Re: A rising Millenial market?
We must stop wishing things to get better. The real issue is that there is little socialization between millennial and older folks. Water access is being closed down because states, cities and towns would rather let developers take over valuable land and former marine business along the waterfront. boat yards, storage facilities and boat cranes are disappearing rapidly. There is little will to stop the trends. The real reason is no engagement as even the government and city planners no longer care to boat let alone sail or fish as we did even 20 years ago.
Most yacht club sailing programs are for kids who's grandparents sailed and who's parents had some connections to sailing or small boat program. Moreover most sailing programs have shown a decline once the kids age out after 14. Tiger parents and those who seek their children "best interests" move on to other resume building directions. Most board people who run these yacht clubs rarely see the disconnect nor do they do anything to foster social activities for millenals and families with teens.
Please note: Have you been to an american yacht club lately? Have you taken a look at those folks over 21 sailing in most local regattas? What about a simple walk on the docks and meeting those boat owners? Most of them are over 45 and stick to their own age groups or older. The growing regatta series i see on the San Francisco bay is about solo or doubled handed sailing events. Most beer can races are with men and women over 50. The parties that happen afterward rarely attracts those who we need most to grow as they rarely show up. All telltale signs of the current direction of boating.
There needs to be a call to challenge this decline.
I know that there are very few invitations offered by those who have boats and those who could do something about the situation can't be bothered. Millennials are in for new experiences and most likely do not even know they would be welcome to become crew, owners or let alone builders. I would ask Wooden Boat and its wonderful membership to initiate page or column that challenges boat owners to actively ask and recruit those under 30 to join them for a sail, row or fish. Millennials and many others no longer have reference points to boating or sailing. We only need to look as surfing as a model as we know surfing takes an introduction. Once one becomes a waterman, the other pieces of boat life become a natural progression. I suggest that there be a concerted call to action - it begins with directed social invitations and embracing a serious ambassadorship attempt to our world of sailing and boating to our younger folks. If the call is not made, the important access to boating and sustained recreational marine businesses will decline further away from most people's grasp.
Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 03-20-2017 at 06:20 PM.
Self-Awareness Isn't a Magic Bullet, But It Is Step One.
Politcal posts require a ugly boat photo with each comment. Hope i run out of photos before i run out of comments.