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Old 26-10-2019, 12:28   #46
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Re: Is sailing dying?

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Who wants to sit around on their hands waiting for the wind when you can turn a key, toss the lines, and go have fun.
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Old 26-10-2019, 13:21   #47
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Re: Is sailing dying?

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I reckon sailors would have a boat that could sail in very light air generating their own apparent wind.

I was a sailor, but I realised the money I'd need to spend to get the above in a comfortable live aboard version that could also carry a large load with nil affect on performance would be cost prohibitive, so became a cruiser and bought the appropriate vessel*


* considering how many masted vessels I see out there motoring everywhere
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Old 26-10-2019, 13:45   #48
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Re: Is sailing dying?

I think it takes a certain kind of lunatic mind and plenty of free time to own and sail a boat. I have one those minds ! An despite every girlfriend I have ever dated who argued with me about my hobby I still go sailing. I still find the time to work on my boat when it needs maintenance. Is sailing becoming a forgotten hobby ?? Well no I donít think so.. Are the DIY type of people who devote their time to the hobby and maybe head over to the local Yacht club to offer young kids sailing lessons on a Sunday dying out ? Well that all remains to be seen. Sailing is a meditative, when everything is trimmed up nicely and things are going right it putís a big silly grin on your face and offers a sense of completion and serenity like no other. I think people need sailing more than ever before.
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Old 26-10-2019, 13:54   #49
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Re: Is sailing dying?

But the meta trend historically, is that people are increasingly only getting what they **want**, and actively **avoiding** what we need.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:18   #50
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Re: Is sailing dying?

A lot of younger people simply don't have the money to spend on boats...



Regarding the idea of "turn the key and go have fun". Most larger sailboats have engines. Some sailboat people abhor using their engines which I think is silly.


I went out a couple of weeks ago and there was zero wind, so I motored around for 5+ hours. Tried some fishing spots but didn't spot any on my fish finder that I have mounted on my 10 meter sailboat. I can do about 6.5 mph while motoring which is not fast, but it gets me there. And its fairly quiet.



There is a good fishing spot about 3 miles offshore, so that takes me about 30 minutes to get there. In the meantime I'm making some coffee, getting my tackle together while Otto, the autopilot drives the boat. Not going fast means I don't beat myself to death hitting waves.



Compare the stability of a sailboat with 4000 lbs of lead in the keel with a powerboat in snotty weather. Guess who can still go out when it starts kicking up. In my area, when 2-3 footers come up (which is very frequent) most power boaters will stay at the dock. That's just starting to get fun for a sailboat. Motoring through 2 footers is no big deal either.



With the Atomic 4 on my boat I burn about 1 gal per hour, and get about 6.5 mpg. How does that compare with a conventional power boat? And if there is wind I can hoist the sails.



A trip to the fuel dock frequently results in a bill of about $25.


I think an argument can be made for buying an older sailboat with a decent engine and not making "sailing" a priority. If the wind comes up, hoist what you have, if you want, otherwise start the engine and get 6.5 mpg and go where you want at 6.5 mph. Who says you need to get there quickly. Especially if you have a way to make coffee, put together lunch. Also, 2 1/2 mph is about right for dragging some fishing lines.



You really don't need 260+ hp and a 60 gallon gas tank to go boating.



If I wanted to go fast, airplanes tickets are not that expensive.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:52   #51
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Re: Is sailing dying?

Sailboats are very hard and very expensive to maintain. I have been looking for a used sailboat for 3 months and none have been maintained even slightly. Most don't even do a bottom job yearly --last 3 I have looked at bottoms were 4 years old! Is this due to I phones and video games?
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:12   #52
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Re: Is sailing dying?

Compared to the mid-late 90s when I took a sailing course program at the local downtown sailing/charter club there there is more interest in such clubs now than back then. And there are half a dozen such clubs today not just two back in the 90s.

IMO the reasons for general switch to club sailing compared to ownership sailing are obvious. You have more busy younger crowd (why more busy that's another discussion), less affluent younger crowd (coming out of college with a mountain of debt, prohibitively high housing costs, etc) and much higher then before costs of owning and maintaining a boat.

Put these factors together and a club membership costing a few thousands per 5 months sailing season is way preferable to sinking many times that for same short season yet having the headache 12 months 24/7.

When in early mid 2000s I decided that the club was not enough I broke out of that dilemma by having a firm goal of keeping my future annual ownership costs at no more then what the club was charging for same length class boats (25'-30') which at the time was about $3,000-3,500.

My first boat, a 27 footer, cost me a whooping $400 to buy and a trade in of a car for which otherwise I was getting $1,500 max offer selling. so lets say it was $1,900. I sold that boat 4 years later for $1,100 so my total cost was $800 amortized for 4 years - $200/yr. My mooring amortized by now 12 seasons of ownership is $150/yr and service, harbormaster fees, excise taxes etc. were another $300/yr during those 4 years.

Winter storage was always the biggest expense but there was no alternative as the harbormaster frowned on keeping boats on the moorings for the winter. Although I did manage to sneak in 2 winters on the ball. But these savings were offset by add'l hauling and storage expense when I kept the boat on the hard prior to launch as it was being fixed. So I'd just add the regular cost back then of $1,500 per winter. Add new to me used gear, sails etc came to about $500 per year with practically every fix being DIY or getting a local boatyard guy to moonlite on weekends.

So overall we're talking less then $3,000/yr for 4 years of owning that first 27' sailboat. And by my 4th year of ownership the club fees for that size class were well above $4,000. During those 4 years I was sailing my own boat way more then I was ever sailing club's boats. So per sail cost was also much less. Not to mention the pleasure of using the boat as a summer beach cottage with 360 degree view in an area where at the time such beachfront cottages rented for at least $2,000/wk.

Today when I get the usual aahhs and oohhs from friends and acquaintances concerning how high the boat ownership costs are I just laugh and tell people that yes they are higher then 10-15 years ago but still can be managed if one sets one's mind to it. Most people just shrug and are not convinced. If one thinks that the only cars worth owning and driving are Ferraris and Lambos then of course one will never own any car until one can afford such a car. You get what you can afford and go from there. And there must be something very wrong with either the economy or the people themselves if they can't afford $3-4K a year ($60/wk) on their hobby.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:18   #53
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Re: Is sailing dying?

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Sailboats are very hard and very expensive to maintain. I have been looking for a used sailboat for 3 months and none have been maintained even slightly. Most don't even do a bottom job yearly --last 3 I have looked at bottoms were 4 years old! Is this due to I phones and video games?
Are you looking to sail a boat or to sail a perfect boat? And why a 4 yr old bottom paint is a problem? It's actually a great negotiating point.

Had I known 15 years ago what I know today I wouldn't even consider paying any $ for that 27 footer back then. I would find a free 30 footer with no major issues but in need of some deep cleaning, etc for the price of the unpaid storage or marina fees. Plenty of those around today if you look diligently enough.

Now if you looking to sail an equivalent of a spiffy Ferrari for the price of a VW that's another story.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:23   #54
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Re: Is sailing dying?

The rich people have large power yachts with crews to take care of them.

The working middle class no longer has the money or time to take up sailing. Maybe own a jet ski that they can play around with for an hour or two on the weekend and then park in the driveway. Cheaper and less knowledge required.

Baby boomers grew up with the '70s sailing boom, and now have time and money to sail, at least until they are too old to do it any more. Sailing might just die off (mostly) with the boomer generation.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/busines...217-story.html
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:54   #55
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Re: Is sailing dying?

Judging by the amazingly low prices for used monohulls, I'd say that segment is dying. But judging by the much higher prices for multihulls, I'd say that segment is thriving. Even older Wharrams are going for good money these days.

Still, ever increasing prices for dockage, haul outs, storage, insurance etc, plus more restrictions on anchoring, mooring and increasing official harassment puts a major damper on the entire enterprise. The industry may be killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:20   #56
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Re: Is sailing dying?

In many areas of the US, sailboats with any issues at all, are very cheap.


Check out Ebay.


All boats kept in the water require bottom paint, cleaning, etc. If someone loses interest in their boat the boat won't get cleaned. A boat that sits for just a year can get very dirty. It might be in otherwise great shape.



I think a decent older 30 ft sailboat can be obtained in the midwest, with running engine and a decent set of sails for $2000. Add $1000 to initially get it up to speed with newer lines, minor fixes, a decent radio and antenna. (This is assuming you are doing it yourself, if not triple the prices)



Dock fees are becoming a problem in the midwest. And flat out crazy on the coasts. $2000 for the summer for a 30 footer is fairly common in many places in the midwest. Storage is another $1000. If you paint the bottom yourself and maintain it yourself, you will spend $500 to $1000 for maintenance. That's about $4k. Then you have other costs like dock fees if you travel with your boat. Fuel costs - although minimal for a sailboat, alcohol free gas is $4.00 at gallon at my marina.

So its not hard to burn through $5-6K per year even with a $2000, 30 ft boat. A lot of people don't have that kind of cash any longer. Factory workers used to be able to make enough to do that but those jobs (mostly automotive) are gone or going. Back in the early 80's, skilled trades workers at midwest auto plants were making $50K plus per year. Most of those plants are gone now.



If you have no skills and aren't willing to learn to DIY, then the costs are much greater.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:42   #57
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Re: Is sailing dying?

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Displays of wealth is why, same for most any expensive automobile etc.
Itís what is popular with the wealthy this year, in a couple of years it will be something else. Used to be exotic sports cars, now itís Mercedes G wagons etc.
Interesting to me is that what used to be popular with the wealthy was anything that you had a paid professional to operate, your Yacht, helicopter, airplane even your automobile if you were rich was driven by an employee

Along these lines, when cell phones first came out all the rich and famous had one. Now that all the hoi polloi have cell phones the rich no longer use them. Instead have your people get in touch with their people and let the "paid professionals" work it out.
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Old 07-11-2019, 15:35   #58
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Re: Is sailing dying?

In Minneapolis, we have hundreds of kids going to sailing classes on our local lakes. Also, we have 300+ members in our sailing club with access to the sailing school boats on evenings and weekends for about $350 per season.
On the other hand, 4 hours north on Lake Superior, there are more empty slips than ever at the marinas since I started sailing in 1979. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore may be the premier fresh water sailing destination on the continent. The water temperature now reaches the low 70's in the shallow bays from July - September.
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Old 07-11-2019, 15:48   #59
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Re: Is sailing dying?

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Sailboats are very hard and very expensive to maintain. I have been looking for a used sailboat for 3 months and none have been maintained even slightly. Most don't even do a bottom job yearly --last 3 I have looked at bottoms were 4 years old! Is this due to I phones and video games?
It may depend on where you are looking but more likely on the price range. The higher the price, the better the chance of seeing a well-kept boat. Heck, a new 28 foot Catalina is over $100k these days. So it will be a long time before a boat like that will drift into a lower price bracket.
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Old 07-11-2019, 16:02   #60
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Re: Is sailing dying?

No, depreciates faster than a brand new car
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