Saturday, January 30, 2016

A New Generation of Retired Cruisers

Marathon, FL

As I look around the places that we frequent, it is obvious first that the number of retired people cruising has swelled.  Second, that many of them belong to a new generation.

The primary evidence is crowding at all the places and all the facilities frequented by cruisers.   It becomes more crowded every year.   I used to say that Boot Key Harbor fills up by the end of January.  But that shifted to December, and now to early December.  Next year, to assure a mooring ball with no wait, we'll have to be here in early November.   It is the same everywhere.

I think that part of the explanation is the economy.  Boomers started reaching retirement age about the same time as the 2008 recession.  Many of them postponed their retirement.  Now, as the economy is better we have this years crop of newly retired plus a 7 year backlog.

I remember the chat about going to the Bahamas in past years.  People wanted to know about customs, navigation hazards, charts, pets and medical emergencies.  This year, questions about Direct TV and Netflix in the Bahamas dominated.

It is tempting to say that the new generation brings with it unprecedented demand for luxury and coddling.  But I suspect that may be incorrect.  Old timers much older than me will tell you that trend has existed ever since WWII.  So maybe it just seems to every generation that the following generations are spoiled brats.

I do have one prediction that I bet will prove true.  The years 2017-2020 will be prime years to buy second-hand cruising yachts at fire sale prices.   Having spent 2-3 years cruising as their dream retirement home is constructed somewhere, those crews will be in a hurry to get rid of all that cruising stuff and move on.

Along those lines, what would you say about this crew?

US yachtsmen rescued nine times since July say they are 'totally capable guys'

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