The Birth of a Young Cruising Generation

For the past three decades, your average live-aboard cruiser had retired from a career with the money and freedom to buy a boat, outfit It for cruising, and set sail into the sunset. It was, and still is, an absolutely beautiful thing that all of us at YCA respect and admire. Nobody is trying to define what is ‘young’ and what is not. Nobody cares, to be completely honest. But something has changed. Is changing. And fast. The anchorages are now filling up with pre-retirement sailors as well.

They emerged by trickling into harbors with cheap boats the retirees had previously owned and sold. Now they are on all kinds of boats. From the small affordable pocket cruisers to the nicest catamaran at the dock. To figure out what created this tidal wave of pre-retirement liveaboards, let’s take a deeper dive into the four phases of the ‘birth of the young cruisers.’

The first big wave of young cruisers began with the era of affordable cruising boats. In the first decade of the 2000s, cruising boats, especially boats under 35ft, were becoming very affordable. Baby boomers were hitting retirement in full force and were able to afford boats over 40ft, so your typical Sabre 34 for example, was plummeting in value. Many small cruising boats on the market were more than 25 years old and YachtWorld, a fairly new website, was driving the prices even lower as buyers could cast an even wider net. Now the adventurous few who dreamed of sailing away with only pre-retirement cash savings could realistically make it happen. It’s hard to believe looking back, but at that time, a late 70’s Pearson, Sabre, C&C, etc. could be bought for as little as $15,000 and a really nice small cruising boat for under $50k. We’ll call this the ‘affordability phase”.

Read the FULL STORY and see more great photos – click here!

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

A Trespasser’s Guide to Exotic Resorts of the South Pacific

I think it is important to begin this story with a description of its main characters. Triteia is my beautiful 1965 sloop rigged sailboat which safely brought me to the remote islands and atolls of the South Pacific by way of Hawaii, by way of Los Angeles. My name is James, people who don’t know me and see me from a distance might describe me as looking part hobo, part LA hipster and part ex-convict. Those that do know me, well they might describe me in the same way or maybe worse.

Read More »

Chartering Belize

How would you like to charter a boat in a country that has 450 islands, lies in the tropical Caribbean, has the second largest barrier reef in the world, has three of the four atolls in the Caribbean, has very few other boats, and speaks English? If you answered yes, you need to charter a boat in Belize and you have two different choices as far as itineraries…northern or southern Belize.

Read More »

Advanced Hurricane Preparation

Hurricanes. One of the largest causes for concern for any cruiser. Unavoidable devastation for some, a wild ride for others. Smart thing is to get out of the way and plan your course accordingly. Yet despite best efforts and communication, hurricanes are still Mother Nature’s doing and we all know she’s as unpredictable as the day is long. Over the years resources have improved to better predict, plan, defend and hopefully reduce the impact and effects on the lifestyle. 

Read More »



Current Magazine

Powered by  NauticEd