What does age have to do with it?

Published on July 22nd, 2010

By Nicholas Hayes, author of Saving Sailing:
Twenty-five years of age is the mean defection year from sailing, but in reality it correlates more with transition into career, marriage, parenthood, so it could be anywhere between about 20 and 30.

The key underserved groups are kids under 13, where sailors under-represent population by 70%, and 30-45 where sailors under-represent population by 60%. For example, 8% of sailors are under 13, but 27% of population is under 13. 10% of sailors are between 30-46 but 25% of population is between 30-46.

Said clearly: parents with kids and kids under 12 don’t sail, because they don’t sail together.

In most other age categories sailors are even (in terms of percent) or represent a higher percent of population. For example, 31% of sailors are 55-64, while only 8% of the population is in this age group.

A key point often misunderstood is that it isn’t about how many kids you can pack in a program. That’s just a recipe for defection. It’s about how often generations interact in a constructive, fun, format. Doesn’t have to be families, but if it is, all the better.

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