In Scuttlebutt

Here’s an assortment of articles that have appeared in the great Sailing Scuttlebutt newsletter.

What’s really wrong with yacht clubs

What's really wrong with yacht clubsIn 1960, the average age of a new yacht club member was 32 years old. By 1993, the average newcomer was over 60, and the age has hovered around 55 ever since. So during the heyday, when sailing was growing, its advocates were right in the middle of the years of active parenting. They were bringing their kids. And they were recruiting their friends who were often about the same age. And they were bringing their kids. Read more.

What does age have to do with it?

The key underserved groups in sailing are kids under 13, where sailors under-represent the US population by 70%, and 30-45 where sailors under-represent population by 60%. For example, 8% of sailors are under 13, but 27% of population is under 13. 10% of sailors are between 30-46 but 25% of population is between 30-46. A key point often misunderstood is that it isn’t about how many kids you can pack in a program. That’s just a recipe for defection. It’s about how often generations interact in a constructive, fun, format. Doesn’t have to be families, but if it is, all the better. Read more.

At the pinnacle of sailing

AC34I’m interested in the America’s Cup in the same way that I am interested in a mission to Mars: it seems pretty cool. I’m aware that it’s happening, and if I happen upon an attractive headline, I’ll scan the article. Like many, I’m intrigued by the science and technology and I’m impressed by the speeds that the new boats are achieving.

Sure, there might be some eventual technology trickle down, and that’s something to look forward to. But frankly, the opportunity to buy something pales in comparison with the opportunity to experience something, and like nearly everyone else on this planet, I face the reality that I won’t experience anything like it. Ever. Read more.


From the series Here Come the Optis, by Curt Crain

Generally, the Opti-resigned assume that the only way for a kid to learn is in a pram, starting precisely at the age of eight. Opti haters blame the boats for scaring kids away, or, at least, for not being enough fun to sail to hold their interest after a time. The resigned often get their cues from people who sell prams. And haters get theirs from people who sell something else. Of course, neither claim is true. Optis can be a heckuva lot of fun, but they aren’t the only way to learn. Read more.

There are more. Here’s a complete list.

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