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Thread: A rising Millenial market?

  1. #1
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    Default A rising Millenial market?

    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Nice find, RbGarr, thanks.
    We have shared it here.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Interesting.

    Around here, I see younger folks mostly in the Small Boat community. Oughtred boats. Welsford boats. Storer boats. Etc. My two boys share ownership in a daysailor. The older one and his fiance are thinking they'd like to own a larger boat at some point.
    David G
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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Where are all the young boaters is the OP question. It's hard to get real data, I wonder how much things have changed or even if they have changed at all?

    When I was a kid in the fifties a whole lot of kids went into little league and there were many adults interested in that venue. Since we lived in a waterfront community and a local yacht club had a great youth sailing program, a number of kids joined that, but I think at most there might have been 50 kids a year compared to the 100's in little league. If the kids in the sailing program really liked to be on the water they'd get to know older guys who owned boats.

    It was always the older guys who owned boats. I don"t think I knew anyone under 30 who actually owned a boat. Guys in the 30 to 45 year old group owned 15 to 19 foot boats, Snipes, lightnings, Day Sailers, Flying Scots, etc. There wasn't that great of a turnout among these guys for weekly races, but the ones who did turn out wanted crew, and there always were spots for us kids. That's how kids got real boating exposure, and a proportion of them went on to be adult boaters / owners.

    Boats in the 25 foot and over category were always owned by old guys - guys 50 and over (yeah there were younger exceptions, but they were rare). These guys needed crews too. Sometimes an old guy was wealthy enough to buy an Alberg 35 but knew nothing about sailing. Guys like that really needed crew - that's where the young guys came in. I think if you want to find young boaters (and old ones too) you need to look for active club racing programs. Racers get out on a weekly basis, they're active and visible if you look for them.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Interesting article. The mainstream sailing media, officialdom and industry these days seems to assume that all younger people are adrenalin-crazed speed junkies with cash to burn, which is just silly if you look at what young people actually do on or off the water. The cliche seems to be really hurting sailing, but luckily kids these days can create their own media and movements and maybe that will lead to a resurgence in the sport.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    There are young people into boating. You'll find us down at the 26' and shorter docks, at the wooden boat centers, as crew on the sail training ships, and at the shallow end of the anchorages. Many are liveaboards, the boats are invariably craigslist dreams bought for nothing and never completed. We sail more than the older folks, and probably have more fun. Look for the boats with bikinis draped over crazed and faded gelcoat. Tattooed, bearded crew who don't mind the rigging decades past its expected life and who never properly furl the sails, because they are going back up again in the morning when the 2 stroke OB won't start. The messy furl probably looks good with an instagram filter anyway. Millenials are even buying and restoring old wooden boats, because they are cheap and we are romantic.

    We're out there.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    But the real question is whether these sailing Millenials will put their money into a new magazine like "Young and Salty."
    Or into a subscription to WoodenBoat for that matter! An important point for all those who enjoy using this WoodenBoat Magazine Forum.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Like Dave says, its hard to get real data. I personally don't even have any anecdotal evidence of young people getting involved in sailing. Beyond the sustained popularity and growth of kayaking, I don't see younger people even getting outdoors, let alone considering buying a sailboat.

    The author of that article has a telling point. They are living on a sailboat because they have been priced out of the real estate and apartment market. This is the experience of most Millenials these days. They really don't have any expendable income to do more than buy a couple of rec kayaks at the Army Navy store.

    But the problem isn't just money. There's a cultural shift at work, too. That shift that says real adventure is to be found in the depths of the computer screen.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Interesting article. A little anecdotal, but still makes some good points.

    Great blog name - among teens there has been a renaissance of "salty" meaning risque or biting ("I got a salty text message from Chad!"), so "youngandsalty" is very clever.

    I have a very skewed view of the number of young sailors. I work part-time at Community Boating in Boston. All summer long we have hundreds of kids in our junior program, which is summer camp on the water, and they go from absolute beginners to sailing 23' sonars. After the kids leave we cater to adult sailors of all ages, but I think most of the beginners are in the 20-40 range. Not all of them stick with sailing, but some do. In spring and fall we host local high school racing teams. All of the kids I work with are really good sailors.

    I think anywhere that sailing is affordable and accessible, you'll find younger sailors.

    Kenny

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Beyond the sustained popularity and growth of kayaking, I don't see younger people even getting outdoors, let alone considering buying a sailboat.
    ...and stand-up paddle boarding, and innertubing, and kitesurfing, and...

    For that matter, check out the Appalachian trail within a hundred miles of any major city on a weekend afternoon; we're all over. As J said, our boats tend to be smaller, but that's largely a function of the fact that the oldest among us are barely 35. My biggest boat is a 9-1/2' nutshell. Eventually I'll have a real cruising boat, but not for a few years. I'll be *old* then!

    There's a cultural shift at work, too. That shift that says real adventure is to be found in the depths of the computer screen.
    The boomers' parents said the same thing about TV.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    There are young people into boating. You'll find us down at the 26' and shorter docks, at the wooden boat centers, as crew on the sail training ships, and at the shallow end of the anchorages. Many are liveaboards, the boats are invariably craigslist dreams bought for nothing and never completed. We sail more than the older folks, and probably have more fun. Look for the boats with bikinis draped over crazed and faded gelcoat. Tattooed, bearded crew who don't mind the rigging decades past its expected life and who never properly furl the sails, because they are going back up again in the morning when the 2 stroke OB won't start. The messy furl probably looks good with an instagram filter anyway. Millenials are even buying and restoring old wooden boats, because they are cheap and we are romantic.

    We're out there.

    Glad to hear it, that was me 30 years ago.......not changed much either!

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Q.Foster View Post
    But the real question is whether these sailing Millenials will put their money into a new magazine like "Young and Salty."
    Or into a subscription to WoodenBoat for that matter! An important point for all those who enjoy using this WoodenBoat Magazine Forum.
    The tip in the article seems to be that Millennials look to Youtubes for help understanding things they are intimidated by. Can WB approach them that way more directly? I wonder what search terms would work.
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

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    I have been predicting an uptick in young people sailing for sometime, but have yet to notice it. so many 20 somethings just seem to fit the sport of sailing. Its eco-friendly, in touch with nature, fun, adventurous. Alas, I think the problems are the following:



    1) lack of good small boats being produced outside the racing market. Sorry, most 30 year ok Catalina 22 look like money pits.

    2) lack of options for storage. They live in condos, even a small daysailor on a trailer is a challenge.

    3). Very busy lives

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    1) lack of good small boats being produced outside the racing market. Sorry, most 30 year ok Catalina 22 look like money pits.
    We here at the WBF may picture those millenials puttering about in lugsail prams to get started. My bet is that if anything catches their attention, it will be more like this, the UFO catamaran foiler, aimed dead center at young people who have $7,000 to drop and the urge to get out on the water in an easy-to-learn but fast and exciting state of the art foiler. Will the old-school yacht clubs embrace such a thing and support fleets and racing programs?

    -Dave

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    At 32 I realize all I want to do is sail. I'm not rich, I work **** jobs for low pay. Sad but true. What I have done is learn how to do everything for my self. Largely thanx to my fathers seemingly endless knowledge of all things build by man, and YouTube. But because I invested In tools and learning, I now have a nice collection of boats. all of them were free and I haven't put more then $500 into any of them. A Prindle 14, hobie cat 18, ranger 22, fox 25 and an old Davidson lifeboat converted to sail as a trainer for the sea cadets. They were going to have them crushed. I got half a dozen assorted Davidson's that day all with rigging from the sea cadets. And I just picked up a tempest 23. Now I'm in a position where I can sell some of them and invest that into building a nice little wood boat that can take me to the south pacific where I can use it as a mothership for some of the best kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding and surfing in the world.

    We are out here and we're not all rich. That's why you don't see us, we're the guys and girls {there are solo ladies out here) anchored in the bay next to the marinas and yacht clubs. See 'cause if we anchor, that **** paycheck for $1500 a month we saved up for 6 months can float us for 18 months if we do all are own maintenance and don't spend money on, well lets face it, totally unreasonable Vancouver slip fees. And I think the best part of the millennial sailors are, we help everyone. I've been snubbed by lots of older couples who needed help but wouldn't take it from a bearded, tattooed sailor on a craigslist special. Lol all the millennial sailors I've come across have always been nothing but kind, helpful and inclusive. And all the ones I've met either live aboard full time or half the year. I haven't met any weekend warriors my age and younger that weren't on powerboats. Not that I discriminate against powerboats, id love a Hacker one day.

    J.Madison had it right, we love restoring and building wood boats, we're romantic like that.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Rising interest. But, anchoring out, doing it yourself ( or doing without), and working for "****" paychecks hardly supports a market. There is a dichotomy afoot.

    Kevin

    Edit to add: Don't get me wrong. More power to you getting out there and doing it! I was simply commenting on the " market" aspect of the thread.

    K
    Last edited by Breakaway; 02-23-2017 at 02:28 PM.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    A bit hard to build and then store a boat when you live in a tiny town home or worse still -- an apartment -- like many of them do. I built an Argie 15 in our 20 ft car garage at a condo, but the HOA grumps would have created a mountain of trouble for me had they known what I was doing behind my garage door. They fined some poor guy $50 for refinishing a kitchen table in his -- imagine the punishment for my heresies.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    I dunno, I buy a lot of materials and sometimes I wonder if I am supporting an industry. Lol

    there is a polarity here for sure but it's not that much different from soul-surfers and competition surfers. Most of the ones I know, myself included. We live on our boats because we're sailors not because we're looking for a place to live thats cheaper than an apartment but still close to work. And I'm seeing a division between soul-sailors and yachtsman. But I don't know that it is our fault, we'll gladly sail with anyone who wants to go sailing.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    We here at the WBF may picture those millenials puttering about in lugsail prams to get started. My bet is that if anything catches their attention, it will be more like this, the UFO catamaran foiler, aimed dead center at young people who have $7,000 to drop and the urge to get out on the water in an easy-to-learn but fast and exciting state of the art foiler. Will the old-school yacht clubs embrace such a thing and support fleets and racing programs?

    Around the world the "old school yachties" have arguably embraced foiling more than the millenials have. The old school who make up the sailing industry and media have been saying for years that foiling is the future of the sport, but in reality the take up is minute. The last US Moth nationals got just 15 starters - half of the previous year's fleet - and that's after years of intense publicity that cost so much the main manufacturer went bankrupt. The hype about record fleets at world titles hides the fact that club racing fleets are tiny and regional fleets (with two exceptions, SE UK and Sydney) are minute or non-existent.

    Given the economic future of many millenials, and the variety of activities they do, it's arguable that they may in fact be more interested in cheaper craft that are easier to use. Foiling is fun and the boats are fantastic, but there's good reasons that high performance craft are very rarely popular.

    I was windsurfing during the '80s when the sport went down the whole "high speed is the future" rabbit hole. It's now pretty widely accepted that it was the death knell of windsurfing as a popular sport. Arguably sailing's current ills are partly because it has tried to go down the same route.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Wow, I think that hit the nail on the head. At least when it comes to boats, I windsurf and kiteboard but in a sailboat I want something steadfast and dependable to live on, not something fast for racing.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Given the economic future of many millenials, and the variety of activities they do, it's arguable that they may in fact be more interested in cheaper craft that are easier to use. Foiling is fun and the boats are fantastic, but there's good reasons that high performance craft are very rarely popular.
    And these are exactly the objections that brought Steve and Dave Clark to develop the UFO. It's less than half the cost of a Moth foiler and said to be far easier to learn to sail. I have no idea if this boat will be the next Laser or Hobie 16, but that's what they are shooting for. I wish them luck, and have a hunch at least that they're on the right track. If they aren't, I have no clue where sailing is headed.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    There are young people into boating. You'll find us down at the 26' and shorter docks, at the wooden boat centers, as crew on the sail training ships, and at the shallow end of the anchorages. Many are liveaboards, the boats are invariably craigslist dreams bought for nothing and never completed. We sail more than the older folks, and probably have more fun. Look for the boats with bikinis draped over crazed and faded gelcoat. Tattooed, bearded crew who don't mind the rigging decades past its expected life and who never properly furl the sails, because they are going back up again in the morning when the 2 stroke OB won't start. The messy furl probably looks good with an instagram filter anyway. Millenials are even buying and restoring old wooden boats, because they are cheap and we are romantic.

    We're out there.
    But no, you're not having MORE fun! We're having more fun than you, so there!!

    Rick

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Re #19.
    The younger members of our club cannot afford new boats, and there is only one foiler owned by a man in his late 50's. And our club is the home of the moth. The boats being bought by younger members are older and wood. And some of the younger members lately are women which is good, though some of the older members rather prefer their wives making the tea and sandwiches.
    A few years ago the yachting heirarchy abandoned all but the olympic classes thereby disenfranchising all but the wealthier, or sponsored yachties. Many classes of boats were suddenly useless for those with sailing ambitions and more or less worthless except in very limited internal club racing. Only the older members of the club can afford present 'class' boats. And that is us.
    Being a member of a club the Sailing head office automatically bombarded me with 'you beaut' olympic news till I told them to go away.
    Last edited by skuthorp; 02-24-2017 at 05:47 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    And these are exactly the objections that brought Steve and Dave Clark to develop the UFO. It's less than half the cost of a Moth foiler and said to be far easier to learn to sail. I have no idea if this boat will be the next Laser or Hobie 16, but that's what they are shooting for. I wish them luck, and have a hunch at least that they're on the right track. If they aren't, I have no clue where sailing is headed.
    It'd be great if the UFO did well, but it's arguable that if the sport moves that way then it may still be heading down the same blind alley as windsurfing. Yes, it's not as costly as a Moth or Flying Phantom, but it's still a fair whack, nor is it the sort of thing that someone could learn how to sail without years of hard work. I really respect Dave and Steve, but from looking around at the clubs I know I can't see the sailors ever buying UFOs by the dozens in the way they bought Lasers and Hobies.

    We could look at where small boat sailing is headed by looking at what is selling. Optis, plastic Opti copies, the RS Aero, Lasers, RS Fevas, RS Teras and 420s dominate the sales charts of racing classes. The Hobie sailing yaks may be the best selling of all, but they don't release sales figures. Nor does Bic, of O'pen fame.

    Plenty of the cheaper, slower, old-school kids boats are vastly more popular than kids boats used to be. That part of the sailing community seems to be working pretty well. So are the plastic popouts like the Hobie yaks, plastic Opti copies, some of the RS classes, O'pens etc. A lot of the drop-off has been in high performance classes in many areas, and yet plenty of people in the sailing industry keep on promoting speed as the cure for sailing's ills.

    The odd thing is that the industry often derides such craft and tries to promote more expensive stuff that very few people buy. The industry keeps saying that the new range of faster craft will save the sport; once it was cats, then high performance windsurfers, then skiffs, then canting keelers, now foilers. All those sorts remain only a small niches. Maybe if the sailing industry just stopped telling people that they should be interested in certain types of craft, and actually respected sailors enough to respect the boats they actually buy, the sport would improve?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    WAY off-topic (since OP link doesn't refer to racing as such) but USSailing has come out with new rule changes for 2017. I've given up racing in anything but those with the simplest reaching bang-and-go-back or pursuit race starts. I used to know the rules well and have even been a judge at some events. Now not so much, or my mind has simply emptied itself of the rules, but I can't imagine someone new to the sport learning them easily in order to race safely. http://racingrulesblog.blogspot.com/...iling-for.html
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  26. #26
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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    That article doesn't surprise me, it's going on around me. As a boomer, I see the millenials moving into sailing and boat ownership, at a younger age - and in bigger boats - sooner, than their parents did. The reason: The huge supply of used boats (mostly glass), that are free, or nearly so.

    As a father of two millenials, I don't think this is all great! What's great is to see my kids generation sailing quite a lot here on the Maine coast. What doesn't work out for everybody, is buying (for little or no $), these tired boats with the primary intended use as a dwelling.

    If you have access to dockage and or shore access, and you know something about being on the water - boats in general, and can take advantage of the savings, great! But not everybody who takes on an old boat as a home, can say that. I think, '4 beds and kitchen', will be a trap for some.

    But there's more good than bad in this explosion of cheap boats. An opportunity, if you can make it work. Having seen many millenials grow up, they have the same dreams as any generation.

    As someone mentioned, sailing has a ton that is attractive to millenials: A greener recreation(if you want), love of the outdoors, adventure, travel, and for some, affordability.

    This photo is my son(24) and daughter(25) sailing off (they didn't start the outboard-natural sailors), our overnight raft up. We're on the family boat, they stayed on the 26'er, we bought for a dollar.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Pearson Commander? If so, good boat.
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    Pearson Commander? If so, good boat.
    A Rhodes designed O'Day Outlaw. Similar to the Commander though. 8' cockpit and tiny cabin by todays standards. Well equipped, practical design that sails nicely. The tall rig with decent sails, he sailed it all over Penobscot Bay and beyond last season.

    Just tired enough looking and without much of a following, that it has no value (here) today. There's another similar 25'er in the harbor one of his friend owns. Those two boats take a ton of kids their age sailing

    Now that I think of it, 2 other millenials bought a CC 27 and another similar 27' GRP boat(for low $) last season in our harbor, that I know of. I'm sure there are more. These boats are all much older than the kids that own them and getting put to good use.


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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    It'd be great if the UFO did well, but it's arguable that if the sport moves that way then it may still be heading down the same blind alley as windsurfing. Yes, it's not as costly as a Moth or Flying Phantom, but it's still a fair whack, nor is it the sort of thing that someone could learn how to sail without years of hard work. I really respect Dave and Steve, but from looking around at the clubs I know I can't see the sailors ever buying UFOs by the dozens in the way they bought Lasers and Hobies.

    We could look at where small boat sailing is headed by looking at what is selling. Optis, plastic Opti copies, the RS Aero, Lasers, RS Fevas, RS Teras and 420s dominate the sales charts of racing classes. The Hobie sailing yaks may be the best selling of all, but they don't release sales figures. Nor does Bic, of O'pen fame.

    Plenty of the cheaper, slower, old-school kids boats are vastly more popular than kids boats used to be. That part of the sailing community seems to be working pretty well. So are the plastic popouts like the Hobie yaks, plastic Opti copies, some of the RS classes, O'pens etc. A lot of the drop-off has been in high performance classes in many areas, and yet plenty of people in the sailing industry keep on promoting speed as the cure for sailing's ills.

    The odd thing is that the industry often derides such craft and tries to promote more expensive stuff that very few people buy. The industry keeps saying that the new range of faster craft will save the sport; once it was cats, then high performance windsurfers, then skiffs, then canting keelers, now foilers. All those sorts remain only a small niches. Maybe if the sailing industry just stopped telling people that they should be interested in certain types of craft, and actually respected sailors enough to respect the boats they actually buy, the sport would improve?

    Nah, just need drink holders and usb sockets.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    "The odd thing is that the industry often derides such craft and tries to promote more expensive stuff that very few people buy. The industry keeps saying that the new range of faster craft will save the sport; once it was cats, then high performance windsurfers, then skiffs, then canting keelers, now foilers. All those sorts remain only a small niches. Maybe if the sailing industry just stopped telling people that they should be interested in certain types of craft, and actually respected sailors enough to respect the boats they actually buy, the sport would improve?"
    Old boats make no money for the boat market, especially now when you don't need a broker to handle the advertising.
    New boats are likely 99% FG/foam composite or plastic, and of course the facts of apartment housing, low wages and casual work mitigate against a recreation like boating.
    Then, like everything else, it's probably cheaper for a boat wholesaler to import a rebadged boat from China.
    http://www.made-in-china.com/product...peed_Boat.html

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    I'm with Tom3, J.Madison, and CemeteryWind. The explosion of affordable boats, and millennial values has led to an uptick and will continue to do so. Like attracts like and it'll be harder for you to notice or find the younger sailors if you're not one. I'd expect it to get bigger year by year, as there are so many older boats set to be released into the market. Probably not such a big market for building new as helping folks fix up old.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    The tip in the article seems to be that Millennials look to Youtubes for help understanding things they are intimidated by. Can WB approach them that way more directly? I wonder what search terms would work.
    It's called Off Center Harbor, which is aggressively angling for this angle, if you pardon.

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    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    The tip in the article seems to be that Millennials look to Youtubes for help understanding things they are intimidated by. Can WB approach them that way more directly? I wonder what search terms would work.
    My generation is looking to youtube to learn the skills of our grandparents. Many skills were passed from parents to children through the generations, but then the world changed, and my grandparents generation did not teach my parents all of those things. Some were taught but then lost as the world moved to the suburbs and disposable consumerism.

    Now my generation is rediscovering these lifestyles and skills through youtube, patching the broken link, so to speak. Just in the last few months I've learned how to can/preserve the products of my garden, save seeds for the next year, hew a log into a beam, form a standing seam roof from sheet copper, and splice a rope - all from the internet. These are probably skills my grandparents could have taught me, but I did not learn them growing up.

    I don't know how all this could apply to woodenboat, except to say that we are unlikely to pay for subscriptions like Off Center Harbor. Its just a mentality that comes from growing up where everything is open source and available. The Tips from a Shipwright series is quite popular and seems to derive its funding from product sponsors. I would love to see more stuff like that. I've never seen an experienced shipwright working in the real world, but I've apprenticed under all that I can find on the internet. You can truly learn a lot that way.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    1,243

    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    I don't know how all this could apply to woodenboat, except to say that we are unlikely to pay for subscriptions like Off Center Harbor. Its just a mentality that comes from growing up where everything is open source and available.
    You're not the only "millenial" (I hate that damn term) here, bro. There are more than you may think. I pay for high quality content across many of my interests and I'm happy to do it.

    As your Granddad probably said, "you get what you pay for."

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    13,641

    Default Re: A rising Millenial market?

    As
    your Granddad probably said, "you get what you pay for."
    And you rarely get what you DON'T pay for.

    kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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