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        What’s Next?

        Since came out in late 2009, I’ve written and published over 200 articles about sailing, outdoor adventure, raising kids and mentoring. I’ve been luckily to have articles appear in SailingAnarchy, Scuttlebutt, The Blinker, Windcheck, and others.

        I was honored to join a who’s who of sailing authors and social prognosticators in the 2012 Wiley and Sons book .

        I write regularly for Spinsheet Magazine with a focus on helping people find sailing and get on the water more often.

        In 2012, I joined the team at Sailing Magazine as a regular columnist, writing about trends and exciting developments in the sport/activity we love.

        I continue to travel to sailing clubs and events like shows and industry forums to help raise funds for worthy not-for-profits and help shape new programs.

        Admittedly, a series of kids sailing books is on hold, while I work to get my own two kids through college.

        If you have an idea for an article or a project, feel free to contact me at nickhayes(at).


        § 4 Responses to What’s Next?

        • Tara says:

          Greetings – my sister sent me a copy of your book, which arrived today. We have discussed this issue endlessly over the past decade. The Atlanta Yacht Club was founded in 1950 by my grandad, and we grew up as 3rd generation sailors. EVERYONE headed to the lake on Friday nights and stayed all weekend, kids included, and we had very active sailing fleets of Flying Dutchmen, Y-Flyers, Snipes, Thistles, and Lasers. Lots of kids running around, always watched by the club “family.” It was a village of sailing enthusiasts.

          But by the ’90s, the ambiance began to change. Now, although we still have a good junior training program, the kids go back to town after classes. The adult participation in fleet races is low. The old clubhouse has been replaced with a million dollar clubhouse and it’s AIR CONDITIONED! Even tho it is only used on weekends in the evenings for gatherings. It seems to be more and more of a country club.

          And yet our club is perceived as a beacon of sailing in the southeast. I look forward to reading your book, and see if there is anything that will help us recapture the sailing community/activity we used to have.

          Hoping for hints,
          Tara Smith Whitworth

          • says:

            A common story, but one, I know, that can have a happy ending. I’m happy to share ideas and would like to learn more about your club’s history, your granddad’s inspiration and plans for the future. Feel free to email me at nickhayes(at) anytime.

            Good luck!


          • says:

            It’s a real plesaure to find someone who can think like that

        • says:

          I read your book. Loved it. It was quite spiritual even though it wasn’t about God or anything…very deep thinking.

          I am commodore of an inland yacht club (Fresno Yacht Club) that once had 250 paying members and now has about 30.

          Our median age is 69.

          We had a drought that cancelled our big annual regatta for 2 years…we were back and as big as ever in 2016.

          But…last year only 23 boats participated in club events and 12 of those only showed up one time.

          What if this is the new normal?

          Back in the 70’s, 10’s of thousands jumped into sailing in the Hobi revolution…then thousands more jumped onto windsurfers. At the time I recognized those people because they were mostly crossovers from waterskiing and power boats (I did a lot of waterskiing). very few of those people ever joined a sailing club beyond their class association. they are not real sailors at heart.

          But there was a similar thing that happened when sailboats suddenly became affordable and maintenance free (fiberglass revolution). Again thousands jumped into sailing and the great expansion began. That group stayed longer for some reason but they could not have been nostalgic about sailing because most of them had never set foot in a sailboat.

          I wasn’t part of that. I started sailing because I read Swallows and Amazons when I was 12 and would have eventually sailed in wooden boats even if fiberglass had never been invented.

          What I’m saying is that there was a big influx because of a new thing 3 times in my lifetime. So the question is, “Does it take some sort of “new” thing to make it continue? Or back to my original hypothesis…Is this the new normal?

          I’m putting in a lot of work to keep this going…It feels like pushing a rope. Help me believe it’s worth it.

          Daniel J Irwin, CPA
          Commodore Fresno Yacht Club.

          In Scuttlebutt Saturday…

          There is a history of this drought in Scuttlebutt.

          Also just for fun, you can search “Fresno” or “Fresno Yacht Club” in Anarchy. We/I managed to make peace with Scot a couple of years ago…it’s Southwestern Yacht club’s turn now.

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