IAN DROGIN ( 28, California, Bavaria 44), along with his brother and three friends,
recently completed a six-week sailing and climbing adventure in the Aegean Sea where
they tackled several limestone crags in the Greek Islands. They chartered a Bavaria 44,
Hellenic Sky, which served as “base camp” for their trip. Ian (left) estimated that the
total cost for this whole trip was $2,500 to $4,000 per person. “I think a lot of
people have this idea of sailing being a luxury sport for the rich. But the way we
did it was very financially manageable.” Go to iandrogin.com to read more.
MARK MIELE AND EDEN YELLAND (37/34, British Columbia, 36’ Universal Europa
Sedan) live aboard their 36-foot trawler, Halcyon I, part-time and regularly coastal
cruise in the Pacific Northwest. In 2015, the couple left their jobs and voyaged
from Victoria to La Paz, Mexico. “We ended up with a trawler because we were
looking to avoid the learning curve of sailing. We’d encourage younger people
to buy powerboats for coastal cruising, especially around Vancouver Island.
It’s the easiest and most comfortable way to get around up here.” Visit
facebook.com/mvhalcyoni to learn more about Mark and Eden.
boat ownership also be delayed?
There are also important cultural factors at play. One of our cruising friends,
Pacific Northwest sailor Chris Wyckham
of the boating website SailMentor.com,
summed it up nicely when he suggested
that new sailors are cropping up as a
result of much broader societal change.
“We’re seeing a culture shift. There
seems to be a nexus between sharing
economy, tiny homes, hipsters, location-
independent income, minimalism. Some
people on my website are expressing this
new break from the standard American
dream through sailing and cruising, espe-
cially in older or shared boats, instead of
fancy cars or houses.”
Social media is also playing a role
in introducing new boaters to the fold.
You Tube is awash with high-performance
boats, poker runs, and sailing-lifestyle
vlogs, generating lots of mainstream
exposure and sparking interest in many of
our landlubbing millennial friends.
All of these factors indicate the potential for a ripple (if not a wave) of millennials making their way to the water.
That said, millennials face obstacles –
cost, perception, and lack of mechanical
know-how – and need the boating industry to nurture this fledgling fleet. (See
“Help get young people out on the water”
on page 72 for suggestions on what boaters and the industry can do.)
So while boat ownership will probably
always have more uptake with the older,
more financially established generations,
it’s safe to say there’s plenty of opportunity to engage young boaters and build
the sport for years to come.
Freelance writer Fiona McGlynn, formerly a management consultant with
Bain & Co., is cruising with her husband
in French Polynesia aboard their Dufour
35. Fiona and Robin recently launched
youngandsalty.com, a website devoted to
encouraging young people to participate in
sailing. Fiona gives special thanks to Jack
Ellis, Info-Link; PNW Sail Club; Passion
for Powerboats Facebook group; and
Dennis Rosen, BoatU.S. membership, for
their assistance with this article.
A BoatU.S. Special Report