On keeping up/coexisting with the Joneses…

It’s been pointed out to me on many occasions that the whole concept of VolksCruisers puts some folks at a real disadvantage in the social context of cruising. Many have even suggested/demanded that I should come up with some, shall we say “cunning”, ways to make a VolksCruiser more socially acceptable.


I can only go by what has been my personal experience but I’ve never seen any real issues experienced by folks on smaller than average sustainable cruising boats. Sure, within the cruising community, there’s no shortage of cliques, posses, and assholes that you might find yourself in an anchorage with but they don’t seem to have a thing against folks of the VolksCruiser persuasion.

Some time ago I had a very enlightening dialog with someone who wondered why so many low budget cruisers seemed to shun various social invitations to hang out with them at potlucks and dinners ashore.When I pointed out that the folks she was inviting may not have been on the same sort of budget that they were on she thought about it for a bit and then said…

“I just thought they didn’t like us.”

Face it, if there is one universal trait that all humans share is that we’re, to some extent or another, insecure. Being invited to a group function where you don’t know anyone can be stressful and if you throw in the fact that by doing so it might disrupt your budget in a big way the easiest way to deal with it is simply to find an excuse not to go.

Of course, the person giving the invitation may take the decline of the invitation personally which can lead to something akin to friction. Which has zero to do with what sort of boat you might have but it does have a lot to do with general human interaction.

Most people on bigger and more expensive cruising boats tend to be a bit tone-deaf where money is concerned and often assume everyone tends to be on their level. I’ve often had advice that I should add “inexpensive” gear to my boat which is far from inexpensive. In fact, just a couple of days ago, a reader of Boat Bits wanted my opinion of the Colligo ELHF and was surprised when I pointed out that it looked excellent but was way beyond what I’m willing to pay for but that a less expensive DIY clone is very much on my project list.

Which also might be a good time to point out  that a lot of upscale cruisers are living way beyond their means but hiding the fact because, being a bit insecure like all of us, tend to hide their budget concerns as they’re afraid that people will think less of them.

On the subjects of cliques and posses being a problem for VolksCruisers you have to realize that it’s not about VolksCruisers, at all and cliques and posses are, by their very nature, unwelcoming to all outsiders.

The bottom line is really that everyone is too worried about what everyone else thinks of them to be anti-VolksCruiser in any kind of systematic way.

On the other hand, where the marine trades are concerned, it is a whole different kettle of rotten fish which we’ll talk about later in the week…

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1 thought on “On keeping up/coexisting with the Joneses…”

  1. Paint goes a long way to making an older boat look good. People will think you are crazy but in a good way of you describe your boat as "vintage" or "antique". It says I have this boat because it is what I want. It also deflects a lot of upgrade suggestions with "that would not fit with the era of this boat". The other thing that works quite well is "I love the work boat aesthetic I have been able to achieve." As for paint, exterior grade house paint works just fine, I use "porch" paint, preferring to use one of the premixed colours available. I aim for the looks good from 10feet away as good enough. I have no comments on bottom paint due to the lack of experience a trailer boater has.

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