Where are we headed

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 18:57
ThreadID: 19182 Views:2226 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
This Thread has been Archived
From my observation there are many parallels between the four-wheel drive scene as it is today and the amateur yachting scene as it was in the seventies. It has become a lucrative industry feeding in large part on perception and image rather than reality.
Otherwise sane, intelligent, shrewd and analytical people came apart at the seams and put at risk resources, careers and relationships to chase a romantic dream, which was in large part based on information gained by reading the promoted literature of the day. This ranged from the writings of Joshua Slocum to that most insidious propaganda tool, the monthly yachting magazine. The newsagent’s shelves were stacked with these and the victim was spoiled for choice of titles if not content at the height of the golden years. These magazines were of course driven solely by advertising and circulation figures. As the same few syndicated writers contributed to most of them and they were vying for the same advertising dollar there was precious real difference between them, and the true interests of the readers were way down the priority list if considered at all. Their strident editorial comment was outwardly independent opinion but was in fact a reflection of the majority opinion of its readers and written from the point of view of its advertisers. As time went by and their circulation numbers rose there was less and less technical content and more froth with each issue. If this sounds familiar could you not draw a parallel using Len Beadle or the Bush Tucker Man and the current crop of 4X4 magazines?
The results of this were amazing. Any protected piece of available sheltered coastline within commercial distance of a yacht chandler or boat books franchise was a potential Marina, these filled with expensive show ponies few of which ever made more than the occasional Saturday afternoon trip out of the harbour mouth. Take a look under the average 4X4 luxo cruiser and see if you can find any stone chips. Boat building boomed. It was not out of the norm to see a construction larger than the house suddenly start growing in your neighbors yard. The new cruising yacht. This was in many cases the project of a guy who until the week before could not replace a hinge on the garden gate. Tafe courses were at a premium. Intractable opinion and absolute conviction matched only by a chronic lack of real world experience led to arguments relating to the merits of one construction material, design, rig or diesel engine over another which lasted until booze ran out or fatigue set in. Toyota – Nissan debate anyone, or you could really fuel the fire and throw a defender in, the concrete boat factor.
There was in the middle of this euphoria of course a few real Yachtsmen, who over years with few facilities and their own hard won experience and resourcefulness had, in tough practical small craft along with remarkable mates overcome the real difficulties and made fantastic voyages which rewarded them with the experiences and the isolation they preferred. They were the real losers. What had been was replaced with the inevitable problems, rules and commercialism catering to a much less able and differently motivated group. Groups of yachts whose owners skills existed only in their minds were shepherded by experienced guides to visit the remote and isolated spots they had read about, of course the fact that the isolation evaporated the instant they arrived was lost on them. Public toilets and Marina fees to follow. The focus had shifted completely from the voyage and destination to the boat itself, its image and place as a status symbol.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 20:28

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 20:28
a very interesting parable and unfortunately pretty close to the truth 1 of the reasons i stopped my subscription to said mag about 2 yrs ago

AnswerID: 91963

Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 20:51

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 20:51
I stopped buying the magazines as I find no value in them any longer

They are still building marinas in Australia and selling even more 4x4's. And yes there are lots of staus symbols in the city. Out where I live we view the 4x4 as a more practical tool
AnswerID: 91966

Reply By: Karsten from Birdsville Studio - Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 10:01

Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 10:01
Here, here Willem......But I must say, as far as yachts are concerned, atleast they're quiet....
AnswerID: 92022

Reply By: ianmc - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 00:51

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 00:51
Sounds like a disgruntled arm chair observer Lindsay eh!
I built & raced a few small dinghies with my eldest son for quite a few years.
Had a great time, made lots of small boat friends, down to earth people & usually sold the boat I built with midnight oil raising enough to build the next race winner,
(as if!) Nuthin like a screaming spinnaker run in 35 knots in a little boat!
Due to finances nowadays I stick to an economical old tech ute which has done bush, beaches & hills & is an everyday driver too & pretty happy about it. f I had the bickies I dont know what plastic fantistic I would buy in 4bys!
Now the 4bys are becoming more exotic the tracks are being closed in lots of places
and the service costs are scarey, well to me, let alone the depreciation.
Poor me, I dont even have to worry about damaged plastics or dysfunctional electronics!
AnswerID: 92111

Follow Up By: Member - Lindsay S (Int) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 01:34

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 01:34
Even worse ianmc! disgruntled ex owner of a steel fabrication business which relied on the yuppie dollar of the eighties which was never supposed to end. I know how much fun dinghies can be, in fact the most fun I ever had wet was in an old GP14 as a kid. The point I make is that we need to try and learn the odd lesson from the past as history is repeating itself here in certain respects. The biggest threat to the unique privilage we have, compared to the rest of this overcrowded planet, in having access to what Australia has to offer is our own choice of pastime. This is to my pessimistic view compounded by the hype driven 4X4 industry. It would be unlikely but gratifying for the content of the mass circulation magazines to try and include a bit of toilet training between the headlong rush to sell winches and difflocks in an attempt to lessen the impact and remove some of the understandable reasons for track closures and ever icreasing restrictions.
FollowupID: 350916

Reply By: ianmc - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 22:55

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 22:55
History proves that we forget ( or are never taught) the lessons from the past
& have to keep repeating them till we find to our amazement that its all happened before.
Big & powerful people who remain largely invisible to most have grand plans for the sheeple & I am sure that part of it is not the freedom to roam as we wish so long as we dont upset anyone. The plan of gradualism which is being implemented as its name suggests over a long time so as to go largely unnoticed until we one day wonder what the heck has happened. Goerge Orwell should have been compulsory reading after it was written. Now it too is past history.
As for the euro diesels I dont think they would be on market in Europe unless they were very clean due to their very tight emission controls.
In any case the solution may be at hand and a very tough one to stomach for some
who have high debt to equity, & victims of those whose only means of adjusting the extremes of supply & demand is thru interest rate hikes, blaming the sheeple for the excesses generated thru the same lot who have encouraged taking out loans with minimal security & free to adjust their charges ever upwards whenever they wish & pressing us to borrow more to buy goods made cheaply in third world countries & sold at great profit in OZ. Look at the crash of 1933 wherein these same financial elite ended up owning most of what they wanted then reprimed the pump with more debt(lending) of money which didnt exist to place us back in their control for profit.
In the meantime enjoy your treks while U can.
AnswerID: 92284

Reply By: Skinny- Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 12:38

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 12:38
Phaedrus, I just don't want to know. i don't want to know. I don't want to know. They say that humans like to congregate together, we can't stay away. Well I want to, I want to get away......oh how I hate that everything I love is becoming popular.
Yet not by avid lovers of the stuff, but people who think that to have a good time doing something or to be good at something you just throw a fist full of dollars at it .
Those travel shows anoy the hell out of me. How much can I endulge, a massage a huge seafood meal and paying overpriced prices for a cold beer.
What happened to simple things at prices people could afford without borrowing from the banks.
I don't want to know. sorry for the dump.

AnswerID: 93580

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)