Saving Sailing

Saving Sailing, by Nicholas D. Hayes

Saving Sailing:
The Story of Choices, Families,
Time Commitments,
How We Can Create a Better Future

by Nicholas D. Hayes

Crickhollow Books • 2009
Trade Softcover (with gatefold flaps)
240 pages • 5.5” x 8”
Outdoor Recreation / Sailing
$22 • ISBN 978-1-933987-07-1
$12.99 eBook

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Book of the Year Award
Adventure/Recreation category, Finalist, 2009

Living Now Book Award
Outdoor Recreation, Silver Medal, 2009

“. . . scores high for readability, beautifully capturing the essence of why we sail.”
WindCheck Magazine

“. . . an engaging and thoughtful read. . . . [T]he lessons taught can be understood and utilized by every family regardless of their personal pastimes.”
– John Arndt, Latitude 38

“A fast-moving intellectual journey . . . guides us to a conclusion that floats on a buoyant platform of instantly recognizable common sense and leaves us wanting to go sailing with friends . . . right now.”
– Bill Schanen, Sailing Magazine


Participation in sailing is declining in America, down more than 40% since 1997 and 70% since 1979. In this wide-ranging book, researcher and avid sailor Nicholas Hayes explains why.

The book shows how pressures on free time have increased, and how, in response, many Americans have turned to less rewarding forms of spectator or highly structured activities and away from lifelong, family-based, multi-generational recreation.

Saving Sailing builds a case for choosing how to spend free time better, using it to seek quality experiences with families and friends through lifelong pastimes like sailing.

The main challenge, he suggests, is to develop an active system of mentoring, especially between generations. The book offers helpful suggestions for how we might rethink our own priorities.

The lessons are broader than sailing, with useful ideas for all parents, for anyone seeking to strengthen the social fabric of American communities, and for those involved in programming for youth and adult activities.


Nick Hayes is a market researcher and partner at the consulting firm FiveTwelve Group, and is active in the Milwaukee sailing scene. He has studied sailing, sailors, and sailing clubs for years, and interviewed over 1,200 sailors worldwide since 2003 for this book. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.