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Old 20-09-2018, 17:04   #1
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Responsibility of the industry

Yachting: A sustainable form of tourism?
It could be with some reflection on its modus operandi.


Achieving environmental sustainability of the yachting industry is an ongoing process that requires substantial adjustment to the way things are done in this industry.

This article is not to debate on aspects such as sustainable yacht production, marina development or best practice in yacht maintenance such as using only environmentally friendly cleaning agents and the like. These areas are (in most cases) already a work in progress, as there are financially tangible benefits in being 'green'.

My intention here is to focus on the social impact of 'nautical tourism'.

It is easy for the public's perception of yacht owners and charterers to be one of rich people in shiny boats, who don't have to work and have money to burn. Admittedly, we are privileged. Very much so if considering that a large percentage of the world's population don't even have their basic human rights met and are fighting for daily survival or just the right to be.

However, yachting isn't reserved for the rich and privileged anymore. New materials, manufacturing techniques and general accessibility have made sailing and chartering available to the many. But just as we can't blame Henry Ford or Ferdinand Porsche for making cars affordable to the people, we can't blame manufacturers or the charter companies for the misbehaving few who ruin the reputation for everyone else sailing responsibly.
Let us assume for the purpose of this discussion that everyone involved in recreational activities in or on the water will be 'tarred by the same brush'. The negatively effected community will not differentiate between the socially conscious and disrespectful.

Yacht Week, BucketLust and Yachtpack ... they might all be good for business right now but it raises the question whether charter companies have a responsibility when considering whom they rent yachts to.

I am not talking about your average, once a year family sailors who forgot how to sail or anchor in between their annual charters and bump into another boat. I am talking about large, organized groups of sublet yachts turned into party boats akin to Roman orgies.

Like at those ancient parties, no consideration is given to the surrounding environment, equipment or fellow travellers. Stuart McGurk refers to this in his article in GQ as 'Yacht Week is Sodom and Gomoarrah at sea'....

.... I come across a Dutch boat drinking with their skipper, Cowboy Carl.
"They started with two bottles of vodka" Carl said almost misty-eyed, He
hugs them. "My boys"

While damage to boats and hardware might be fixable and is most likely factored into the profits made by charter companies and their insurers, long term-damage done to the reputation of the industry and subsequent losses will far outweigh the short-term gains.

Just like the Croatian town of Hvar has realized, this type of high-octane tourism might not be in the best interest of their community and are actively putting in place programs to limit the number of party dwellers and control their behaviour.

Authorities, driven by business owners and locals alike, have realized that this disruption to the normal tourism is ultimately having a negative impact on the local economy and some controls need to be put in place. Rick Lyman from the New York Times explains further in this article: 'Hvar to crack down on drunken tourists'.

The 'BalkanInsight' features a similar story.

Croatia isn't the only country facing the issue of 'Party Tourism' and its associated 'hang overs'. Ireland realized in the late 90's that promoting "stag nights" may not have been in the best interest of all involved and banned these events in some of their most famous locations. Countries like the UK and Spain have experienced similar turn-arounds in fortunes. They are now actively steering away from encouraging party dwellers onto their doorsteps. Alternatively, they have programs in place to educate visitors about respecting the local environment and culture, with varying degrees of success.

Without repeating other industry's mistakes, the charter industry now has a distinct opportunity to avoid falling into the same trap. Food for thought.

Ultimately though, the onus is on us, the end user, the sailor, the cruiser, the charterer. We all have a choice where we travel, charter and ultimately, where we take our money.... long after the 'hang over' of party tourism has vanished.

We need to be prudent and lead by example of being culturally aware and considerate citizens. We can highlight the benefits of the cruising and charter industry to the local community and show both can coexist and benefit from each other in a sustainable, respectful way.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts! Forward this to anyone who has an interest or stake in the leisure yacht industry.
For more, see below.
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Old 20-09-2018, 17:30   #2
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Even if I have not been personally affected. Good point.
We will have our cat soon chartered and we choosen 3 cabins w a owner cabin to reduce the tendency for Party of 8... we want families
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Old 20-09-2018, 17:51   #3
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Not entirely sure what you're going on about, But could you tell me more about where I can find these:

Quote:
I am talking about large, organized groups of sublet yachts turned into party boats akin to Roman orgies.

Sounds like,... I would,..... at least,.... like to take a look.................
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Old 20-09-2018, 21:07   #4
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy J View Post
Not entirely sure what you're going on about, But could you tell me more about where I can find these:




Sounds like,... I would,..... at least,.... like to take a look.................
Mmmm....I didn't link them in the article but they are mentioned... Each to their own. Just not in a pack of 50 yachts.
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Old 20-09-2018, 21:13   #5
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy J View Post
Not entirely sure what you're going on about, But could you tell me more about where I can find these:




Sounds like,... I would,..... at least,.... like to take a look.................


Me to, if someone could see their way to loaning me some viagra.
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Old 20-09-2018, 21:41   #6
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

I believe the societal norms you are addressing are endemic everywhere in terms of "Tourist louts." They're not just aboard boats, but as stated, a problem experienced in Ireland and elsewhere off yachts as well. So how does one effect change across the board? I can't really say. But as I get older, I do realize that my generation is perhaps just trying to impose a conformity that we bought into much similar to the criticisms I had of my parent's generation. Maybe it's for the youngish 'tourist louts' to figure this all out.
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Old 20-09-2018, 21:49   #7
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

As I was writing the article, I had similar thoughts. But I thought I would put the thought out there anyway as it does effect the lifestyle of many.
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Old 20-09-2018, 22:07   #8
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

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Originally Posted by Nils Gruttner View Post
I am talking about large, organized groups of sublet yachts turned into party boats akin to Roman orgies.
lmao
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Old 20-09-2018, 23:34   #9
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Quote:
Me to, if someone could see their way to loaning me some viagra.
Does that mean that you intend to return it after use??? Eeewww!

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Old 21-09-2018, 00:08   #10
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Responsibility of the industry?

There is none.

You can't pre-screen your customers and sell your package only to those who don't flock to get drunk.

What a company can do is put only smaller boats into charter. Those attractive to a couple or a small family. Like a FP Mahe Duo: Two cabin, two heads. Spacious for a small family but certainly not for a drunken crowd (is 4 a crowd?).

Doesn't pay off, though. To few families charter a boat. Its mostly a bunch of (older) boys or sometimes couples.



But while I have seen plenty of boats full of young men getting drunk after each daysail to the next bay, this is not the norm. And I have never seen flotillas of boozed charter boats.
And no orgy - but I will keep a sharp lookout
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Old 21-09-2018, 00:14   #11
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post


Me to, if someone could see their way to loaning me some viagra.
1. This is why we’ve been saving so we don’t have to put our next/last boat in charter.

2. I loaned all mine to Jim Cate. (Jim, I couldn’t resist after your comment!)

Best regards,
Lee
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Old 21-09-2018, 03:44   #12
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Nothing wrong with people trying to have fun. Yacht Week is basically a rave on the water, with boats instead of music. It's bringing new blood into a dying hobby (sailing) and that's a benefit to all of us.

Some of these partiers will go on to fall in love with boats and will be the next generation of cruisers.

No need to get all old and crotchety about it.

How did you discover sailing and what were your first years sailing like?

I was drunk as can be in university on a $3000 boat I bought and took my friends out on for pretty much the same reasons these people are out on yacht week. We were all wasted in my boat, doing day sails, sleeping over on it and having sex at night. It was a drunken orgy of fun in the sun. (Times were different back then)

But guess what? I don't drink or smoke or even use caffeine now. I eat only organic/local. But I am still sailing all these decades later. I fell in love with sailing during that drunken orgy of a honeymoon with it.

Let's not get all old and crotchety about people enjoying boats for the first time. No wonder the younger generation doesn't feel attracted to this pastime. It's full of elitest, closed minded crabs. Let the next generation fall in love with boats just as you yourselves did.
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Old 21-09-2018, 03:50   #13
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Certain ultra prime locations can afford to be picky...Venice for example has more tourists than they can handle, so thinning them out a bit by raising prices and being selective who they encourage to visit is probably viable.

A lot of secondary destinations that are built heavily on every day people having a good time, don't have that luxury. If Amsterdam shuts down the windows and coffee shops, a lot of businesses and citizens will suffer greatly as that money simply migrates to destinations that use it as an opportunity to steal the business.

Of course, a lot of this smacks of ivory tower thinking where only the "enlightened "who cruise as you do should have the opportunity. It would be so much better if the low class knew their place and just stayed away from your preferred destinations.
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Old 21-09-2018, 05:19   #14
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

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Of course, a lot of this smacks of ivory tower thinking where only the "enlightened "who cruise as you do should have the opportunity. It would be so much better if the low class knew their place and just stayed away from your preferred destinations.
You got that completely wrong. I am not against having fun, drinks and sex on boats. Or for anyome to have the opportunity to be part of this awesome activity called sailing. Quite the opposite...

I was simply raising the question of cultural disrespect or general disrespect. The me me me attitude.

You can do all the above, as we did when I was 25, without being in other people's faces and leaving a trail of distruction along the way. Showing respect to what's not yours doesn't make you old-fashioned, arrogant or prude..
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Old 21-09-2018, 05:39   #15
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Re: Responsibility of the indurty

Ran into the Bucklust while in the Bahamas last year. One cat actually filled their cockpit with sand so they could build sand castles on the boat. And yes, it is a drunkin orgy where girl:guy ratio is controlled and you need to get approved to join. I have no issue with them doing what they are doing, just keep it out of sight of families in marinas.

We heard the boats were 'sticky' after the charter guest left

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