Sailing with Charlie: Baby Boomers And Liveaboard Cruising Yachts

Graphics by Anouk Sylvestre

The word is out. Since the results of the US general election and the inauguration of the new president there has been a surge in inquiries for liveaboard cruising yachts. Yacht brokers are rubbing their hands with glee at the potential rise in sales and the resulting commissions. “They may be trying to ‘drain the swamp’ in DC but they can’t drain the Caribbean Sea,” explained one exuberant broker. “They should have elections every year – that’d be the way to improve the economy!”

The surge in inquiries for liveaboard cruising yachts may be nothing to do with politics, of course, but rather the fact that baby boomers are cashing out of former, perhaps boring but lucrative careers to pursue freedom, fresh air, salt spray and adventure.

‘Baby boomers’, what a name! Reliable sources say it means babies born between 1946 and 1964 so those folks hitting 60 years this year would have been born in 1957. This means there’s quite a bit of booming still to come. Nearly 80 million souls lost their lives during WW2, so the baby booming was almost like a karmic reaction to restore the population. Perhaps baby bangers would more aptly describe the generation … or perhaps not, don’t want to confuse sausage lovers.

Charlie has mixed feelings about babies – understandably, he loves the procreative act but is very nervous about receiving ‘a little bundle of joy’ believing the descriptive phrase to be questionable at best. “It would definitely put a spike in my free-wheeling sailing life,” he says often. He’s lost quite a few girlfriends who turned out to be ‘Wannabe Mums’. “How can you love a newborn human who presents you with a highly noxious parcel every few hours, screams, throws tantrums and demands attention every few minutes? The only joyful moment is when it stops!”

When Charlie is in a good mood he doesn’t mind babies – as long as they’re someone else’s.

Not long ago Charlie met friend Rick at his favorite beach bar, “Come and see my new baby,” he said with a happy smile. Charlie scratched his head in bewilderment – Rick was a baby boomer, being in his mid-fifties, but too old (in Charlie’s opinion) to start having babies. He dutifully followed Rick down to the docks. There, tied up in a slip, was a handsome 42ft ketch-rigged Hallberg Rassy. “Whatdayathink?” said Rick.

“Now that is definitely a bundle of joy,” replied Charlie.

After an extensive tour on deck and down below they both returned to the bar.

The conversation turned to the cruising lifestyle and the merits of cutter rig or split rig (yawl or ketch). The argument came out about even but Charlie, whose three cruising boats have all been cutters (real cutters not just sloops with an inner forestay) finally agreed with Rick that the mizzen certainly has its benefits in heavy weather, boat balance, heaving to and keeping the boat steady at anchor. Rick was so enthused he even blurted out that should he ever become a Dad the baby would be named Mizzen!

 

Check Also

The Sink-ing Feeling

  Everything on a boat is complicated—even the kitchen sink. To prove my point, let’s …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *