It is an interesting phenomenon. Our next door neighbor has, to our knowledge, never been on a sailboat in his life, though he briefly owned a 12’ fishing boat, yet he is an avid subscriber to S/V Delos! When Delos visited Camden, we loaned Brian and Kaza our car, and when they returned it our neighbor was thrilled to meet them, proudly wearing his Delos t-shirt. I give the Delos crew high marks for great production quality and some occasional insights into the less than perfect days one encounters as a full time cruiser.
Do vblogs lead to more boat sales? I would say yes. Which is great for the industry, including brokers for pre-owned boats but what is the effect on those who buy them? My son-in-law (land-locked in Rochester and busy with work and family) was an early follower of La Vagabond. He said I should check their blog out. I did, and actually did meet them in Antigua a few times. Our ketch, Kalunamoo, was actually in the background on one of their videos in Deep Bay. In any case, my son-in-law proposed that I buy a big cat so we could all go off sailing together. We have been living aboard and cruising the Caribbean for 10 years so I knew what would be involved.
My son-in-law and daughter have been down aboard Kalunamoo a few times and after some time they realized the “life-style” was not for them. For a vacation? Sure, but to spend a half a million?
So, I guess what I’m saying is that the vblogs are great selling tools for the industry but I wonder how many buyers will have “buyers regrets”? Do they really convey the experience of cruising long term (after a 60 minute view, its back to a comfortable house)? This is to say nothing of the lack of experience or knowledge that only comes from experiences (which is a whole other issue). What do they say – the grass is always greener…the beach is always better on the other side?
George, hope to see you in Antigua. I hear you will crew for our friend Bob on Pandora in November. We plan to sail up from Trinidad to join the Salty Dawgs.
Bill & Maureen
The first year or two of vloggers were good and could have been inspirational. However, as time passed, commercialization, sponsorship, drama, Patreon, YouTube, $1,000,000 checks, all crept in.
Now episodes are very predictable with little or no entertainment value. Also lots of “adventures” seductive pretty girls. The enticement is wrong. The determination of female sailing teams facing obstacles on land and sea is commendable and deserves greater recognition.
And just like a lottery, vlogs are inspiring new sailors to unobtainable riches, self proclaimed fame, meaningless adventures. Boat brokers have to be loving it.
How many times can an inexperienced vlogger sail to the Bahamas? A real sailor would take on a Bahama sail without all of the crushing chest beating and posture damaging pats on the back. Then when finished, look for the next challenge. The sail logs would tell the real story.
Just $0.02’s worth (actually $0.002 when adjusted for inflation).