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Old 06-22-2014, 12:06 AM   #21
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This is a very interesting discussion to me on many levels. First of all, it seems apparent why there are not more young members at that club. When we started boating we were among some of the younger ones. Now, well, let's just say that is no longer the case. Being younger in a large group can take awhile to earn your stripes so to speak. It really shouldn't be that way, but is in many cases. Even in USPS and Coast Guard Auxiliary groups it seems to be so. There is no excuse for insolence and confrontation at a YC or the officers standing for it. That is a bad club.

Now, for another tact. Because I am a real estate developer and a community planner, we have to stay up on changing trends. Believe me things are changing fast, and mostly among younger people. For the first time ever owning a car or a home is considered important by fewer people than ever in my life time. Paddle boards, bicycles, and things of that nature are starting to replace the larger investments. Many look at owning a home will restrict their movement.

As a general rule I think that we will see fewer and fewer young people come into boating. When a ski boat can cost over $100,000.00 and gasoline is over $4.00/gal. the cost of entry is high. At least for the time being they seem to be congregating in urban centers, riding their bicycle, and socializing at the gym and bars.

The marine industry will have to adapt to the "new normal", or see their sales decline. What we may see is some buying older boats as live aboards if they see that as an economical alternative.

Enough of my rambling, but as I said it is a vexing subject on many levels.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:50 AM   #22
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:00 AM   #23
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I'm 39 and can attest that I am on the younger end. My father was 37 when he bought his first trawler (Outer Reef). I remember boating in the late 70s and 80s and can certainly tell that (1) there are far less boats on the water and (2) boating is increasingly becoming a game for the wealthy (or those in super debt).

What has changed? Well, there is less free time--this is backed up by countless studies. America has become the "no vacation nation". Americans are increasingly working more hours per week. I'm lucky to get one day of free time (Saturday) per week. It is virtually impossible to take two weeks off during the summer so I take a sporadic days off (Monday here and a Friday there). My parents were white collar executives during the 80s and were not on constant call or relegated to checking e-mail/text messages 24/7. We took long vacations as a family but this is impossible for me. My parents worked hard but had the time for their boating and vacations.

Let's not forget middle class Americans have less disposable income than years past. The income gap is reminiscent of the guided age.

Priorities have also changed. All those monthly charges for Internet, phone, cable, etc. add up.

Lastly, today's boaters demand speed and all the amenities but this certainly increases cost. Efficient displacement cruisers with low HP engines are rare and unpopular with the mass. Boating CAN be affordable if you are willing to so small and simple. Yes, I could afford a larger boat but would rather obey the KISS theory and put the rest toward retirement.

I was just looking at boat prices in a 1970 issue of Florida Sportsman. Prices (adjusted for inflation to 2014 dollars) for new fishing boats with 150HP to 400HP engines in the 20'-24' range were $28K to $43K. Also consider fuel was more affordable.

Your statement is so true... "the days of people buying boats like they were in the 70s and 80s is over." Sadly they are indeed...
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:13 AM   #24
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This guy's actions were unbelievable. In my years on the bridge of one yacht club and my time spent meeting with the officers of other yacht clubs here in the Midwest this guy's actions were the exact opposite of one of the main goals of these clubs. Get younger members.

Many clubs know they face a problem replacing the members in the Baby Boom generation. Work and financial demands on families have changed in the last 30 years and those who are under 50 years of age have cut back on their social connections in organizations. An attitude such as displayed by the jerk in question if tolerated will lead to a decline in the club's membership over the years.

I am sorry you experienced this action.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:50 AM   #25
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I'm having trouble with the idea of a elder club member putting his hands on your wife can you be more specific? Being in my mid 50's I can't understand why anyone in a moment of anger would put their hands on another's spouse? Why did he assault your wife and why didn't you call the police? Look anyone can have a heated discussion but one should never put their hands on a woman, period as in never.
I'm inclined to think Dementia or Alzheimer's as well. Then again it could just be a type "A" personality that in the heat of the moment lost control?
2nd I rarely join clubs to me they are clicks and only a few offer any real benefits.
Your young enough where I hope this doesn't ruin you or your family's idea of what boating should be about?
Some more information would be nice and if you don't want to share it I can understand.
If someone laid their hanfds on my wife they would be picking themselves out of the water or off the floor, and I'd probably have broken my hand.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:56 AM   #26
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[
If someone laid their hanfds on my wife they would be picking themselves out of the water or off the floor, and I'd probably have broken my hand.
Bill[/QUOTE]

+2!! The only difference is my hands would still be in my pockets. After 30 years law enforcement, she has never needed my help. She has bailed me out a time or two though
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:04 AM   #27
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[
If someone laid their hanfds on my wife they would be picking themselves out of the water or off the floor, and I'd probably have broken my hand.
Bill
+2!! The only difference is my hands would still be in my pockets. After 30 years law enforcement, she has never needed my help. She has bailed me out a time or two though [/QUOTE]
My wife is extremely passive, I was a LEO in the 1980's didn't stay with it though and now I'm kicking myself. The money was terrible back then (FLEO) so I started my business. Now my old pals and gals in LE are all retired with great pensions and benefits and I'm left struggling to keep my head above water in this economy.
It is what it is.....
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #28
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................ Here is where things start to go wrong...around the same time a club member heard my wife and I taking, and thought what we were talking about applied to him...it didn't. Long story short is it set him off into a rage where, in front of my daughter, not only berated us but put his hands on my wife. Obviously, this didn't sit well and within the hour we and the boat were gone. The only thing anyone offered to do was `moderate` the situation...while the situation is water under the keel, his words ring out. Which was basically said that we were too young to be there and it wasn't a place for kids. Now I wouldn't let the words of one deter me but certainly his opinion was shared by other, as evident in lack of interest from the officers. .............
What's missing here is the other side of the story. What were you talking about that made this man angry? What did your wife do or say to cause this man to "put his hands on your wife" and in what way did he put his hands on her? What has happened in the past? Is your daughter well behaved and respectful of others?

Are there other young families with young children at this club? Are they welcomed, tolerated, or are they treated poorly?

Boating clubs, like all clubs, have their own personalities. Some are casual, some are formal. Some are mostly old folks, some are more geared to families with small children.

From what you posted, I would say you didn't pick a club that suited your needs and wants. I hope you didn't have to spend a lot of money to join but I think it's best that you look for a different,, more family oriented club.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #29
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Eric, PM sent.

In our club, we've had our share of drunks and idiots over the years. Fortunately, our officers don't tolerate behavior like this and go after those who perpetrate it.

When a drunk veteran member grabbed my wife's butt during a dinner one evening, she loudly called him on it and then reported it to me. I calmly put my arm around his shoulder and assured him I'd break his arm if he ever did it again. I then reported it to the rest of the board (I was dockmaster's that year). When he sobered up, he apologized profusely because he knew the behavior was way out of bounds for our club and he risked suspension or expulsion. For the next 10 years, he apologized every time he saw me despite my reassurance that it was in the past and to stop worrying about it.

The reaction by the club to your experience is disturbing to say the least.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #30
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I'm the Rear Commodore of our yacht club- we have a decent balance of seasoned members and new blood. Our older members welcome new members with open arms- there has never been any challenge with new members.

If a COF touched any member of our club, he'd be out of the club and pending charges.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:44 AM   #31
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Here is where things start to go wrong...around the same time a club member heard my wife and I taking, and thought what we were talking about applied to him...it didn't. Long story short is it set him off into a rage where, in front of my daughter, not only berated us but put his hands on my wife. Obviously, this didn't sit well and within the hour we and the boat were gone. The only thing anyone offered to do was `moderate` the situation...while the situation is water under the keel, his words ring out. Which was basically said that we were too young to be there and it wasn't a place for kids. Now I wouldn't let the words of one deter me but certainly his opinion was shared by other, as evident in lack of interest from the officers.

I can't quite interpret that to mean you simply went for a ride, or dropped your club membership...

In either case, perhaps there are some constructive things you could consider trying.

- Follow up on whether the dude has rage issues, or Altzheimers, dementia, etc. Could be an early warning...

- Know that not everyone knows how to deal with conflict, in person, up close. The other officers may actually be sympathetic, but might not have known what to do on the spot. Discuss.

- If they are indeed sympathetic, discuss a solution to the dude. An apology. Counseling. Cancelled membership. Assault charges. Be creative.

- If the officers and other club members are not sympathetic, make a big deal about discontinuing your membership. Be sure they know why. Request remaining fees be returned. They're not keeping their end of the bargain. Bury the club. Take a large percentage of remaining membership with you... perhaps to a new club.

And so forth. Might be something could turn a turd into an oyster.

Or something like that...

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Old 06-22-2014, 10:06 AM   #32
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I think offering a phone call to the local PD will calm him down. It should and if it doesn't then I would press charges.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:19 AM   #33
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Eric, PM sent.

In our club, we've had our share of drunks and idiots over the years. Fortunately, our officers don't tolerate behavior like this and go after those who perpetrate it.

When a drunk veteran member grabbed my wife's butt during a dinner one evening, she loudly called him on it and then reported it to me. I calmly put my arm around his shoulder and assured him I'd break his arm if he ever did it again. I then reported it to the rest of the board (I was dockmaster's that year). When he sobered up, he apologized profusely because he knew the behavior was way out of bounds for our club and he risked suspension or expulsion. For the next 10 years, he apologized every time he saw me despite my reassurance that it was in the past and to stop worrying about it.

The reaction by the club to your experience is disturbing to say the least.
II certainly can't see it happening at PYC. They are very welcoming for young members, but have been known to work them to death. Great people there. Many of the past commodores are my good friends.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:26 AM   #34
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Have had two different experience with yacht clubs. These were over a 30year span and in different parts of the country. Neither was a success. The problem in both cases was too much fighting, name calling and stupid posturing. In one case it was the boaters vs. the beach people. In the second case it was old vs. new.

In both cases the constant bickering drove us away. In my opinion we as a society have gotten more contentious than ever. Maybe I am just not a joining type, but for me, after stressfully work weeks I simply had no time or energy for the negativity.

Locate a marina that suits you and make friends around that group, join some other groups that think similar to you and your family. If that doesn't work, boating is fun when you are doing, go for it.

If that guy had put his hands on my wife, his biggest problem would not have been me.LOL

Have fun
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:29 AM   #35
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The income gap is reminiscent of the guided age.
That's what I get for typing late a night... I meant Gilded Age!

Here's a good presentation from 2011 on Recreational Boating trends... some interesting data presented. Slide 9 shows that most boaters are presently in the 50-54 age range. While in 1998, most boaters were age 40-44.

http://consensus.fsu.edu/Boat-Summit...(Dammrich).pdf
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:37 AM   #36
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Eric, PM sent.

In our club, we've had our share of drunks and idiots over the years. Fortunately, our officers don't tolerate behavior like this and go after those who perpetrate it.

When a drunk veteran member grabbed my wife's butt during a dinner one evening, she loudly called him on it and then reported it to me. I calmly put my arm around his shoulder and assured him I'd break his arm if he ever did it again. I then reported it to the rest of the board (I was dockmaster's that year). When he sobered up, he apologized profusely because he knew the behavior was way out of bounds for our club and he risked suspension or expulsion. For the next 10 years, he apologized every time he saw me despite my reassurance that it was in the past and to stop worrying about it.

The reaction by the club to your experience is disturbing to say the least.
II certainly can't see it happening at PYC. They are very welcoming for young members, but have been known to work them to death. Great people there. Many of the past commodores are my good friends.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:54 AM   #37
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We choose to take the boat and all of our stuff immediately after the incident. We cleaned out our dock box and moved the boat to a marina for a week to let our emotions settle. At the end of the week, we talked to the bridge and decided that we needed to move permanently.

As for the physical part of the altercation, it was mild. It was him poking his finger into her shoulder. But it was still putting his hands on her which is unacceptable at any level.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:12 AM   #38
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Most clubs here go out of their way to attract younger members.

Clubs also have a discipline process if a member acts in a manner harmful to the club. Ask the commodore or manager how to begin the process if you want.

Unless membership is free I would not walk away from my fees because of some jerk. Get involved a bit and see if you don't find a different reception.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:13 AM   #39
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Our club has put in an elaborate children's play area and has lowered initiation fees for younger members. We do get younger members but they do not take part in club activities. Whether it's raft-ups, pot lucks, cruiser navigation, sail fleet, anglers, etc. they do not participate. Their boat gets put in the slip and that's the end of it, just another slip-hugger. The average age of the active membership is well up into the 60's.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:16 AM   #40
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Our club has put in an elaborate children's play area and has lowered initiation fees for younger members. We do get younger members but they do not take part in club activities. Whether it's raft-ups, pot lucks, cruiser navigation, sail fleet, anglers, etc. they do not participate. Their boat gets put in the slip and that's the end of it, just another slip-hugger. The average age of the active membership is well up into the 60's.
I would attribute dock hugging to the higher costs of fuel. In the early 2000's until about 2007 most of the boats in our marina got used. Now year after year less boats are leaving the dock. I think there is a direct correlation with the increased costs for fuel. I personally think it's killing use and resale of the big boat Gassers.
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