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Old 18-01-2020, 14:29   #1
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Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

I've just finished reading Jimmy Cornell's excellent book, 200,000 miles. He includes figures for trends in cruising showing a significant decline between 2010 and 2015, 2015 being the latest figures cited in the book. This seems to go against the evidence of people I've talked to, expressing their experiences of increase crowding in anchorages and on temporary and permanent moorings. On the other hand I here brokers complaining of tight used and new markets for boats.


Now we're in 2020 do we think the numbers have gone up since 2015? Or does the market now have a new dynamic and what is it? Have the Youtube sailing channels had an impact? Any opinions or has anyone got some hard (numbers) evidence?
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Old 18-01-2020, 15:52   #2
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

Barring evidence to the contrary, I'm inclined to give Cornell's assessment great weight. But I suspect it very much depends on the locale. Clearly some areas are experiencing higher volumes, while others appear to be in decline.

Given the broad demographics, and their associated economic realities, I fully expect cruising numbers to have already peaked. I expect to see a measurable decline just about everywhere over the coming decade as the Baby Boomers sail off into the sunset.
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:06   #3
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

In the modern world you no longer need to sail your boat across the ocean...you can jump an easy jet, then charter a bareboat....

The whole world is absolutely infested with charter boats

Fewer long range cruisers
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:16   #4
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

You read Cornell's numbers here
https://cornellsailing.com/2017/08/j...-the-boats-go/
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:16   #5
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by slug View Post
In the modern world you no longer need to sail your boat across the ocean...you can jump an easy jet, then charter a bareboat....

The whole world is absolutely infested with charter boats

Fewer long range cruisers
The whole world? Not one in sight from the anchorage in Bocas del Toro, Panama...there are a bunch of cruising boats though.

Not even one charter base here.
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:18   #6
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

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In the modern world you no longer need to sail your boat across the ocean...you can jump an easy jet, then charter a bareboat....

The whole world is absolutely infested with charter boats

Fewer long range cruisers

That resonates as a change in the market dynamics. I guess this is good news for the serious cruiser, in that the charters are concentrated in places one can avoid.... bad news it that the other places lack development.
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:24   #7
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

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That resonates as a change in the market dynamics. I guess this is good news for the serious cruiser, in that the charters are concentrated in places one can avoid.... bad news it that the other places lack development.


Well..in your neighborhood both Greece and Croatia are full..thousands of charter boats ..difficult to do a stop and go , custom immigration , provision, crew change ,

When moving east west across the med its become difficult to find a safe harbor to escape a gale

France , Italy and Spain ...full
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Old 18-01-2020, 19:35   #8
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

There was last year a thread on the same topic here:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ll-199175.html

Another caveat, it looks to me that Cornells figures survey targets international cruising, (semi) circum-navigators. However there are many ten of thousands of boats that do NOT to that global thing, but sail around Australia, wander around the Pacific, sail around in the Carib, sail Europe up and down, or the Med. All these people are cruisers, and looks like they are not added to the mentioned report/survey.
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Old 19-01-2020, 09:19   #9
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

Whilst not Gospel, I strongly suspect that some areas may intentionally or otherwise be killing the goose which plays their golden eggs by their excessive charges. Perhaps this might lead to another discussion of its own but in circumnnavigating I am missing out areas which are on if a number on boards but not realistic for single handers. There are clearly counterpoint ie long term cruisers tend to be in a budget hence not always a great asset to the local economy. Ie San Blas Panama Islands, Galapagos, now Cook islands etc etc. Compare with New Zealand etc which gives cruisers a form on arrival for tax free items, services, moorings and marina. I'd be interested in the various areas that are up and down on cruisers. However i suspect some may end up like the British High Street and kill themselves off
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Old 19-01-2020, 09:35   #10
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

To misquote the popular t-shirt, try the Great Lakes:
- No salt
- No sharks
- No charter companies

Although if you happen to live on Lake Ontario, you have to add:
- No docks (they've mostly been underwater due to floods)
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Old 19-01-2020, 09:53   #11
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

Most cruisers don't become such overnight. Usually there is a timeframe from "newbie sailor/boat owner" to a full time cruiser. So Cornell's stats are about right if lower numbers of cruisers reflect general trend of fewer newbie boat owners which started back when.

When I got my first boat in 2006, our mooring field had no waiting list and no limits on how many empty moorings one could have - just pay the annual permit and mooring sevice fees. Fast forward to today - the waiting list is about 3 to 4 years, up from 2-3 just 5 years ago, and there is a 1 year limit for an empty mooring i.e. owner in between boats or one's boat is being fixed.

Granted our area has a better than average economy so this rise in boat ownership is not surprising. I would venture a guess that among these newly minted boat owners some will join the ranks of crusiers in some not too distant future. In fact the guy who sold me my second mooring, when I was a two boat owner, retired early and left to cruise the Carribean.

I myself is long past my then 5 to 7 years timeframe to go cruising but that's another story.
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Old 19-01-2020, 10:42   #12
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

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Missing all the west coast including baja
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Old 19-01-2020, 12:03   #13
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

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Originally Posted by Andy Todd View Post
That resonates as a change in the market dynamics. I guess this is good news for the serious cruiser, in that the charters are concentrated in places one can avoid.... bad news it that the other places lack development.
"...lack of development", my cup of tea...to get away from it all, no dam cell phone coverage. I remember the days of not seeing another boat all day in British Columbia and Alaska...not his past summer, particularly Alaska.

There is a difference between enjoying sailing to far away places i.e. passagemaking, and that of being a tourist...just look at the Youtube videos...most appear to be more about the destination than the journey.

I think many of today's cruising crowd has chosen to step away from the historic discomforts of cruising and instead go for charters, touring (airlines), and cruise ships (there were six in Ketchikan when I arrived)...and just look at the boats being made today and the past luxuries being built-in or soon upgraded later. Cruise expectations have ratcheted up!

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Old 19-01-2020, 12:33   #14
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

Since Jimmy's 2015 survey the Youtube channels have mushroomed. I wonder if they've had a impact on cruising behaviours?
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Old 19-01-2020, 12:44   #15
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Re: Cruising Numbers: UP or DOWN?

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Missing all the west coast including baja
Hawaii and Dutch Harbor are on there. Not too many ports to pick from that are consistent clearing in destinations for cruisers on the west coast of N America. Maybe including the Baja haha numbers would be interesting. 196 in 2020, 137 in 2015 and 153 in 2019
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