April 25, 2014
Over the past few weeks, as we have been assigning slips to new and returning members, I was thrilled to hear from a number of families looking forward to a summer of boating with their kids. A couple of the notes went so far as to underscore that the kids were the primary reason for pursuing a slip at NSC. This is really good news. Good for the families, good for NSC and good for boating in Ottawa.
In the book “Saving Sailing”, Nicholas Hayes makes a compelling argument that the future of sailing is at risk. Through several examples he points out that the barriers to sailing have less to do with high costs or the lack of opportunity or even poor sailing programs, but instead the threat comes from pressures on how we choose as families to spend our spare time. Unless a family prioritizes sailing together, as a family, then the next generation tends to move on to other pursuits and the sailing community starts to shrink dramatically.
As I shared the book’s messages over a very informal “over-a-beer” poll in our Member Lounge, the results confirmed that almost all of us came to boating thanks to time spent sailing with our parents, friends or family. Usually people cited a close family member who took the time to share their passion with them.
Based on all of this; NSC is doing what it can to help to encourage our families to share their passion for boating with their kids. We recently adjusted one of our policies to help families “stay in the boat”, so to speak. Starting this year, NSC will offer a special mooring privilege for boats owned by a family “syndicate”. This privilege will assign the parents’ mooring seniority to the boat for as long as the family syndicate owns the vessel, allowing the next generation to keep the boat at NSC. The new Mooring Allocation Policy defines syndicates for families (and for racing too). If you have any questions at all, please contact the Rear Commodore.
This season, I’d like you to think about how to encourage your family to make use of your boat. And, if you see a Mom or Dad wrestling kids on or off their boat or trying to dock after a family cruise, consider offering a hand or a kind word. It might just “Save Sailing”.
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