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Where the yachties come from

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The real New Zealand yachties are nothing like the America’s Cup crew that has been featuring in the 35th cup challenge in Bermuda recently, according to Maritime NZ Statistics.

The numbers show real New Zealand yachties are mostly old men. They are certainly more decrepit than the young sun-bronzed athletes flicking their carbon fibre, foiling catamarans about Bermuda’s Great Sound over recent weeks.

Yachties are 71 per cent male, with 79 per cent of them aged over 35 and 34 per cent older than 65. Eighty per cent of them identify as NZ European.

On the plus side the statistics show yachties are the most experienced and most qualified boaties on the water.

There are more than 90,000 yachts in the country and many people sail on yachts owned by friends or family, says Maritime NZ director Keith Manch.

For those wanting to make a long trip, New Zealand has 14,000km of coastline to sail around, and there are also lots of boating on rivers and lakes.

Yachties tend to be experienced boaties with 56 per cent of them sailing for 20 years or more - and the most qualified, with nearly half of them, 47 per cent, having completed a formal boating education course.

Forty percent of yachties live in Auckland, while 15 per cent reside in Canterbury and 12 per cent in the Bay of Plenty.

Most yachties (46 per cent) go sailing in Auckland, but Northland (23 per cent) and the Bay of Plenty (18 per cent) are also popular.

They mostly go sailing 2km or more offshore (43 per cent), between 500m and 2km offshore (39 per cent) or within a harbour area (37 per cent).

Maritime NZ’s most recent statistics about recreational boating participation were amassed from 2015-16, one of New Zealand’s hottest summers, and when 51 per cent of kiwis took to the water in recreational boats at least once a month.

Even with worse weather last summer 2016/17 the as yet incomplete statistics are still likely to show more than 40 per cent of kiwis took to the water in boats, says Keith.

“The number of boaties is likely to be increasing over time, allowing for good and bad summers,” says Keith. “That means more people needing to learn how to be safe on the water.

“The boating code is simple and saves lives:

·         Wear your lifejacket – this is the single most important thing to help boaties stay safe on the water

·         Take two waterproof ways to call for help – if you can’t tell anyone you are in trouble, then no one knows to rescue you

·         Check the marine weather forecast – the weather over the sea is different, especially the wind

·         Avoid alcohol – you wouldn’t drink and drive, don’t drink and sail

·         Be a responsible skipper – know the rules, take some lessons with the Coastguard or a boat club and take care of your family and friends

The 2015-16 recreational boating research is on the Maritime NZ website.

Comments on SunLive

A lifetime sport.

Posted on 06-07-2017 18:43 | By waiknot

The stats show Yachting is a cradle to grave sport. What other sport has grandkids competing with dad, granddad and even great granddad together as a team.
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