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Old 12-24-2007, 11:24 AM   #1
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I think it might be more reasonable to compare income from yacties to income from general tourists, and that will not go in favor of the yachties.

We bring our own accomodation, we give next to nothing from 'travel expeces' like air port tax etc, we like in general to get as much as possible 'for free'. The majority anchor if free before going to a marina. Buy local food and cook onboard. Some bring own bikes for land transpotation. Quite honestly I do not think yachties in general compared to the average tourist gives much profit to the local communities.

Personally I normally used marinas if available and local restaurants when possible, but still I would say the totals spent was far less than if being e 'normal' tourist. I think that what the yachties adds in dollars to the communities are neglectible, on the other hand they does not 'cost' anything.

What they do add is envionment and life. If a 'good' place they add market value. Muscat Cove is one of the few places that has understood the value of haveing the bay filled with yacts. The way they provide the 'yachties island' in the evening for barbecues attracts as many hotel guests as yachties, and the guests love mingeling and getting the terror stories from 'out there'.

Perhaps it might be better to impose a 'day tax' or buying a cruising permit for a number of months than what has been put in action.

To me it is not a question of paying for staying, I see it as a message from the Fiji Government: Cruisers: stay away, we do not want you.
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Old 12-25-2007, 02:07 AM   #2
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As said in the first posting, this is not just about 'dollars'.

The resorts might be owned and managed by foreigners, but the resorts needs staff like househouse keeping, restaurants, gardeners...,you name it. The package tourists may pay to the resorts, but the resorts ned to get the service mainly from locals. Busdrivers, workshops to repair and maintain the busses, souvenir markets, souvenir producers and importers, food suppliers that needs to hire staff. What goes on inside the resort does not give the picture of how it affects the local markets and people. What do You think is the most 'cost effective' visitor:

a bussload of package tourists visiting a souvenir markt or a single yacht crew on 'budget'?

I live on a tourist island myself and is quite close to tourist activities including yachties.Adding my land based experience to my cruising experience I am sad to say that cruisers in general looses out when it comes to adding econmic value. Do they order parts etc through the local shops for repairs? Not unless it is a standard shelf part. Instruments and electronics are 'popular' items due to frequent lightening and thunder, but the variety of instruments, types, brands etc they normally have to be specially ordered. Yachties goes the 'cheapest' way: internet and mail from 'home'. Do they hire locals to do work onboard? More yachties seems to work on other boats to earn some dollars and those who hires preferrs yachtie fellows before locals.

I'm sorry, but to my experience the average yachtie does not give much of value back to the local community. I'm not saying all, I do not want this to be some sort of downgrading the yachties, just a summary of experiences.

Let me mention one 'incident' of personal experience. I still have my boat moored at the local yacht club, and paying my monthly bill which is not cheap. At the beginning I had he shore-power connected, but hardly used it. Then my power bill started climbing. It prooved out to be another yachtie a few boats away that during night connected to my outlet, ran air-con and whatever from my outlet instead of paying for his own! The same was the water tap. Again I will not say all, but considdering the number of yachties, it does not take many rotten eggs to give them all a bad name. Makes me sad for the good and honest ones, but they seem to get in minority.

Then we have the 'run aways'. It is not without reson that most slipps and haul-outs refuse to launch until all bills have been settled. On some places You may not even check out without haveing reciept of payment from local harbour authorities.

It is unfortunately the truth that yacties are getting less popuar a lot of places around the world, Fiji might just be the start.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:07 AM   #3
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I think Michael needs a different approach in his discusiions with the government. Leave the situation of today, that is a dead end. Try to switch it around and look at possibilities of how may yachts in the future generate positive to the economy and population?

Here in Langkawi, Malaysia, the government has made it a 'tax-free' island. The majority of yachts staying here is not the cruising yachts, but the long term stayers that keeps the yachts here permanently, then fly back home to Europe or Australia. Dropping by a couple of times a year with friends to cruise around. Theese kind of yachties/customers are quite different in both behavior and spending than the cruising yachtie. They want their boats looked after when not here, they shop before going cruising, they and their friends who comes along are much higher 'spenders' in the local community when here, and provides jobs when not here. Some spend a year or two before mooving on, some even settle down on the M2H programme.

But it all comes down to political will and interest.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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haffiman,

I wouldn't say those high enders who fly in for a week, or two are cruisers. That is a completely different type of sailor. Also in every facet of life you will find the sneak. I am not taking your comment as a knock, just an observation.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:20 PM   #5
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Cruiser Log is a site that caters specifically to cruising sailors. Some of our members are cruisers in waiting, some retired from active participation in the lifestyle; but by virtue of membership, all of us presumably subscribe to the cruising ethos.

Recently there has been comment on the economic worth and indeed the social worth of cruising sailors and the topic deserves some discussion.

Are we an economic liability to countries we visit or do we make a positive financial contribution?

Is it fair to expect cruising sailors to contribute more than any other citizen toward the economic well being of the countries we inhabit? Is it right that we be assessed purely on our economic worth?

Are we, as has been implied, the dregs of the social sailing set; an ill mannered bunch of cheapo's, who seek to sneak, cheat and dupe honest business people out of their profits?

Do we spend more in our society if we live in a house, or on a boat?

Is the legend of the 'grotty yottie' based on the behaviour of a few, at the expense of the majority?

Is the largely economic criticism of modern day cruisers based on a historic view of seagoing hippies of the 60's and 70's, and as such no longer relevent, as cruiser's average ages seem to be increasing along with their cruising budgets...or are we in fact still seen as a manipulative bunch of scruffy opportunists?

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Old 12-27-2007, 01:54 AM   #6
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Oh, David, what a can of worms you've opened for us to muck through

"Is it fair to expect cruising sailors to contribute more than any other citizen toward the economic well being of the countries we inhabit?"

Nobody ever said life was "fair" did they? It all comes down to who's in power and who those in power sympathize with. We can make the best of our situation and the situation for those around us, but, most things in this world aren't really "fair" IMHO.

"Is it right that we be assessed purely on our economic worth?"

What other attributes can one focus on that would point to cruisers in a positive light? In some places, it looks like cruisers add to the atmosphere with pretty boats bobbing in the harbor and lively stories in the bars. Further, if the cruisers go places seldom frequented by tourists, their money can really help the local economies. In other places, the cruiser-laden boats seem a little shabby compared to visiting cruise ships and super yachts...seeing cruisers hanging their laundry on deck and fixing their boats isn't what some folks want to see as they watch the sunset. There is an "atmosphere" point here--plus and minus--it depends on where you go.

"Are we, as has been implied, the dregs of the social sailing set; an ill mannered bunch of cheapo's, who seek to sneak, cheat and dupe honest business people out of their profits?"

There are many, many wonderful people cruising! Both wealthy and not-- there are many wonderful people. Sadly, there are way too many stories out there about cruisers who are barely making it...and desperate people do desperate things on the edge of legal and/or ethical. I hate those stories about scamming, theft and know some are really true. It doesn't help the cruisers' image at all.

"Do we spend more in our society if we live in a house, or on a boat?"

The real question is "do we consume more than what we contribute to our society?" Internationally, I don't know. The perception in the USA is that those who own houses contribute "the most" (presumed via property taxes) and those who rent homes or do such things as live on boats/do anything else...well they're sub-class. I know a live-aboard sailor and wife sold their house in an affluent San Diego county community and bought their boat last year. They desired to stay in San Diego while their daughter finishes high school--unfortunately for them once they moved aboard, the only school that the daughter could go to was the school (hard to get to very far away from where their boat was moored) where "all the other homeless kids" are authorized to go to...its not one of the better schools in San Diego. They moved up to a mooring in Newport Beach, CA where their daughter can go to a good school, but, the attitude about the live-aboard (not cruiser) boat families in San Diego is very negative. I suspect its this way world wide.

"Is the legend of the 'grotty yottie' based on the behaviour of a few, at the expense of the majority? "

Yes.

"Is the largely economic criticism of modern day cruisers based on a historic view of seagoing hippies of the 60's and 70's, and as such no longer relevent, as cruiser's average ages seem to be increasing along with their cruising budgets...or are we in fact still seen as a manipulative bunch of scruffy opportunists?"

I believe there are more affluent cruisers out there--its the story in the USA of the average Harley rider today--middle aged upper middle class...

but, David, the unfortunate thing is that in the USA, there are too many people running away from things as they pick up cruising. It's not about only about travel and seeing the world for all cruisers. The natural attitude of some people is to value self above society, thus, we find an unwelcome personality among cruisers as the very act of cruising is seen, by some of these people, as "getting away" from it all (e.g. social responsibilities included). I shouldn't get going on this because it upsets me to see the results of this attitude. Self centered people are the epitome of manipulative opportunists (scruffy or not).

To all the wonderful cruisers out there--keep being wonderful and push back this awful attitude that comes from those "other" types.

Take care
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:30 AM   #7
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Because Peter and I travel so slowly, staying in places we like for months, sometimes returning year after year, we get to know the locals a bit more than the majority of cruisers. We are also left behind by the average cruiser as they continue on their way to the next segment of their planned circumnavigation, so we see more of them come and go.

You're right that the resort-visiting, one- or two-week vacation/spend-like-a-drunken-sailor tourist spends a bunch of money, and consumes a great deal of support. However, what are the majority of workers? Chambermaids, waiters, waitresses, gardeners. In other words, the underclass. They buy souvenirs, junk stuff, but they aren't purchasers of consumer goods, things that the local populace need and buy. The tourist industry doesn't contribute to the development of a strong infrastructure.

Cruising yachts also have need of the day laborers, but almost everything that is on the boat will at some time or another need replacement or repair. The refrigeration, engine, appliances, galley hardware, gaskets, wiring, all the components that keep their home running. Different, perhaps, from the residents of the country they are visiting, but not by much. They have the need for more skilled workers, and the tradesmen. The most self-sufficient yachtsman will still need the services of skilled technicians at some time or another. Thus the yacht helps support the infrastructure that a developing country needs to keep its citizens happy.

I find it tiresome to hear the same old, "cruisers are deadbeats and scalliwags, only interested in freebies." Yes, they are more likely to anchor out rather than stay in a marina, but that's no sin. The caribbean in its early years had very few marinas, and that just meant that cruisers could spend more on food, spirits, and dining out. The absence of marinas meant that waterfront property was used for resorts and expensive condominiums. Not necessarily a good thing, perhaps, but it keeps the developers and high rollers occupied.

Trinidad more than 20 years ago discouraged tourism. Their then Prime Minister said he didn't want a country of waiters and chambermaids. Trinidad has a populace that is a bit prouder than most other English-speaking islands in the Caribbean.

For these reasons I am more positive about the influences of cruising yachts on the local economy.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:58 AM   #8
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First of all I did not intennionally start this thresd, it was moved by a moderator from another thread. I would have appreciated if he had started wth a short note that this was a 'mooved' post.

But what is a cruiser? When does he change from being a normal holiday sailor to a cruiser? Does it have to be a full time 'live onboard', or might it be someone that moves from place to place on a couple of months a year?

To me there is no big difference. You have the 'good' ones and the 'bad' ones both among the local sailors and those who crosses the oceans.

Unfortunately the 'bad' ones are those who are most easily spotted and gives cruisers in general a questionable reputation.

What is a 'bad' cuisr? I mentioned some incidents above, but there are a few more. Have a lok at behavior at fuel docks. How concidderate are sailors to others? 50 liters of diesel, 200L of water (free), then they stay on clearing rig and deck, washing down boat etc, but hardly ever cares about other people waiting to get in. Once tied up, they 'own' the marina. Sometimes I wonder if the same people when filling their cars do a complete wash and polish in front of the fuel pumps, then leaves it and goes shopping in the near by supermarket? I have even experienced people taking their engines appart making it un-movable and the leave to get spares.

Then we have those going ashore after dark and returning with a banana stock and even a couple of chickens. The bananas were just 'hanging around', and the chickens running loose? On top of all some even brags about it on their web sites: I'm a night thief!

On the other hand is a 'bad' one someone that puts up a sign on deck:' Sail repair' or 'Engine Mechanic' taking business from shore based services? No, i do not think so. A lot of places I visited the shore based service was run by x-cruisers that had settled own and started businesses that would never had been there without them. And quite some of them had started out as 'floating service'.

Cruisers give and cruisers take. Some takes a bit too much, and that is the problem that affect all cruisers. A bit more self-justice in the cruising community would not harm. Stop cheering at the 'bad guy' bragging all over at happy hour how he got it all for 'free', he did not - You are paying!
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:08 AM   #9
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This kind of discussion really bugs me.

Let's be honest: there are good and bad in all walks of life just as there are good and bad cruisers. The vast majority of cruisers are, however, good, hard working people who have managed to scrimp and save, perhaps even selling their homes along the way, in order to finance their voyages of discovery.

Comparing cruisers with tourists is, to some degree, unfair. Of course I think someone jetting in to a holiday destination should pay more. After all they are using far more fuel, their envirionmental impact is generally much greater, ATC has to be paid, as do landing fees, baggage handling etc. Compared to this, the average cruiser uses a waterway which, in most cases was created by mother nature herself.

This is a forum for cruising sailors, perspective cruising sailors and those with an interest in that lifestyle. As a forum, I believe we take our responsibilities very seriously. Read some of the debates we have had in the past and you will soon find this to be the case. Part of taking our responsibilities seriously is to condemn irresponsible and thoughtless deeds committed by sailors. This is something we do thus making a point here that SOME sailors are night thieves is totally superfluous. In this respect, you are preaching to the converted and the debate is a non issue. In fact, there is no debate.

The statement "Cruisers give and cruisers take. Some takes a bit too much, and that is the problem that affect all cruisers. A bit more self-justice in the cruising community would not harm. Stop cheering at the 'bad guy' bragging all over at happy hour how he got it all for 'free', he did not - You are paying! " indicates, to me, the intention of this post was to throw down the gauntlet and create a hostile climate and argument, this because this forum is already critical of irresponsible actions be they undertaken by cruisers or others. There is no one here cheering the "bad guy".

Finally, with regard to justice (see the quote above), I am sure that you are aware that justice is based upon law and can only be admistered by those with the right, authority and responsibility so to do. Without these prerequisites any effort by cruisers to self-justice would be an illegal action and thus, most certainly unsupported in this forum. You, on the other hand, will find us more than willing to encourage self-control.

So, having offered my opinion, why did the post bug me ? Simply because this is the wrong forum. Those of us who regularly read and / or contribute to this forum already are aware of the importance of the all encompassing term GOOD SEAMANSHIP, part of which is paying your way but also reacting when being ripped off by those who regard sailors as a gold mine.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:29 PM   #10
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"First of all I did not intennionally start this thresd, it was moved by a moderator from another thread. I would have appreciated if he had started wth a short note that this was a 'mooved' post."

I apologize for failing to put such a note at the beginning of this thread, but by the time the move was completed it was late and I left things for the next day. By then enough people had found it here that I just let it go. Sorry. However, one reason I wanted this subject moved from the information thread on which it was originally posted was because the political situation in Fiji is more complex than is evident at first glance, and your comments were not relevant to the issues there and were causing a distraction from the purpose of the thread.

Stephen, I agree that this painting all cruisers with the brush of the deadbeat and scalliwag is irritating and unnecessary on this forum. It is unnecessary on any forum. I see, all the time, everywhere, land people doing the same, or worse. There is only one country that we've visited where I consider the culture to encourage dishonesty and exploitation of others, and even there I found kind, lovely, honest people. I have not ever said that XYZ country or island is inhabited by nothing but thieves and scalliwags. I don't call a country's people dishonest just because something was stolen off my boat, or my backpack was picked by some bold thief. I know that to do so towards cruisers is just as wrong.

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Old 12-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #11
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What I don't understand is what Haffiman is. From what I could see from your website, you aren't really a cruiser. It looks more like you used your sailboat like a pullman train to get from Norway to Malaysia with very few stops along the way. 15 months is not a very long time to spend sailing more than halfway around the world and I don't get the impression that you identify with cruisers at all.

Did you stay any place long enough to get to know any of the cruisers you met? Your description of cruisers is not very flattering and from my cockpit does not sound quite true.

You seem to have met as many floating bums in your short 15 months than anybody I know has met in 15 years. Are you sure you're not one of those guys who is disappointed that the boat owners arriving in your town are too cheap to buy your little store's souveniers? Or do they complain that you charge too much for everything?
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:20 PM   #12
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I am wondering if popcorn will be needed for this thread?????????
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:08 AM   #13
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IMHO

I think what Hoffilman is refering to is actions like thease guys http://befreebirds.blogspot.com/2007/12/oc...ember-2007.html [Edit by "Lighthouse". Warning - some "blue" language]

I have yet to start my cruising life and reading self gloating websites like this make me sick. And makes it hard for me/all of us to fly our great flag with pride in foreign ports.

Now I know this is not the norm and so do you all, but it is obvously out there, so I guess I dont understand the hostility refruiting it. It is some thing I'm going to have to except that my ideal preception of camararderie and trust amongst fellow sailers reather crusiers or not is but nieve and childish.

We will always have dregs of socity amongst the noble no mater which vein of socioty we occupy.

As a kid we use to be able to ride our bikes or walk the streets of small towns without fear or our parents fearing, well thoes days are gone and Parents have had to make ajustments in allowabal activities for the safty of their/our kids.

We may also have to except the fact that we on a whole are not as well manared as we use to be as a cruising socity either, not individually but percentage wise. I know I we sure dont get the friendly waves of 30 years ago from fellow boaters, be it sail or power.

If a anchorage sees one bad apple per year it is blowen off. If they see one once a month it becomes an issue.

Thease are just MHO

Please forgive my spelling , I have no spellcheck
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
I think what Hoffilman is refering to is actions like thease guys http://befreebirds.blogspot.com/2007/12/oc...ember-2007.html [Edit by "Lighthouse". Warning - some "blue" language]
I hope the whole world finds out about the yacht "FREEBIRDS", and that they get what is due to them - and they will!

Their guestbook already shows what real cruisers think of them.
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