Why Is Classic Sailing Stuck In The Doldrums?
Now here is an idea – may be the Classic Yacht Association should change its name to something like the Classic Boat Club – why? well given that over 50% of its boat owner members are launch owners & in physical numbers the classic launches out number classic yachts, maybe the ‘yacht’ name is not reflective of the movement.
If you want further proof, in the latest addition of the CYA newsletter, Sheerlines (see below), the new (to be elected tonight) CYA chairman + a ex yacht captain + the out-going launch captain – all have their latest classic boating projects featured & guess what? – they are all motor boats. Sure 2 out of the 3 people also own a yacht, but the trend for the last few years has been launch ownership. The out-going CYA chairman owns a motor boat & has his classic yacht on the market.
Even a blind-man could see there is a huge shift to classic launch ownership & the more relaxed, social activities associated around launches. Today the ‘sport’ of racing a classic yacht has less & less appeal, the yachts look magnificent but there is no queue of people to own / sail them. Just look at the asking / sold prices for classic yachts these days – that alone tells the story.
Aside from the name, the real issue facing the CYA is membership retention – has been for the last few years. No shortage of people joining up but an un-healthy number continue to drop off at the other end. Despite record numbers joining in the last 3 years (would be in excess of 100 individuals) the total membership number almost remains static.
There will be a change of guard at tonights CYA AGM – lets hope they are open to welcoming new thinking in terms of the classic boating movement & what it offerers up to retain members. The days of the CYA being a yacht club with its primary mission providing yacht racing for classic yacht owners, is over – that role needs to be handed over to the numerous classic yacht ‘trusts’ that these days directly or indirectly control 68%+ of the active classic yachting race fleets.
If your a CYA member, make the effort to come to the AGM tonight – 7.00pm @ the RNZYC, Westhaven.