The Sailing Bug and Coping with Tough Times

Coping with unusually rough seas

The one-two punch of unprecedented turmoil in the financial markets and the related economic slump has hit everyone especially hard since the middle of 2008. Most of us no longer have the financial resources that we thought we had, some no longer have jobs, and we all feel the anxiety and uncertainty of being in uncharted waters. The sailing world has been severely effected; current boat owners want to cut costs (or even sell), prospective new boat buyers are understandably cautious, and boat builders are caught in a very nasty squeeze between nervous customers and nervous banks. The storm will pass eventually, but for now, we need to cope with unusually rough seas.

One way to cope is to continue to do the things that light life up for us, and these diversions may be more important now than they have ever been. The activities we enjoy most can provide the welcome relief from a crisis that we did not create, and that we cannot control. One rocker famously observed that “You can’t always get what you want…”, and that applies to a lot of sailors who until recently saw a new boat in their future.That new dream boat will no doubt still come eventually, but in the meantime, as another rocker rolled: “If you can’t be with the one you love…love the one you’re with.” This advice is no doubt more wisely applied to boats than to people, and it suggests that given the current money crunch, the time, energy and resources that we might have been devoting to the new boat dream can temporarily be applied to improving the one we already have. Upgrades, optimizations and alterations can increase performance, enjoyment, and even resale value. Sailmakers, equipment suppliers, boat yards, and yes, yacht designers, will all be pleased to help sailors make their current boats all they can be. As if we don’t have enough to worry about these days, many of us have to face the fact that we are seriously infected with the sailing bug. Happily, there is no known cure.Now more than ever we need to enjoy it while we can!