Page by page, insight by insight, I thought Hayes wrote this book just for me and my wife. We’re at the formative stages of family life with our two year old son Jack, and I really think Nick’s book will help us `find our thing…and help us do it as a family.’ Maybe our thing is sailing!” —Bill Goggins

A provocative argument and action plan – sure to appeal to sailors everywhere – for the revival of family sailing . . . and quality uses of free time for rewarding intergenerational pastimes, lifelong hobbies, and free-time pursuits.


Participation in sailing is declining in America, down more than 40% since 1997 and 70% since 1979. In this wide-ranging book, researcher and avid sailor Nicholas Hayes explains why.

The book shows how pressures on free time have increased, and how, in response, many Americans have turned to less rewarding forms of spectator or highly structured activities and away from lifelong, family-based, multi-generational recreation.

Saving Sailing builds a case for choosing how to spend free time better, using it to seek quality experiences with families and friends through lifelong pastimes like sailing.

The main challenge, he suggests, is to develop an active system of mentoring, especially between generations. The book offers helpful suggestions for how we might rethink our own priorities.

The lessons are broader than sailing, with useful ideas for all parents, for anyone seeking to strengthen the social fabric of American communities, and for those involved in programming for youth and adult activities.