Skip to main content

Will Obama bring about smooth sailing?

In today’s historic inauguration, president-elect Barack Obama shed the latter half of his title and became our nation’s 44th president. He enters office during an uncertain time both domestically and globally, as economies fizzle and international tensions swell. Citizens from Kenya to Calcutta will watch with anticipation as Obama’s presidency unfolds with a hefty agenda. No matter what their

In today’s historic inauguration, president-elect Barack Obama shed the latter half of his title and became our nation’s 44th president. He enters office during an uncertain time both domestically and globally, as economies fizzle and international tensions swell. Citizens from Kenya to Calcutta will watch with anticipation as Obama’s presidency unfolds with a hefty agenda. No matter what their occupation, they hope this new leader will address their personal agenda, and sailors are no different.

Former president George W. Bush laid a strong foundation for ocean conservation last month when he created the largest protected marine area in history. Though Obama has yet to address recreational boaters directly, his policies are also sure to affect all breeds of sailors. His economic policies coupled with the value he places on science and recreation will affect not only our nation, but our sport as well. Here’s what sailors can expect from our 44th president:

A Stronger Economy

His biggest undertaking could be sailing’s biggest catalyst. As people regain financial confidence, as Obama anticipates they will, sailors will again be able to put their money into recreation. Simultaneously, an improvement in the middle class could only mean good things for the boating industry where, according to the NMMA, the average boater makes $100,000 a year. Boatbuilding itself is a largely domestic industry so more water sports could help to stimulate our economy.

More renewable energy

Obama’s economic stimulus package called for a doubling of alternative energy. On board, this could mean improved propulsion and battery systems. At sea, it could mean more wind farms and more offshore oil rigs, energy sources Obama said he’d be willing to include in a “broader package of energy measures.”

Stricter Fuel Standards

An avid watersportsman from ocean-locked Hawaii, Obama is an advocate of lowering green house emissions to promote healthier seas. He hopes to increase fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles per gallon in the next ten years. Cleaning up our emissions is always a good thing, but the NMMA is lobbying Congress to ensure the new standards don’t inconvenience the 300 million Americans who tow their recreational vehicles.

More Research

The president promised to support government-sponsored research to “reverse the damage being done to oceans and coastal areas.” In a 2008 science-based debate, Obama promised to fight for cleaner oceans and coastal areas because he believes they are “American treasures.”

His presidency has hardly begun and already Obama has an ocean of exciting challenges before him. We’ll see how his course pans out.

Related

promo-2048x

Just Launched Mid-sized Cruisers

With so many manufacturers dreaming up bigger production boats, more and more mid-sized cruisers fall on the smaller end of their lines. However, “smaller” does not mean less, and the tricks for optimizing larger models have helped with squeezing more enjoyment into less LOA. As ...read more

05-DSC_0638

Charter: Lake Tahoe

A sail on Lake Tahoe has been on my bucket list since the day I first laid eyes on it, and come hell or high water, I decided I was going to someday charter a boat there. North America’s largest and deepest alpine lake, Tahoe sits at 6,225ft above sea level and straddles the ...read more

East-River-Rapids

Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and ...read more

LEAD-Celeste-in-the-Tuamotu

A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed ...read more

01-LEAD-IDECsport_180919_032

Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built ...read more

BVIFeetup

Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, ...read more

AdobeStock_455372159

A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen ...read more

00-Lead-549215sJL2uLEa

Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of ...read more