it or not.
Agreed, and I buy into it as little as possible, but to a certain extent you have to buy into some of it, or run the risk of going to jail or having your boat impounded (and I acknowledge that many people choose to run that risk). But there is certainly an increasingly prevailing paradigm that it is foolhardy to leave one's marina without all those bells and whistles, and while I can laugh at that mentality, that mentality is increasingly becoming legislation and that is a dangerous and slippery slope.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:57   #119
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Well, yes most all of what you say is true because the world is getting smaller and more crowded with the population explosion. We want controls over the masses so we can have some relative peace, but at the same time YOU don't have to buy into all the BS as you call it. People still go cruising without all that stuff. Here in Thailand, I see lots of backpackers, bicyclers and cruisers out exploring the world without all that stuff. It's up to you, you can buy into it or not.
Not exactly true, Doodles!

Here in Tasmania, for instance, if you are so bold as to ride in your dinghy from boat to shore without wearing an approved PFD you are subject to a stiff fine. The same sort of penalties apply to many of what Weyalan is calling BS rules.

So, perhaps you don't have to "buy into" the BS, but to thus express your independence is bloody expensive.

For those of us with the freedom to cruise off wherever we wish, avoidance of the BS is possible with some effort. For those who are constrained to local sailing (for whatever reason) it isn't so easy!

Incidentally, the cruising here in Tassie is so good that we keep returning despite the rules, and we even try to remember to don our PFDs for the hazardous journey to shore.

Cheers,

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Old 09-01-2013, 16:03   #120
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Dudeman - I don't think your post is funny.

I think it's something all would-be cruisers should think about before setting sail. We've been cruising Mexico for 3 years and 99% of cruisers are over 50. We've met 4 families with kids, two single-handers under 30, one couple in their 20's. In 3 years.

From reading the cruising magazines, I thought the ocean was teeming with adventurous younger folks taking a sabbatical to see the world by boat. Perhaps they are elsewhere, but they sure aren't in Pacific Mexico.

As for the dwindling (growing?) overall number of cruisers, I have no idea. But an older local fellow on the beach yesterday here in Huatulco, Mexico said that the anchorage we are in now -- which has had 2-4 sailboats in it for the last 2 months -- used to have "lots of boats" all winter long a decade or two ago. Not sure what to make of that statement.

I don't know why there aren't more young people out here. But I think the reason lots of older folks try cruising for 1-3 years and then quit (in our experience that is the case for 70% of cruisers we've met), is that it is a very grubby and very challenging lifestyle.

Boats are very complicated nowadays, so keeping all the systems going can be a 20 to 40 hour a week job involving expensive parts that are costly to ship overseas.

Perhaps more importantly, all of us cruisers spent decades living a very clean and sanitary life in the lap of luxury in a developed western nation. For a lot of us it's fun to read about other people having seafaring adventures, but the reality of being salty, sandy and smelly much of the time, sleeping on sticky sheets and wearing the same clothes for days in a row is not all that fun.

Cruising is like tent camping. Ironically, our boat is far more sophisticated and cost three times what our truck-and-trailer RV rig did. Yet in our RV we feel like we live in a rolling condo...

The bottom line is that the whole world can be seen by other means besides a boat nowadays. There is nowhere we've cruised so far that we couldn't have gotten to by another mode of transportation, and some of our best experiences have happened inland at places we could have easily reached if we were still living in a house. Sleeping in a bed that doesn't move and waking up to a long hot shower is surely preferable for most folks than rocking around all night long in the swell and taking a one-gallon spritz bath.

Before we left to go south, we talked at length with every boat that was returning from a few years in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Invariably they were returning to sell their boat after 1-4 years of cruising. They had enjoyed their cruise, but every single one made a statement along the lines of, "cruising is all about the boat"... It dominates the budget and dominates your time.

Most of those cruisers we talked to wanted to return to the places they'd visited by boat -- but they wanted to fly there...

If you are passionate about boating, fixing boats, maintaining boats and living on a boat, the cruising life is the one for you. But if you are going cruising to see new countries, experience different cultures, learn new languages, mingle with the locals and generally TRAVEL, then it is not the best way to achieve your dream...

We have traveled full-time by RV and sailboat for almost six years, split about evenly. In comparison to boats, RVs have ultra simple systems that don't break -- the environment is not corrosive. So you can focus on sightseeing and all that other fun stuff.

In our experience, the full-time RVing and cruising lifestyles can be summed up this way:

RVing is about the destinations. Cruising is about the journey.

Both have been fulfilling for us. We enjoy living off the grid -- we never stay in marinas, campgrounds or RV parks. But in the end, I'm not sure that the cushy way we baby boomers were raised and the cushy way we've raised our kids has created a population that wants to journey as much as it wants to enjoy the cool and fun destinations of this world...
WOW, glad I read about the reality of it all, I'm glad to hear there are plenty of boomers out there!
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