Those Ugly Four Letter Words

By Don Finkle, RCR Yachts
A frequent topic of discussion is the difficulty in growing our sport, or in fact even maintaining its current level. If you asked someone to put down the three main challenges in terms of four letter words, I’ll bet COST would be on every list. A close second would be TIME, but another I hear about almost daily is CREW.

If you are a single-handed sailor you can skip the rest of this discussion. I am fortunate to be in a position to hear why people get out of racing, or don’t get in to begin with, by virtue of my position in the boating industry. I often hear of owners quitting racing or selling their boats because the struggle to find and keep crew had become too much of a pain. It also helps my perspective because I am a boat owner myself and I have the same problem; rounding up people to sail with me on a regular basis takes time and effort.

Sailing with others is a blessing and a curse. The social side of sailing is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the sport, and we learn from those we sail with. It is also fun to teach others. Teamwork on a boat is terrific when it all comes together. But the truth is that in most race boats, you can’t sail them properly, let alone win, without a crew.

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