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Sailing or not

Apr 7, 2021
17
Cape Dory 22 Clear Lake
People share their reasons they love the sport of sailing in blogs and forums. But, one thing I don’t see often are reasons sailors give up the sport.

Do you feel it just doesn’t happen that often? Do you know, or ever hear of why someone gave up sailing?
 
Sep 15, 2016
616
Catalina 22 Minnesota
I would say it also come down to performance. Many a sailor / racter give up when they cannot perform to the abilities they once had or the expectations they place on themselves.

On the flip side new sailors often die off quickly after undertaking to large a project and becoming frustrated trying to complete it. That and the constant nervousness on how to sail. It's why when I teach people to sail I always start with " is the boat moving, did you hit anything, are we dead? no well then your doing just fine".
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,779
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Interesting thread..........one of our long time retired sailing couplesin their mid-60's just gave up sailing and immediately sold their Caliber 38 this week........so they can use the money they spend on the boat to travel. I see that frequently in our yacht club with retired folks we know.....they sell the boat and buy a motorhome or trailer and travel or do fly and drive trips.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,957
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Do you know, or ever hear of why someone gave up sailing?
Usually they disappear so you don't hear of them. A good friend sold his boat last year because his wife had a double lung transplant, and she loved to sail, too. Good enough reason? I betcha.
Sh*t happens.
All sorts of reasons.
In the big scheme of things: Who cares?
Are you a new sailor trying to use the "Looking Glass" to find out when YOU will quit? :):):)
Focus on what ya got, not what others may haven't...
 

DougM

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Jul 24, 2005
2,182
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
I’m not giving up sailing! I am giving up on a perfectly good boat because the place where i have winter stored it for years is no longer accommodating sailboats. It was less than a mile from my place and Really convenient for working on the boat. Now I have to store it 25 miles away. So I decided its time due to my age, not the boat’s, to divest.
 
May 24, 2004
6,793
CC 30 South Florida
The top reason I have encountered for people to quit sailing is purchasing a sailboat and keeping it on the trailer at home, especially if they have to tow 30 minutes or more one way. Having to hitch and unhitch the boat's trailer, Stepping and lowering the mast and rigging, launching and retrieving the boat gets old real quick. Pretty soon it becomes too much of a hassle and they find themselves making excuses, like 20% chance of rain, for not going out. Then the boat sits and gets moldy adding to the chores to be done before a future outing. They usually end up with flat tires growing trees in the cockpit. I have in the past owned a boat for which I paid in dock fees for one year the same amount as it's purchase price. Never had any regrets as I was paying for the complete sailing experience, not just the boat. It was nice to get out of work in the evening and be on the water in 15 minutes, or just going to the marina and tinkering with the boat and enjoyed the social aspect of interacting with other sailors. I had a water front property in which I would spend a few nights a month when I felt like it. Other reasons are usually the results of sickness or aging. By the way many of us don't race and consider sailing perhaps a way of life and not really a sport. Just laying back and steering the wheel with my toes with a beer in hand and streaming music I don't think qualifies as a sport.
 
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Jul 5, 2011
598
Oday 28 Madison, CT
For my wife and me, it would be about competence and above all, safety. If we can't negotiate the deck when its blowing, shoot a mooring in some wind/weather, we are going to pack it in. Love the sport, but not to die for....
 
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Apr 7, 2021
17
Cape Dory 22 Clear Lake
I would say it also come down to performance. Many a sailor / racter give up when they cannot perform to the abilities they once had or the expectations they place on themselves.

On the flip side new sailors often die off quickly after undertaking to large a project and becoming frustrated trying to complete it. That and the constant nervousness on how to sail. It's why when I teach people to sail I always start with " is the boat moving, did you hit anything, are we dead? no well then your doing just fine".
I read about racers giving up because they get tired of losing to the same people.
Usually they disappear so you don't hear of them. A good friend sold his boat last year because his wife had a double lung transplant, and she loved to sail, too. Good enough reason? I betcha.
Sh*t happens.
All sorts of reasons.
In the big scheme of things: Who cares?
Are you a new sailor trying to use the "Looking Glass" to find out when YOU will quit? :):):)
Focus on what ya got, not what others may haven't...
I've read a few articles recently that the sport of sailing has been on a decline. I never hear that people are quitting, but I just recently read an article that the lack of interest by younger folks may be the problem.
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,088
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Many go to the dark side. We don't hear from them much.
In most cases I think a venue changes and they are not willing to adapt. I used to keep all my keel boats in slips. A few minute drive from my house to be on the boat and out in another few minutes. Scenic and with good reliable wind. It was close to ideal. If I can't have that again I'm way less interested.
 
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Sep 15, 2016
616
Catalina 22 Minnesota
I read about racers giving up because they get tired of losing to the same people.

I've read a few articles recently that the sport of sailing has been on a decline. I never hear that people are quitting, but I just recently read an article that the lack of interest by younger folks may be the problem.
Some people quit racing because they get tired of losing to the same people. That though has more to do with a badly (my opinion) managed race PRO who does not actively manage ratings to keep boats competitive and adjusting them often (like Bi Yearly). Yacht clubs are for sure in decline as a majority and I don't see that trend decreasing any time soon if the clubs around me are any indication.

As for the young people i'm not sure I can agree on that one. There are hundreds of youtube channels of young people sailing all over on boats and inspiring interest. Foiling, small boats, and a renewed interest in DIY on an old boat all appeal to a younger crowd on a limited budget. But that is getting into a whole different conversation.

Decline and Giving up are 2 different things.
 
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RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,212
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Knew a few older sailors who stopped sailing. One couple decided that they would use the saved marina and maintenance money to charter a boat once a year in some exotic place. They later stated that they actually had more annual sailing hours with this plan. Another bought a new trawler which made the Admiral very happy. Another simply stayed tied to the dock all season playing sad music and drinking beer. Another sold his boat and bought waterfront property. My hope is to pass my boat down to an interested Grand Child with the resources to keep her. At 72 I am hanging on and still enjoying her. Marina slip with marina winter storage makes it easy to enjoy. Reasonable boat size, nearby friendly marina, adequate finances, and good health can extend sailing far into your final years.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,115
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
My hope is to pass my boat down to an interested Grand Child with the resources to keep her. At 72 I am hanging on and still enjoying her. Marina slip with marina winter storage makes it easy to enjoy. Reasonable boat size, nearby friendly marina, adequate finances, and good health can extend sailing far into your final years.
I am right behind you Roy... Beginning to groom the youngin's, but concerned. It feels I am fighting the lure of the iPad/iPhone world.

May we both live long and prosper....
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I think some may leave under the “been there, done that” perspective. But it appears to me that situational changes drive a departure from sailing or boating generally. Job relocation, sudden loss of income, health crises, developing decrepitude, break-ups followed by new relationships, degradation of the boat from lack of maintenance, and so forth. Thinking up new ways to enjoy the boat could resist the “bt, dt”exit. Join a club, make new boating friends, go on organized cruises, relocate the boat to a different marina for a time, etc. But if it becomes “unaffordable”, or becomes of poor recreational value through lack of use, then it’s harder to stay in.

Also, we’ve thought about “passing the boat” along but I personally doubt it would end as we would hope unless that person is already into sailing or boating. It’s rather like leaving your Steinway to someone with the hope that s/he will learn to play it and enjoy, versus leaving it to a pianist who really needs a better piano and who would use and appreciate such a fine instrument, well cared for.
 
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Dec 25, 2000
5,048
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Some time ago I started a similar thread over in the Pacific Northwest Cruiser's forum titled, "Times Up", with a focus on age. Time does take a toll on maintaining the spirit of sailing. Our little flotilla of four boat skippers began in 2004 with a two month cruise to Desolation Sound forging a relationship that lasted many years with bountiful good times and experiences. Many more followed over the years, but slowly age has winnowed it down to two boats. Some day soon age will force me to give up what I love, but until then ...
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,115
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Hang in there Terry... We still have a cruise together in our future.