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Old 05-11-2018, 09:38   #166
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

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Here in Europe ALL big monohull producers have bought up a catamaran brand and are producing like MAD.......big change in the attitude of boat owners especially the retired couples.
Are these catamarans in the figures you supplied ?
And a few catamaran producers have bought up monohull producers to us their empty buildings and work force to produce catamarans.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:47   #167
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

A few things to think about:

A) Most issues/problems do NOT have only one factor driving them, so no one will ever come up with "The Reason" that sailing is declining. There are obviously multiple reasons.

B) As the owner of a wooden boat, I can tell you that they die of old age much more quickly than fiberglass. In the "glory years" of small sailboats tens of thousands of boats were built of fiberglass and unlike their wooden predecessors they didn't rot away. Thus, we have a glut of great boats from that era still available to anyone who wishes to fix them up for a tiny fraction of the cost of a new boat.

C) The current rate of obesity in the United States is 35% amongst young adults and over 42% amounts adults. It is really hard to sail if you're obese. Let's face it, we're a country that is steadily getting fatter and more out of shape. Sailing is not obese friendly, as many boats have heads which one simply can't fit into if they are over large. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html)

D) Automobiles have become so complex that no one can fix their own, if it was built after about 1990. This has eliminated what used to serve as basic training for young people who used to work on their own cars. That translates into sailors who don't know much about mechanical things. Bad for cruising.

E) People have become rather irrationally focused on safety. As a result, many boats which used to be "normal" are now viewed as "unsafe" because they don't have all manner of extra safety gear.

F) The attention span of the typical American is shrinking. There's a good BBC piece debunking the claim that it's only 8 seconds. But how long is it between people checking their phone for social media, or a post on Cruiser's Forum? When people hear I spent 18 days sailing from S. California to the Marquesas they look at me like I must be mad. They do the same thing when they find out we've spent 30 days hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains. "What do you do to stay in touch? Sat phone?" (Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-38896790)

G) Long distance sailing can be hard work on a small budget. As a result, most folks wait until they can afford a bigger budget and their kids are gone. As one resident of the Tuamotus once said: "Why do you all wait until you're old to travel? Why not go when you're young and strong?" my response was: "We're too attached to our comforts and that costs money."

Finally, I'll just point out that the period after World War 2 was an economic anomaly. The average American was richer then than at any time before or after. Why? Well, we were the only major economy that didn't have its industrial infrastructure bombed into rubble. Life was good, pay was good, then competition started to show up in the '70s and '80s. Since then, it's been tougher and it will continue to get tougher as other countries have rebuilt since the war. As a result, viewing anything with the relatively short focus on the last 50 years is absurd. Much of our angst about a number of topics is based on the fallacious assumption that the boom years from 1950 to 1980 were the "normal" rather than the exception that they clearly were.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:48   #168
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

Interesting question. As both a pilot and a sailor, I can say that the same discussion has been going on in the general aviation world for years now. Many causes pointed to but only now realizing some solutions. The main difference is aviation has powerful national groups like AOPA and EAA that organize and promote new student flying programs throughout the US and they are very effective at bringing in new youth. They also go after political issues that further constrain the sport. With shrinking numbers of moorings and new restricted anchorage regulations maybe cruisers need to think more along those organizational lines.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:03   #169
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

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Perspective?
Meh.
If you're not interested, cool.
Nobody is clutching pearls here.
There haven't been any panicked new yacht brokers to chime in that I know of.
Join the discussion.
It's rather calm. And interesting.
Almost a Haiku. LOL...
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:15   #170
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

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And a few catamaran producers have bought up monohull producers to us their empty buildings and work force to produce catamarans.
That's an interesting point. I see written annual market growth predictions of 3.5-6.5% for catamarans. Most see the global cat market approaching $2B in 5 years. It looks like France dominates production, splashing 60% of all new cats, with South Africa in second place.

About 25% of sailboats over 20' imported into North America are multihull, but these numbers are only in the hundreds. Compare that to the overall pleasure boat market in North America, most of which is the smaller power boat: projected to be above $60B in 5 years. With this dominance, it becomes kind of hard to find sailboat-only data: the small minority in this particular "boating market".
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:20   #171
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

I've seen a few references to what I see as the major cause of lack of participation today in general aviation and boating: cost. The cost of a new boat is brutal and then there's the often ridiculous maintenance costs and dockage. General aviation is similar.

During the oft cited glory days of the 70's and 80's, people of middle middle class income could pool all their disposable income and buy a boat or a light plane. Today new ones of both cost more than most houses in the US.

That leaves the used market but then, as mentioned in the OP, buying a used boat demands you are a very capable DIY or you'll soon go broke and bail having learned a bitter costly lesson of some sort. Ditto planes.

My take is more would sail or fly if they could but they're holding on by their fingerprints just to make the rent. Forget government stats. The 70's and 80's were more prosperous times than now.

Another industry which boomed then which is in decline now is motorcycles.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:38   #172
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

I thought I was through with sailing until, at the ripe old age of 65 I stumbled upon the bounty of: "...the Glory Days of USED cruising sailboat...", in the form of an abandoned Bristol 34 that I purchase for $250 plus tax. (Talk about the need for DIY skills, go to: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...zax/1709257066 for a pictorial promenade). After restoring and sailing on SW Florida and Puget Sound waters, I sold her to an appreciative couple and bought a dilapidated Valiant 40 for $3,000. I've now joined a yacht club for the first time and am an ardent promoter of the opportunity that the used market offers young people these days among my fellow members AND THEIR CHILDREN.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:40   #173
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

An interesting topic for sure. I'm 50, grew up on a Catalina 30 & 36. Loved sailing, BUT the modern day adult doesn't want to be 'inconvenienced' by what you have to in order to cruise on a sail boat.

I have/had been planning for my 'retirement job' to be that of a licensed Captain (at age 55) that offered a chartered cruise on a sail boat for reasonable money (I'm hitting just the highlights of this business). I've been planning this for well over a decade. What I have learned over the past few years is that I'm going to have to do this via a larger power boat (a 70-85' Cockpit Motor Yacht type vessel), because people don't want to vacation, & be inconvenienced.

So I can attest to the fact that sailing, be it cruising, day adventures, or chartering has changed, going away from the sail boat 'cruising' that was once the 'dream vacation'. It may not be sailing, but just like the good sailor adjusts his sails (rather than complain to the wind), I am having to adjust to the fact that I'm going to retire on a boat, but it will be on a stink boat as my wonderful father once called them... It's just the way of the world now...
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:19   #174
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

We are full time cruisers. Some of the assertions made on this post do not agree with our experience. Here are a few facts:
-168 boats are now sailing from San Diego, CA to Cabo Sam Lucas, Baja California; most will not return for at least a year.
-Most cruisers don't buy new boats and most boats have had previous owners (our boat had two owners).
-We meet young people everywhere we go. Some have young children and work online. Many cruisers are young at heart.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:34   #175
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

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-168 boats are now sailing from San Diego, CA to Cabo Sam Lucas, Baja California; most will not return for at least a year.
Interesting, indeed.
You could also say that 168 boat count in this year's Baja Ha Ha rally is still 15% down from its peak 8 years ago. Because the rally started in 1994, I don't think we can draw comparisons to the 1970s and 1980s.
The dozens of sails together on this rally do provide awesome pictures.
Not sure why someone is shooting at them every year though.
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Old 05-11-2018, 13:11   #176
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

I first sailed to Tahiti in 74. There were maybe 30 or 40 cruisers in Papeete then. Our boat it there now along with 3 or 4 hundred others. Marqueses even late in the season, still packed. Same in the Caribbean numbers up tenfold. I sailed into Jost van dyke 11/21/80 to find one other boat in the bay. 2 years ago thru the Med, same up 10 fold or way more. Worldwide more people have lots of money. Cruising is easier with gps, solar, modern conveniences, expensive yachts and newbie owners. Internet spreads the dream, people buy a 1/2 million boat and figure it out.
In the 70s, the dream was to build your own boat or fix a beat up ancient small boat with a depth sounder and sextant. Find work along the way. That still happens, but is one in a hundred cruisers.
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Old 05-11-2018, 13:35   #177
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

Neither one of those state the sales figures. You can go to the SEC filings or the companies business websites for the annual reports. You will see sales has increased annually for many years for both companies.
That said, it is pretty irrelevant to sailing.
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Old 05-11-2018, 14:14   #178
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

I want to start cruising. The first thing I found when I started to learn was that most people want a 50 foot plus boat. Then you look at the prices! There is NO way I could start sailing at those prices!

Then after MONTHS of reading I found out that in the 70's people wanted 32 foot boats! The costs of boats seem to be at least to the power of 2 if not 3 increases for each foot increase in size.

35 foot; 100 to 300 thousand.

50 foot; 400 to 600 thousand.

You also get this increase in all the parts and the dock space. There is this huge trend of marketing to push people to ever bigger and bigger boats because you make more money with a bigger boat.

Also if you think that I will just buy an old 50 boat and fix it up, you run into this wall that the time and energy to just paint a boat of this size is also huge. Small boats are the way to go.

I think we have pushed for bigger so long that newbies don't know that small is really better and it is WAY cheaper. This alone is likely enough to knock a lot of people out of the dream.
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Old 05-11-2018, 14:34   #179
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

A little observation from my little pond....

Leaving aside the French....who - like the poor - have always and will always be with us...

There are a lot of continental European yachts passing through here... in growing numbers.. including Austrian, Swiss, and Slovakian...

Fewer and fewer anglophone yachts...

'frinstance... since I arrived back from NZ three years ago I have encountered more Finnish yachts than US/UK/Oz/NZ combined....
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Old 05-11-2018, 14:42   #180
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Re: Cruising Sailboats: a Dying Breed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpet View Post
Here in Europe ALL big monohull producers have bought up a catamaran brand and are producing like MAD.......big change in the attitude of boat owners especially the retired couples.
Are these catamarans in the figures you supplied ?
These mostly intended for the Atlantic charter fleets that lost hundreds of boats with the last years hurricanes. Chartering is growing, but I canít call most of these real sailors (unless they also have a boat at home...)
These catamarans has in general nothing to do with the core of the discussion here.
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