By special request for one of the commenters to De-Lurking Day here is another in the series of Ask the Tillerman advice columns.
Dear Tillerman, I often hear that there are very few people between the ages of 22 and 35 active in sailing. Kids, teenagers and college students do a lot of sailing; old geezers over 35 dominate your average yacht club. But the twenties and early thirties age group is missing.
I can believe it. I'm one of that group. And it's tough.
First of all there's the time pressure. We're busy getting started on our careers, finding a mate, getting engaged, getting married, buying a house, buying furniture for the house, maintaining the house, mowing the lawn, having kids, looking after kids. Where the heck are we going to find time to sail?
Then there's the money problem. What with student loans, clothes, dating, engagement ring, wedding ring, wedding, mortgage, mending the roof, clothes for the kids, car loans, car repairs, etc. etc. where are we going to find the money to afford to join a yacht club, buy a boat and enter regattas?
All of the above applies to me. Not only do I have a mortgage, a wife, a car loan, a new baby, a long commute and a full-time job, I am also going to law school in the evenings. On top of all that I've put on a bit of weight since I was a competitive college sailor. OK -- a lot of weight. And I'm not as fit as I used to be.
But I really want to take up sailing again and recently someone offered to lend me a Laser. But I'm sure I'm too heavy for a Laser and at this weight I'd be really slow in light airs not to mention a total klutz in the boat. And I'm not fit enough to sail a Laser in heavy airs. I could join a gym but when would I find the time to work out? And then the weather in New England is freezing cold and the drysuit I had in college won't fit me any more and the nearest frostbite fleet is 50 miles away. And in any case, I'm always busy at weekends with various family commitments and church and doing chores and spending time with my new baby.
So Mr Tillerman, what do you think? Should I accept the offer of this Laser and go sailing again?
Yours Sincerely, Without a Clew.
Dear Without a Clew,