Originally Posted by slomotion
There are an infinite variety of cruising styles and none of them deserve contempt. If you are talking about cruisers as distinguished from other sailors, then most of them are 50-70 years old. And this is the biggest reason for the floating condo trend. We're old and set in our ways. Yes, full time liveaboard
cruising necessarily involves downsizing and simplifing your lifestyle, but the gray hairs demand a certain comfort level that we would have laughed at 20 years ago. We want to be as self sufficient as possible, but we don't do camping anymore. Yes, simpler is better, but on my next boat I want an icemaker in addition to the refer/freezer. If it breaks and I can't fix it myself, I'll pay someone else to do it. Of course, we will also have a watermaker
. We had one 6 years ago when we were only 52. I've done all the jerry jugging I care to do; our cruising style requires lots of water and these devices are high maintenance
; but it's worth it to us.
This is one of the most sound and reasonable ways I've seen it put. I'm younger, and don't mind sweating the problems out a little more. One of the reasons I like a manual windlass
so much is because I get some excercise out of it. Maybe that will change as I get older: entirely possible. Even this boat I have now has more creature comforts than my last one.
The only systemic problem I see with this trend towards floating condos is it tends to put the squeeze on folks that don't have the money
. I've seen a lot of new sailors
show up in our harbor, and it's really daunting when they see what two retired doctors that sold their homes can dump (money wise) into a Tayana 60'.
It clouds the picture, whether it's boats in the marinas
, magazine ads, or the West Marine
shelves. It's to the point now where people are saying that you *need* an SSB!
Maybe you agree with it and maybe you don't, but the simple fact of the matter is that the median household income
for a sailboat owner here in San Diego
now is $210K USD.
In short, in my opinion, there isn't as much emphasis and support for the value / budget
sailor as there is for the deep-pockets Tayana crowd.
- Boat yards have less to gain by letting you do your own work. And since there's less people doing it these days, there's less demand, so they just squash it entirely.
- Boat retailers make more margin on doo-dads and gizmos, so their shelves get stocked with those. It's easier for me to find a chart plotter at WM than a cotter pin. And the more crap they can fill your boat with (regardless of the item), the more they make.
No lifestyle that doesn't harm another deserves contempt; I'm absolutely with you guys on that, and if I'd had an attitude of otherwise I apologize. But hopefully I'm not the only one that sees that the tone and attitude of the maritime world caters to deep pockets more than budget