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Is it Just Me .............

Jan 4, 2006
2,655
Hunter 310 Island Hunter West Vancouver, B.C.
.................. or has anyone else noticed a decline in boating interest in their area? This came to mind while replying to a posting by rgranger entitled "From lemons to lemonade"

http://forums.hunter.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=171554

Knowing the violent repercussions for hijacking threads around here :eek:, I decided to post a new one.

Our marina, Thunderbird Marina, for the first time in history is advertising available moorage. A number of empty berths in the marina. I have heard a similar story from one other marina in the Vancouver area.

About five years ago, a reporter here did an article on boating in the Vancouver area. The usual fluff ........ mega yachts, prices, places to go, and "availability of moorage". At that time, as long as a ten year wait for a boat in the 40 ft. length. One other thing was the purchase of moorage in our downtown harbour area going in the range of several $100K. Not that way any more.
 

ALNims

.
Jul 31, 2014
208
Hunter 356 Huis Ten Bosch Marina, Sasebo, Japan
.................. or has anyone else noticed a decline in boating interest in their area? This came to mind while replying to a posting by rgranger entitled "From lemons to lemonade"

http://forums.hunter.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=171554

Knowing the violent repercussions for hijacking threads around here :eek:, I decided to post a new one.

Our marina, Thunderbird Marina, for the first time in history is advertising available moorage. A number of empty berths in the marina. I have heard a similar story from one other marina in the Vancouver area.

About five years ago, a reporter here did an article on boating in the Vancouver area. The usual fluff ........ mega yachts, prices, places to go, and "availability of moorage". At that time, as long as a ten year wait for a boat in the 40 ft. length. One other thing was the purchase of moorage in our downtown harbour area going in the range of several $100K. Not that way any more.
Maybe people are still trying to recover from the financial crisis?
 

YVRguy

.
Jan 10, 2013
399
Hunter 34 Vancouver, BC
First I've heard of it Ralph. I'm in Coal Harbour Marina and as far as I know it's still full. Although contrary to your report I pay more like $6K plus utilities
 

Rick D

.
Jun 14, 2008
6,794
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
Same in my area. My marina in SoCal had a three year waiting list when I moved in nine years ago. I waited twelve years for our Catalina (Cat Harbor) mooring. Now, there were move-in slips available before they started using them for temporary moves as another marina is being refurbished and the Cat Harbor moorings didn't sell out. Of course, they are getting very pricey. The slips have gone up just a tad more than inflation to cover the expense of the rebuild but it's still pretty competitive. So, the thing that is a curiosity to me, is where the heck are the boats going? I know some smaller ones are being pieced out or crushed, but i'm also talking about larger ones too. I'm sure the wooden hulls are pretty much gone.
 
Mar 30, 2013
650
Allied Seawind MK II 32' Oologah Lake, Oklahoma
The only marina on the lake I'm at looks to be 95%+ full on slips (my guestimate), both sail and power. Sadly there are a large number of sailboats that are simply rotting down at the slip, the owners keeps the fees paid but never touches the boat.
 
Oct 1, 2007
1,434
Hunter 44DS Pt. Judith
Agreed, and this is a lagging economic indicator, I think.
Yes I agree. Here in New England you really don't see the crowds we used to see 10 years ago at the major venues like Newport, Block Island, Nantucket, etc. I've definitely noticed a drop off. Basically here in NE the economy sucks in general and people choose to eat before spending money on the water. I think many people still have boats but leave them on blocks in their back yards.
 
Nov 7, 2012
678
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
We the public are like frogs and boiling water. Everything is fine, nothing to see here, full employement dont ya know, they told me on the TV.
 
Apr 11, 2010
739
Hunter 38 Whitehall MI
25 years ago when we bought our first family boat we actually had to find a slip first then get a boat to fit in the slip because the availability was limited. Over the years it has gone up and down but since the late 1990s it's been pretty tough here in Michigan. And boating while critical to most of us on the forums does pale in comparison to keeping your home. The office furniture industry shrank by 60%, the auto industry collapsed, and the recession hit everyone hard. Add the cost of fuel and it's not hard to see why people had to give up boating. There is a greater trend generationally too and there has been lots written on this. The younger generations that have grown up in the electronic age have less and less connection to the outdoors and natural resources. Why would they go boating when they can pull up an app on their computer that gives them all the experiences without having to leave their chair. And sailing can pale to the excitement of Grand Theft Auto (not that I'd know because I've never played it). I work in the environmental protection and natural resources field and served on a board with our state Department of environmental Quality and one of our projects was focused on how to protect and manage resources in an age of declining interest and declining funding. A statement was made that it's hard to argue for funding for resource protection to a population that places no value on it because they have no connection to it. There is a great book named LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS that gives good insights into this generational change.


At the risk of creating political ire I think there is another factor to consider. There seems to be the amazing degree of myopia that we all suffer from. We are quick to race to the cheapest supplier for everything we buy, shop at Walmart because they have cheap stuff, shop Amazon because it's cheap. But what we seem to fail to connect is that all of those cheap products are getting made in counties where wage scales would never allow the workers to have a boat and even if they did it isn't in this country. If people don't have jobs they can't buy boats, don't rent slips, etc. For a long time our political and business leaders convinced us that losing our blue collar working class to overseas labor was OK because we were going to become a service economy, we would all be knowledge workers, and the cheap goods would make us happy. That made us comfortable to sacrifice them. Then something began to sneak up on us and we have begun to see that knowledge work can be outsourced to low cost countries too. I mean who would have ever thought that a radiologist in the U.S. would lose their job because that work can be off shored to highly skilled workers in India for 1/4 the cost. And now there is one less person who can afford to own a boat.



So yes I'd agree with your observation that there is a decline. Part in interest and part due to ability.
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,489
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Lewis Marine, formerly located here in Greenport, is closing with the loss of 26 jobs locally. Various factors involved according to the attached article. Not the least of which is a still suckie economy in the NE. They didn't do retail - just marine businesses. But almost everyone knew someone who knew someone ... Their existence allowed local venders to carry way less inventory since most items were available by, at most, the next day. Their locations in FL will evidently carry on. I think they were bought by a larger company primarily based in FL, and then closed by the same.
http://suffolktimes.timesreview.com/2015/05/58454/a-greenport-mainstay-since-the-50s-lewis-marine-closes/
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,293
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Nationally, I think that the lingering fall out from the "great recession" has kept many prospective boat owners on the sidelines with regards to purchasing a boat. Boats are a major expense considering purchase price, insurance, dockage, and maintenance. With little to no increases in income, many have had to watch their discretionary spending.
Here on the Gulf Coast I believe another factor has had a significant impact on boat ownership. Over the past ten years, the used boat inventory has been significantly depleted after being hard hit by hurricanes from Ft Meyers, FL to Galveston, TX. In neighboring marinas during Katrina, approximately 30 to 50% of the boats were total losses (including mine). Its much more affordable for the average sailor to purchase a used boat at an acceptable price point, locally, versus a new one at a cost of over 6 figures or a used one from a distant location. It will probably take a few decades to replenish the used boat supply that once was readily available. It probably cost me a minimum of $7K over the years traveling to look at boats and transporting my current boat from Charleston, SC to New Orleans. Many people don't want the hassle, expense, & liability of shipping a boat from another locale. It was a major financial & psychological step for me to purchase out of state vs purchasing my first sailboat that was in a marina in my town. These are some examples of additional impediments to keep one on the sidelines.
 
Jan 4, 2006
2,655
Hunter 310 Island Hunter West Vancouver, B.C.
The younger generations that have grown up in the electronic age have less and less connection to the outdoors and natural resources.
And that is my greatest fear. The outfall from that WILL NOT BE GOOD AT ALL.
 
Sep 15, 2009
6,241
S2 9.2a Fairhope Al
And that is my greatest fear. The outfall from that WILL NOT BE GOOD AT ALL.
well they won't care one iota what we think while they are sitting around in there reinforced chairs to hole up their overweight bodies drinking their diet drinks and stuffing down a dozen doughnuts and playing their computer games :eek: :stirthepot:
 
Mar 28, 2007
637
Oday 23 Anna Maria Isl.
the contributing factors I do not understand, but it is obvious that many people today choose to avoid most any endeavor that would require more than an hour of focus or planning.
 
Apr 5, 2015
50
Islander 26 Little Creek Navy Base
I believe that it is based on a number of reasons.

1. Economy.

2. A large change in demographics.

3. Younger people are into different things.

4. There just isn't any advertisement to attract younger people.
 
May 24, 2004
6,076
CC 30 South Florida
Boat manufacturers and dealers are the cheerleaders of the industry and they have reluctantly participated at some of the shows. It seems cohesion in the Industry is not very strong as they all seem to have scattered during the past economic recession. They all seem to have had their own and smart economic plan perhaps hoping someone else would carry the industry. This is a leisure industry which caters to a small segment of the general population and to maintain and promote its growth it requires a concerted effort from all participants, from boat manufacturers, dealers, marinas, service people, show producers, publications and boaters. Investment is needed to create enthusiasm which is what drives the non-essential leisure activity and that cost must be borne by all. No investment, no interest and no interest general failure.
 
Sep 15, 2009
6,241
S2 9.2a Fairhope Al
electronic technology has succeeded it sucking the the cash flow down to nothing


the money that was spent on boating is now being spent on smartphones and monthly fees
and the same with computers pads and now the latest thing watches and that is just part of it
 

Rick D

.
Jun 14, 2008
6,794
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
Just Thinking....

...it isn't just boating. If you read Hemmings, you'll find a lot of concern in the classic car market that there is no one growing up behind us with an interest. Big bucks on the auction circuit hide the reality at lesser levels (same for boating, no?) heard a guy say the same thing about general aviation....