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Old 05-03-2018, 18:48   #31
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

Well, I'm not a cruiser at this point in my life. I'm still learning (some might call me one of those "boobs" getting some certificates and planning to take off cruising). I just finished my ASA 101 class. I've got a mentor session with an instructor coming up and have already scheduled my ASA 103/104 combo class. My background will, I imagine, help me immensely compared to many other newbs, having a good understanding of mechanical systems, electrical systems, and electronics already. So maybe I won't be completely helpless when I get around to buying my own boat and sailing off, or maybe I will be.

That said, two things fueled my current dreams to buy a boat and go cruising:
1. Diving off a liveaboard sailboat in the Bahamas, and
2. Vlogs.

So, as the self-identified "Vlog watching buber newb that isn't even cruising yet" I figure I'll give my take on things if ya'll don't mind (and if you do, since I'll have posted this before you can object to it...).

1. Sailing isn't dying, but it isn't mainstream. Most people will never set foot on a sailboat. Fewer will ever buy one. Even fewer will take it out of their homeport. It's a very niche market and every new person joining it helps everyone else out with the "economy of scale" aspect of things. Even more importantly, they keep the support for the activity of sailing in the abundance it has (which is to say there is support, even if it may be hard to find in many places).

2. After deciding I really might enjoy going sailing and cruising, the "traditional" information that immediately showed up for me all fit into two categories:
a. Thurston Howell III - only multi-millionaires should bother looking at sailing in the first place.
b. Go small, go now - experience, education, and resources come second to getting on the water and sailing off on your own.

3. Vlogs are a lot more entertaining than books. I've read my "Handbook of Sailing" book now. I've read the ASA 101 course book. I've started reading some other stuff. And I'm a complete geek. I'd still rather watch videos of people sailing than do any of the above. They're more entertaining, they grow an interest in sailing a thousand times faster than reading about tanking or sloop or ketch design differences etc. I did my ASA 101 class with a couple planning on buying a catamaran eventually, the husband watches Vlogs and I'm 99.99% sure that the entertainment those provided was a large reason why they're now considering sailing. Just like they've greatly influenced my desire to take up sailing and cruising.

4. I took up video production for my diving so I could show family/friends some of my underwater enjoyable adventures. My last 1 week trip (~15 hours of dive time) has involved me spending about 6 hours working on videos to get about 30 minutes of footage put together... and not great quality (feel free to check out my few videos if you'd like, they aren't great). I've quickly learned that it's quite a bit of work to make crappy videos. I understand why La Vagabond decided to get a video helper for crew. It's work trying to make videos that don't completely suck, and much harder work to make decent videos.

5. If you're going to work, you might as well get paid if you can. The successful channels offer something people want. Whether that's scantily clad women + sailing + traveling + DIY or if it's just "here's how a family cruises and some tips we come up with along the way" doesn't really matter, because they found something people think is worth money and they can capitalize on it. Most never get there (or make so little that minimum wage would likely pay better). I'm not an exceptionally attractive man (no one is going to mistake me for a male model, but they're not going to think I'm rehearsing to play the hunchback of ND either), and I don't have beautiful women lining up to sail with me on the boat I don't own yet, and I have no desire to "work" full-time when I retire to that boat so you won't be following me. I still can't fault people willing to work at making their life entertaining for others.

6. I honestly feel bad for some of the more successful Vlogers though, as it seems "content" takes over their lives. Uma clearly recreates scenes for video alone (setting up the camera to "see where they're walking" for instance). Delos and La Vagabond always seem to be "rushing away" to get to the next thing to record or next patreon to come aboard, etc. Doesn't seem like the relaxing, enjoyable cruising they started off showing.

7. GoFundMe - eh, whatever. If people want to fund stupidity or help out strangers without any idea of how much good they'll do (or even if the story being told is true) that's up to them. There's a sucker born every day. Personally, if I'm going to give away money, I'd rather give it to an actual charity I can get a tax deduction for and have some transparency/accountability associated with. That said, other people feel differently and it's their money to do with as they see fit.

-A dreamer hoping to get to cruising eventually.
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Old 05-03-2018, 19:37   #32
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

Nicely put jlcnuke.

I think tube vloggers are filling the same niche as popular glossy magazines like SAIL and Cruising World did/do. They sell the sizzle (and a lot of advertising), and give just enough of a taste of the reality to be valuable. Mostly they appeal to the dreamers and the newbies.

These mags used to be the gateway drug of sailing and cruising. Now it’s vlogs. Nothing wrong with either, just not very interesting to those actually cruising.
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Old 05-03-2018, 20:02   #33
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

The practice of funding voyages by selling media rights in one form or another dates back to the golden age of sail. More recently, in the 1970s, it was many a cruiser who tried to make (or supplement) a living with magazine articles, columns, and books.

Perhaps Jacques Cousteau was the first of the YTers.

If you think producing a high quality, 20 minute sailing video is anything less than hard work, you've never done any video production. The gear is cheaper than it once was, yes, but standards are higher, and consumer electronics don't last in the salt. This stuff gets written, and scripted, and shot, and edited, and even if you're good it is time consuming and a lot of work.

Of the sailing videos, only a handful of the majors make any real money. Vagabond, Delos, a few others. Dylan Winter (KeepTurningLeft.com) has recently discontinued shooting because he was only pulling in, as I recall, 5,000 pounds a year, and couldn't afford to continue; he has the benefit of decades of broadcast experience. Many other channels have disappeared from YT after a short time once the realities of the hard work and little money settle in.

Throughout history every generation complains that younger generations lack solid values, a work ethic, etc.

The other sad reality is that cruising has, overall, become more expensive over the decades and is now out of reach for a larger share of the population than was once the case.
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Old 05-03-2018, 20:22   #34
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

It's hard for me to disagree with what's been said. Many thanks to those with a video background for providing some context on the hours required to make even lousy videos.

I don't know how much technology can be blamed. Docudramas and reality TV aren't all that new. If you're going to bring anything specialized to the general public, it's got to be simplified and, often, dramatized. When a group of sailors get together and tell tales, we have enough experience to appreciate what sailing is actually like. Superlatives aren't as necessary. Tell another sailor "we were going to weather for 48 hours in 20-25 knots" and they can fill in the background and know just how that might feel. To the average vlog viewer, it's at most an image and seas are less impressive when you're not threatened by them. Terms like "wind against current" or "lee shore" don't cause lay people anxiety. They're meaningless, arcane terms.

Arnold and pals did Pumping Iron in the 70s. One of my favorite movies and it was fake as hell. The filmmakers took bodybuilding, at the time a very fringe activity, had Arnold really ham it up, and just look at how mainstream muscle junk is today! There is a scene where one guy steals another's "lucky shirt" before a competition to mess up his game. Cheesy stuff, but something we can all understand. If the movie had been Arnold giving you the details of his daily routine: "6am, bowl of austrian-brand steroids, 615am, 2 whole chickens, 630am, deadlift Franco's car, etc", it would have been boring for anyone other than other muscle freaks.

So, to cut my rambling short: Maybe it will take that rare combination of talent and charisma, along with a savvy film crew, to finally make sailboat cruising popular, or at least accessible to the average person.

But hopefully not too popular!
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Old 05-03-2018, 22:04   #35
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

An interesting detail on Delos is that they originally started the vlog just to keep family and friends updated. They ran out of money twice over the years before the Patreon income could finally sustain the journey in recent times.

I have thrown together travel videos for just that purpose- updating those back home. It can be very satisfying to have those you love appreciate your video story. The home movies of last century do not compare to modern vlogs due to technology. It is really not much of a stretch to get pretty good at editing in Premiere Pro on a laptop, in order to cut together your clips into a story. I'm in the movie business and I can tell you that 15 years ago we would pay a couple million $$ for the technical capability that can now be thrown together for the price of a laptop and a case of beer. Never mind the great, inexpensive cameras. GoPro literally created an industry of amateur action video stories. Of course they are not all good, but there are so many to choose from that you just have to search a little before you find your jam.

To me, it feels like we are in the early days of a new era for cruising because of sailing vlogs. ("who knew you could do that?!") If a few sailors in these new vlogger days can afford to keep going because of income from posted videos, then more power to them. If amateur cinematographers were still just splicing 16mm film as in 1975, then we would not be able to watch sailing in ANY exotic location of our choosing simply with the click of a mouse. (I've done the splicing- takes longer and you don't get to change your mind)

I find this to be very wonderful time for a sailor to be alive. Bring on those sailing videos, as I cannot always be out on the water myself. I might even throw $5 your way once in a while, if I feel like I was entertained.
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Old 05-03-2018, 22:16   #36
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

I rarely post on Cruisers Forum but here goes. This winter we spent two months in Marathon, FL and are now headed north. I've met two vloggers on this trip and here is what I learned. It takes 35 hours of work for a 15 minute video. They clean and polish the deck and boat before each sailing trip so it looks video worthy. They dress specifically a certain way for the video. They go offshore in rough weather to have exciting sailing video when we went down the ICW to avoid the weather. One vlogger said that her blue eyed, blond, hunk of a husband was the main reason people looked at their vlog.

In my opinion they are creating a reality based video show. There is nothing wrong with them making money doing their own reality show. There is a great deal of fiction, staging and distortion in the "reality" show. But this has made me wonder about how many books and magazine articles that inspired me back in the day were actually exaggerations of what really happened.

I remembered the shock when I found out one of my favorite, "go small, go now" sailing writers back in the day were quite short, thin and small. Their "small" boat was actually big to them! My six foot 4 inch body would not fit the small, simple boats they said everyone should sail.

On our first trip south, three years ago, I sent out two different types of emails detailing cruising south along the US east coast to friends. One email was what it was really like, that is the most danger we faced was crossing the road in Florida. Talked a lot about getting supplies, boat repairs, bridges, anchoring, moorings, people we met and marinas in one email and not much about sailing. Sailing was actually a very small part of the trip. The second email was a fictional cruising letter from one of our cats. They liked the cat emails and not the reality of cruising emails.

This year friends of ours went on their first trip south and we buddy boated for a while. On their facebook page they got slammed for complaining about how much work it was. Friends said they were in paradise so quit complaining.

I've kept in touch by phone with a friend that wants to cruise in the near future. He always drove the conversation a certain direction and eventually I just gave up and told him what he wanted to hear.

The key thing I learned from all this is: There is no market for the truth.
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Old 05-03-2018, 22:44   #37
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

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The key thing I learned from all this is: There is no market for the truth.
You can stage an accidental gybe with lots of drama but you don't NEED to stage exotic sunsets through the shrouds or underwater footage that would make Jacques Cousteau jealous.

BTW, did you publish your cat's cruising stories? I would read that!
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Old 05-03-2018, 23:52   #38
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

I admire the likes of Brian on Delos. He left normality and lept into a financially uncertain future, they were almost penniless when they reached Australia and from what I know had some debt on the boat.

He took a leap of faith many would not have the courage to do, he then with brother and crew created something of value that others wanted. He provides food for dreams and this motivates other's to take the path less travelled.... good on him.

I watch very little utube due to always being on cell Internet but I see these vloggers (their product) as legitimate as most of the other "not needed products" that consumerism is saturated with.

How many out there could of achieved "Delos" the brand.... nothing but respect from me, we need more dreamers that take massive action and have the balls to live their lives and encourage others to do so as well.

As 44c said, many have jealousy a terrible emotion.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:09   #39
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

I am with you DaleM I wonder how many sailing books and articles were exaggerations of the actual event?
Some people might be jealous of people earning money through the net. But for myself when you have met a number of Buber’s who confidently assert they are going to buy a yacht, set up a Patreon account, establish an online presence to earn money then sail around the world once they have learned how to sail it all becomes a bit much. My last Buber hardly made it out of the marina before it all turned to into a disaster!
I am all for dreaming, but what happened to baby steps?
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:14   #40
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

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I am with you DaleM I wonder how many sailing books and articles were exaggerations of the actual event?
Some people might be jealous of people earning money through the net. But for myself when you have met a number of Buber’s who confidently assert they are going to buy a yacht, set up a Patreon account, establish an online presence to earn money then sail around the world once they have learned how to sail it all becomes a bit much. My last Buber hardly made it out of the marina before it all turned to into a disaster!
I am all for dreaming, but what happened to baby steps?
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:24   #41
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

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I am with you DaleM I wonder how many sailing books and articles were exaggerations of the actual event? ........

Cheers
I think , as mentioned before, T Jones would take some beating.

However - if writing about your solo record breaking circumnavigation south of all the biggish capes - it would appear to have been obligatory to have climbed to the very top of your mast in an F10 somewhere south of Cape Horn...... in sleet.... at night... with a falling glass...

Struth... in conditions like that I would be struggling to get out of the foetal position.......

In these days of video this and video that it doesn't seem quite so frequent...
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:44   #42
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

I'm pretty confident that I've discovered an important equation.

The success of these YouTube channels is directly proportionate to the looks of the female companion. The more a-rse shots, g-string bathers and skimpy bikini's, the more hits... and when I say more hits/views, I mean a LOT more.

You ought to see the number of people complaining when the thumb-nail shows a skimpy bikini, however that bikini doesn't appear in the video. "Click-bait" everyone screams like blue murder!

A brand new 40+ foot catamaran with a guy and up to two good looking girls in skimpy swimwear, with personality , cruising the med or the pacific is ultimately the recipe for success in Vlogging, Patreon and gofundme.
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:21   #43
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

Is the thread about Millennials because the OP is a Millennial? I ask as obviously it's not limited to them. The boatworks today guy must be well into forties, so he's a previous generation, his channel is funded by Patreon.

Outside of sailing, you have channels like Techmoan, probably well into 50s, but has been pumping out the videos for years. Originally he earned his money in the traditional affiliate marketing way, but has run Patreon for the past few years.

There must be a thousands of others, so I don't think it's a Millennial phenomenon. Soon we'll have the Gen Z in their early to mid twenties, perhaps they will take things in a different direction.

For a long time now, there has been a shift away from blogging via text (across all genres) and into video. It's just one of those things.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:28   #44
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

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I'm pretty confident that I've discovered an important equation.

The success of these YouTube channels is directly proportionate to the looks of the female companion. The more a-rse shots, g-string bathers and skimpy bikini's, the more hits... and when I say more hits/views, I mean a LOT more.

You ought to see the number of people complaining when the thumb-nail shows a skimpy bikini, however that bikini doesn't appear in the video. "Click-bait" everyone screams like blue murder!

A brand new 40+ foot catamaran with a guy and up to two good looking girls in skimpy swimwear, with personality , cruising the med or the pacific is ultimately the recipe for success in Vlogging, Patreon and gofundme.
That equation certainly explains some of the audience, but not all. La Vagabonde has the beautiful girl approach, but when they upgraded their monohull to a brand new Outremer cat, they lost quite a few subscribers. They started with gritty learning experiences during some serious sailing, and now they simply float around the Med on a luxury yacht.

Plukky (Sailing into Freedom) took your bikini-girl formula to an extreme before wrecking the old cat. However, there was not much of a story and very limited success. The camera work was jittery smartphone stuff with horrible audio.

I think the "equation" is a bit more complex, as the audience is probably varied. (but mostly male, I'll give you) Camera-friendly people help, but there must be personalities and chemistry. When it is only one couple, there is usually not enough happening with people. Having said that, when someone is NOT a little "camera friendly", it can be a bit hard to watch for the masses.
Good sailing shots with drone and underwater shots are important. Editing and music are also important, and the music is very difficult as you cannot simply use published songs without expensive clearance.
Finally, production value counts. (good technical merits- steady, well-exposed cameras, good wind guards on external mics, etc)
My 2 cents.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:20   #45
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Re: Millennials and Crowdfunding

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If you're going to bring anything specialized to the general public, it's got to be simplified and, often, dramatized.
Dramatization is inherent in human communication of ideas. Video is an art form. Even if you're trying to be detached, the choices you make of what parts of the story to tell shape what viewers perceive. Like any form of performance art, it can be done well, or poorly.

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An interesting detail on Delos is that they originally started the vlog just to keep family and friends updated. They ran out of money twice over the years before the Patreon income could finally sustain the journey in recent times.
While I believe that's true as far as it goes, I believe that Trautman made a deliberate decision to build a larger audience for financial reasons at some point. If you watch some of their early videos, there is a distinct change in production values and style fairly early on. They did not become successful by accident.

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To me, it feels like we are in the early days of a new era for cruising because of sailing vlogs. [...] I find this to be very wonderful time for a sailor to be alive. Bring on those sailing videos, as I cannot always be out on the water myself. I might even throw $5 your way once in a while, if I feel like I was entertained.
We are in the early days of a new era recently brought about by reliable global navigation services and other technologies that make safe navigation possible in relatively unexplored areas. This has only been the case for, I don't know, 15 years, and the technology is still improving.

I wonder what the future of vlogs is. Facebook killed most of the blogs -- both the for-profit ones and the labors of love. I remember when ebay used to be a fun person-to-person market. What will youtube be like 20 years from now? I don't know, but I am certain that it will not be the same as it is now.



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There is no market for the truth.
Some truths are more marketable than others. All the world's a stage; we are all actors at heart; none of us have some singular "one true persona" that is more accurate than the other identities we choose to project at various times.

Polishing the deck and padding the swimsuit are just steps to make the camera see things the way I perceive them in person.

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I admire the likes of Brian on Delos. He left normality and lept into a financially uncertain future, they were almost penniless when they reached Australia and from what I know had some debt on the boat.

He took a leap of faith many would not have the courage to do, he then with brother and crew created something of value that others wanted. He provides food for dreams and this motivates other's to take the path less travelled.... good on him.
He also had a more pragmatic plan in mind before the YT money started falling in his lap.

Quote:
How many out there could of achieved "Delos" the brand.... nothing but respect from me, we need more dreamers that take massive action and have the balls to live their lives and encourage others to do so as well.
Well, yes, good on them, they work hard, and overall I have enjoyed a good deal of their stuff. But remember that they were in the right place at the right time and happened to have a photogenic crew.

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The success of these YouTube channels is directly proportionate to the looks of the female companion. The more a-rse shots, g-string bathers and skimpy bikini's, the more hits... and when I say more hits/views, I mean a LOT more.
That idea has been explored quite thoroughly on other boards. I believe the word pulchritudinous is usually used in these discussions, to describe the young adults of either gender who appear in the videos.

I would encourage you to ponder whether this is a phenomenon unique to YT sailing videos.
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