Sailing and skiing are the same thing. A study reveals this


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sailing and skiing
Photos by Adriano Gatta

Sailing and skiing are known to go hand in hand. They are two sports that express the same concepts: nature, freedom, majestic scenery, learning analogies.

Sailing and skiing are the same thing. Says a study

But no one had thought of juxtaposing sailing and skiing with the tourist fruition. This was done by an interesting Anglo-American water sports research study that states, “Sailing and skiing are experienced equally. Most skiers, every year choose the location where they go on vacation, rent equipment, and set off. All this several times a year. So it must be for sailors as well. You sail by changing boats and locations, perhaps several times a year. Without having to think about anything other than making the weekend or the cruise.”

This enlightening analogy sailing and skiing, draws new scenarios for the practice of sailing and nautical tourism.

Is anyone who owns a boat an old man? No!

But that’s not all, finally Anglo-Saxon research debunks another false myth: “Outside the boating industry, boat owners are described as male, white, of advanced age, tired. And moneyed. That is no longer the case today. Especially after the pandemic, new young boat owners have come in.”

And he recalls the 2021 U.S. market figure, where 34 percent of the 420,000 new or used boat buyers purchased a boat for the first time.

Do only the rich have a boat? No!

Water sports research debunks another misperception about the boating world. He states that: “The traditional model of boat ownership is evolving. New generations, accomplice to the development of Air BnB-type platforms in the vacation rental world, are looking for a boat to rent for a day, a weekend, a week without having any boating experience.”

The trend then is to break one of the bottlenecks to the development of boating. The need to have either significant assets or consistent and substantial income to be able to afford a boat. The research highlights the breaking of the vicious cycle that wants boat purchase and use tied to having to buy the boat, equipment, and so on. With an initial outlay that not everyone can afford.

The model that is catching on, the research argues, is to overcome the initial disbursement barrier with the “no strings attached, pay as you go” formula, switching from one boat to another.

Now choose where to go in the day

In the U.S., the trend is no longer just about the “boat management” purchase formula, in Italy “boat under management,” where the capital paid for the boat is returned to you by those who use your boat for you. It is also referred to as using the boat in the same way as renting a vacation in a hotel.

Then, in the United States, “Boat Clubs” thrive, where in one online platform you find offers of sail and power boats managed precisely by the Club. You can also decide to take it the same day, you look at what is available at the desired location. Thus the game is played, the impulse is satisfied.

Who cares if I don’t know how to boat

And we come to what young people think about sailing skills and abilities. The 20/40-year-old generation no longer believes it is necessary to know how to go boating to go boating. Research suggests a more than near future in which people who use boats for vacation are not trained before they leave. There is the skipper who “guides” the boat, overcoming the notion that, to go boating on vacation, you have to take someone “who understands.”

If I rent it then maybe I will buy it

And here’s another myth to dispel, that chartering a boat cannibalizes the purchase. What happened to the 50,000 members of the “Borrow a boat” society was examined. Ninety percent of members upon joining the club stated that they had no intention of purchasing a boat. He was asked the same question two years later. Thirty percent said they plan to purchase a boat in the future. And therein lies the debunking of the fact that rent cannibalizes ownership.

No more seaside villa, better a yacht!

The latest trend, then concerns luxury boat rentals: “People, after the claustrophobic experience of the pandemic, are spending more on vacations and are more adventurous, with a definite shift from luxury villas to boat rentals.”

But are we ready to follow these trends?

All good news for the evolution of recreational boating for the coming years, following the results of this Anglo/US research. We do have one concern, however. Is the Italian and Mediterranean marine industry ready to improve services to support these trends? We are not so sure. For now and barring denial.

Luca Oriani


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