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Old 18-06-2016, 01:01   #1
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Will the next generation still go sailing?

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about the fact that most millennials don't seem to be interested in sailing. I know there are exceptions including myself (I'm technically a millennial as I was born in the late 80's), but it seems to be the trend. Most people my age can care less about anything that doesn't have an app connected to it and I can only imagine what the next generation will be like. Just curious what some of you think: will the next generation be on the water much or is sailing on it's last legs?
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Old 18-06-2016, 01:07   #2
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

Sadly this is what I believe. Also here in Australia most of the millennials are facing a situation of not being able to afford a house. The casualization of the workforce combined with a slump in traditionally male employment opportunities is another factor.
In saying all this, you would think the situation described above would make cruising a more viable option. I am sure sv Delos et al must have tweaked some wonderlust.
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Old 18-06-2016, 02:56   #3
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

I don't agree at all with the premis I do agree that less young people are involved in clubs, all sorts of clubs. But there are a variety of reasons for this.

Sailing will never see an end. A slump, given populations sure. BUT, in most places boat ownership is the higher it's ever been.
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Old 18-06-2016, 03:04   #4
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

I know there will be far fewer monohull boats being sold in the future. Today people want the experience of being someplace and enjoying themselves while there. Very little interest if any in the getting there part of the experience... us included.
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Old 18-06-2016, 03:12   #5
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I know there will be far fewer monohull boats being sold in the future. Today people want the experience of being someplace and enjoying themselves while there. Very little interest if any in the getting there part of the experience... us included.
It depends on what a person views a boat as.
I have had boats since my teens. In my teens for fishing. In my 20s for light coastal work and in my 30s for a sail from the UK to Spain. Since then, again for day and longer trips.

Im happy to live on a boat. I never had the hankerin' to do the world sail for the experience. Now Im living in Spain, when the time is right, Id be happy to have a small vessel tied to the dock, even live on it and do occasional sails...

I envy the energy that Ken and other put into sailing the Med, only.. I personally dont have that interest..

I dont see boat ownership dropping... if it does it will be more to do with the cost of purchase and fixing...
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Old 18-06-2016, 04:11   #6
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

The appeal to myself ,and many, is to leave hurry scurry world behind and "get off the grid" to some degree.
Back to Nature ,if you will.....we are older and have some insights as to the shortcomings of modern Western living.
Todays generation seems to be afraid they will not have the luxury of rejecting modern society, they just want in!
I have always said that cruising is a exercise in values clarification.
Even here, among us, are many who wish to go back to nature , just not on foot !
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers,
little we have in nature that is ours.

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Old 18-06-2016, 05:51   #7
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

I'm seeing a resurgence in our area. Though it looks like lots more younger folks are into racing versus cruising. A good number of youth involved in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

I know a number of TNG sailors that are fixing up classic plastic too.

When we were on the hard the past year, there were three boats all owned by folks mid 30's and below within a few boats of us. One sailed down from Boston and was doing the bottom paint and hull paint refresh, another couple was restoring an abandoned Hunter 27, the third had just brought his Bristol 24 in to refit before leaving again to sail the South Atlantic to take water samples for a project he was doing.

Sailing and cruising have never been for, nor appeal to the masses; that's what team sports like football ( all types ) baseball and such are for, the masses.

So from where I am and see, changing and coming back here.

Two things that devastated cruising in our area, the long ago repealed luxury tax and Jet Skis. Jet skis were the low cost option on the water as boat prices went up. They are fun but not much on cruising comfort.
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Old 18-06-2016, 07:48   #8
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

While cultural changes may account for some ebb and flow, sailing will be around until there is technology that makes sails obsolete for their current use case. Cheap 3D-printed hulls, mass-produced solar power modules with enough storage capacity for a 1000nm range - that sort of thing. Even then sailing will be around, but relegated to the historical reenactment territory. Kind of like wooden boats nowadays.
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Old 18-06-2016, 07:53   #9
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

Hi there! Two millennials here! We have little sailing experience yet, but somehow pretty attracted to get to learn more. Actually, we are planning to hitch hike our way accross the Atlantic on boats this Autumn. Hopefully it will be possible and we will learn a lot If you have any recommendations for us, please let us know!

Have a great day!
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Old 18-06-2016, 08:15   #10
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

Number of registered recreational boating vessels in the U.S. from 1980 to 2014

• Number of recreational boating vessels United States 1980-2014 | Statistic

1980 = 8.58 million
2005 = 12.94 million (peak)
2014 = 11.8 million



Total number of sailboats sold in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014

http://www.statista.com/statistics/2...old-in-the-us/

2000 = 22,500
2010 = 4,300
2014 = 7,500
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Old 18-06-2016, 08:24   #11
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by salticrak View Post
In saying all this, you would think the situation described above would make cruising a more viable option.

Millennial here.... The recession is what motivated us to go. I started working harder for much less and realized I didn't want to do that indefinitely. We sold our house, left the jobs, and became full time cruisers in 2012.

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Old 18-06-2016, 08:55   #12
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

I actually think there is room for hope. Mulling also tend to focus on experiences rather than things, and cruising and sailing provide value in experience far beyond the cost of the boats. The limiting factor however is that it's an entire generation saddled with massive student loan debt and reduced earning capacity.

I expect the laser fleet to do well, the cruising market may stay soft.
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Old 18-06-2016, 08:56   #13
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

A story from "Trade Only Today," a trade pub for "marine industry professionals" Sailing battles demographic headwinds

Excerpts:

Quote:
"Beyond the blow from the Great Recession, sailing faces pressure from aging baby boomers turning toward powerboats and millennials enjoying broader leisure options.

The number of U.S. residents who sail has been roughly flat for a decade, with about 3.5 million to 4 million people going at least once a year and 1.2 million sailing at least seven times a year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and research by industry groups.

That’s despite a rise in the U.S. population and trends for the affluent to seek “special experiences,”..."
From Saving Sailing:

Quote:
"The average self-described American sailor is a white male, 40.1 years old; but the number is deceiving. The largest (43%) age group of sailors are 55 and up. The average age of a sailboat owner is 54.8 years old. The ratio of men to women is about seven to one.

There is a meager bubble (13%) of young sailors between 15 and 24 years old, both girls and boys. However when today’s sailors reach 25 they generally quit. So proportionately, almost nobody between 25 and 44 is sailing.

Sailing was and remains a favorite activity of the oldest boomers. Compared with US census data, the average sailor is older than the general population by about 11 years, so its decline precedes boomer retirement and death by about a decade.

A crucial fact: key age groups that might sustain the activity — kids under 13, women and early parents — are essentially not sailing at all."

And from Yachtworld marketing:

Quote:
"Typical YachtWorld.com visitors are male, college educated and have household incomes above $75,000; in fact, nearly one-third have incomes in excess of $100,000."

In their pretty demographic chart it shows 19% of their visitors are under the age of 35, with a mere 4% being under the age of 25.
All this data skews heavily to the USA, so it may not be reflective of what's going on in the world. But these facts suggest to me it is largely economics that are driving the downturn in sailing with the youngin's. With the average US household income at around $55,000, clearly sailing is a luxury most people can't afford. And the kids today are making a lot less than their parents.

Add to this the fact that the entry level boat keeps getting bigger and hence more costly. And with an apparent requirement for more and more doodads, the cost of just getting started with sailing has gone up, locking out even more people.

Really ... it's no surprise sailing is dying.

But is cruising?
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Old 18-06-2016, 09:02   #14
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

[QUOTE=mdiederi;2147090]Total number of sailboats sold in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014
• Number of sailboats sold in the U.S. 2000-2014 | Statistic

Fiberglass hulls live forever.
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Old 18-06-2016, 09:43   #15
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Re: Will the next generation still go sailing?

I've owned a boat of some sort for 20+years. We take our kids (3 1/2 and 5 1/2) sailing as often as we can. We also have a ski boat that we use as often as we can. But what they end up enjoying when they become adults and have children of their own,will be up to their own personalities. My parents never owned a boat.
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