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An issue of perception.

Tomahawk

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We are familiar with the image that boating is a upper class activity reserved for snobs. if you spend £25K on an MAB you are a toff, yet beach huts cost £30k and everyone knows beach huts are for ordinary folks.

Is the underlying problem down to the social class associated with the main representative body, the Royal Yachting Association. In short would boating be considered more egalitarian if it was represented by the British Boating Association?
 

Poignard

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We are familiar with the image that boating is a upper class activity reserved for snobs. if you spend £25K on an MAB you are a toff, yet beach huts cost £30k and everyone knows beach huts are for ordinary folks.

Is the underlying problem down to the social class associated with the main representative body, the Royal Yachting Association. In short would boating be considered more egalitarian if it was represented by the British Boating Association?
That's nothing but inverse snobbery.
 

BlowingOldBoots

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The RYA is now universally known as "The RYA". If you look at their web page, landing page, contact us page, in fact anywhere, they do not use Royal. It is only when you get to About Us, that you see Royal Yachting Association.

I don't think the Royal Yachting Association is the cause of the perception and low uptake. After all Royal Ascot attracts a bunch of people with an interest in horse racing from all walks of life. A quick look through other associations with Royal in their title suggest that Royal patronage is not a hindrance to people from a a wide cross section of society: -

List of organisations in the United Kingdom with a royal charter - Wikipedia

Consider it another way, do people join sailing because the RYA has Royal in their name? I can only speak for myself, it never even occurred to me to start sailing because of Royal connotations. My interest was because I came from a seafaring family, my friends sailed because our modern comprehensive school had a sailing club on a new man made loch near the school, and the support of a teacher who sailed. Back then, late 70's sailing was very accessible via schools, local authority outdoor education centres and was supported by local authorities. Many Glaswegians from traditional working class communities sailed because of these arrangements.

Most of it is gone now, that's the real reason for lower uptakes, access to the sport is now much harder. All the organisations that allowed me to access sailing are closed, it is just too expensive to maintain a fleet of dinghies or own a sail training yacht. Even RYA courses are too expensive at £600-700 a week / berth, high season 2021.
 

lustyd

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Interesting, I think of Ascot as a low class drinking destination where people wear hats. I'm sure wealthy people go there too, but judging by the train platforms it's mostly Wetherspoons clientelle having a trip out
 

Stemar

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I'm more inclined to think that the reason more folk don't get into yachting is that it involves getting cold and wet and seasick. If your beach hut is doing that to you, something's gone very wrong. Them there's the skill and a degree of fitness needed for the yacht. Not much of either for that hut.

There is a problem with perception, though. Yachting doesn't have to be expensive - I used to joke that I run two cars and a boat on a budget that most people would think adequate for one decent car, but the perception of posh yachts in a marina must put people off. It's as if the perception of motoring was all Bentleys and Ferraris, except that a car is an essential for many people; a yacht is only ever a toy - unless you're living on it.
 

Stemar

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Interesting, I think of Ascot as a low class drinking destination where people wear hats. I'm sure wealthy people go there too, but judging by the train platforms it's mostly Wetherspoons clientelle having a trip out
Low class folk pretending to be posh.

Then they get pissed on bad champagne and end up on their arses, flashing their knickers to the telly. Not a good look,

Dear God, that sounds snobbish! Well, it isn't a good look, on a racetrack or in 'Spoons. If that makes me a snob, so be it :cool:
 

lustyd

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Of course, it could also be that people try to get into yachting and join a forum only to be told everything they say or do is incorrect and the only kind of yachting you should aim for is crossing oceans, and even then only in an old damp long keeler with a coal fire and hemp ropes.

Seriously though, there are enough people who enjoy boating, we don't need to encourage it it's just a niche sport. There is already a shortage of places to keep a boat, more people doing it would just spread the marina capacity even thinner!
 

DJE

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"Royal" doesn't seem to be a problem for RSPCA, RSPB, RNIB, RNLI, etc.

Not so sure I'm bothered about the "image" of sailing anyway. In practical terms what is the problem?
 

ryanroberts

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Given anything that floats on the south coast is likely to end up trying to get to Cornwall this summer we should probably keep up the posh impression.
 

johnalison

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I doubt very much if the average metropolitan Brit has ever heard of the RYA, or even cares much about boats or sailing. Even at the coast few people concern themselves much with the sea except as a place to sit and do nothing. Yachting, in its various forms was, I suspect, a middle class activity until quite recently, with a proportion of artisans who came into it through the services or work on the water. Few of the latter wrote about their experiences, and the perception of sailing as a club-based clique arose.

Modern marinas add to the exclusion of lubbers from the sailing scene. Even when they are in view there are massive security gates to keep Joe Public out, and I can readily see why a sense of envy could arise. They seem to see things differently abroad. In most places I have seen on the Continent the public can get close to boats in the town harbour and clubs welcome non-sailors into their franchised restaurants. Some degree of exclusion is needed in places, of course, but for the most part the relationship between townspeople and boats seems much more relaxed, and as a result it feels more secure.
 

doug748

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Of course, it could also be that people try to get into yachting and join a forum only to be told everything they say or do is incorrect and the only kind of yachting you should aim for is crossing oceans, and even then only in an old damp long keeler with a coal fire and hemp ropes.

Yes.
Or the other case where, whenever someone tentatively posts that they want to buy an older boat, some twerp will say, in paraphrase: "It's old damp smelly, slow; buy it if you want but I would rather go sailing" "Why not buy something bigger, something decent?"

In a recent post a new member asked about a modest project boat that had already been acquired. Within the first few posts he was told the boat was "worthless".

.
 

Caraway

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That could be the snobishness that doesn't exist in sailing.
Like 'If you don't cross the Atlantic you can never be considered a sailor.'
 
Last edited:

dom

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In a recent post a new member asked about a modest project boat that had already been acquired. Within the first few posts he was told the boat was "worthless".

Sometimes, sadly, that's the truth.

Isn't it best to know from the outset if a project is simply a hobby with little possibility of recouping one's expenditure?
 

Lightwave395

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Me in Cowes, boat in Arzal-Camoel
i think it's an 'English' thing, all around where my boat lives in Southern Brittany sure there's plenty of nice shiny decent size boats but the marinas and moorings are also full of knackered looking old 5 to 8 metre sailing boats that regulaly get out on the water
 

lustyd

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Sometimes, sadly, that's the truth.

Isn't it best to know from the outset if a project is simply a hobby with little possibility of recouping one's expenditure?
Different people have different time:money ratios, so a project that seems unthinkable to someone with very little time but readily available funds will look different to someone with £100/month spare cash but enough time and energy to complete the project. My first boat took a long time to get up to scratch, but I sailed regularly regardless.
Expectations of a dry bilge and tight sails are borne out of privilege, they aren't a prerequisite to an enjoyable day on the water. I once had a shroud unscrew itself while exiting Chi harbour to the point it was literally flapping in the breeze. While fixing it I nearly rammed a marker buoy as the crew of one had never been boating much less sailing. It was the best 3rd date I've been on though!
 

mjcoon

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"Royal" doesn't seem to be a problem for RSPCA, RSPB, RNIB, RNLI, etc.
I bet it isn't a problem for the Royal Yacht Squadron, either! If I could be bothered to Google it, didn't they black-ball Lord Twinings (approx) for being in "trade"?
 
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