Will sailing die in this generation?
Two friends have offered to give me their boats since Jan 1, 2023. I’m currently boatless and crewing for a guy doing Beer Can races. I sold my boat of 13 years ownership about 5 years ago, because I was buried under too many family (kids in college) and work responsibilities and no budget left for marina fees and properly maintaining the boat.
I also have some property and a semi-empty barn and I think those are the primary thoughts motivating my friends to give me their boats (both are in Marinas and are not tailorable in that their beams are too wide without permits and giant trailers). I’m 59. Most of my boating friends are older than me (65-75), so it’s natural that they are winding down and simplifying their lives…
I feel like along with so many other “boomer” hobbies, millennials and younger generations have been lost to the world of sailing, and boating in general.
IMHO – why I think sailing will be dead soon
1) Lack of expendable income for marina/maintenance/insurance and any loans on boat purchase
2) Fewer DIY boatyards.. almost completely extinct.. I can only think of two in entire S.F. Bay Area
3) Very large inventory of heavily neglected boats
4) “Working Man” yacht clubs are almost extinct because of so few “Working Men” (I.e. middle class)
5) Lastly, the KILLER…. Lack of interest, like so many activities and hobbies over the last 100 years, “Hands-On” stuff can’t possibly hit the dopamine highs so consistently and effortlessly as playing games with the smartphone or computers (as I observe.. not a gaming guy).
What do you think is the way to turn this around? Jump in the thread to discuss.