May 24, 2018

CYOB InboxHello John,

I read you editorial with mixed feelings.

On one hand, I remember speaking this winter to the man in charge of sailing at the resort we stayed at this winter in Antigua. He believes it is horrible that an island with good sailing weather all year round does not have a sailing team and I agreed with him that there should be a youth initiative there. I suggested a puddle duck fleet. Cheap and accessible for learning and racing for kids.

The other side of the coin is this: The current pace of growth in the industry in developed countries is unsustainable. Of course industry types will dismiss this but, however lackluster the last few years have been, virtually every marina in Canada has a waiting list and on a good summer day it's hard not running into another boater in most local cruising grounds. Any decent mooring or anchorage I have seen in Florida is littered with boats and residents have been pushing back because more and more NON-boaters are taking to the water as a "cheaper" home alternative - taking up valuable place of legitimate aficionados of boating while giving us a bad reputation as many of these live-aboards do not maintain their boats. I have witnessed this in the Toronto area as well.

In short, I am always telling my friends how great sailing is and that they should join a club if they are interested. But other times, I think to myself, "be careful what you wish for"....
--
Rob Barnes

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