They are still sailboats! Solar makes a lot of sense, silent and worry free and now with Lithium ion batteries a lot lighter than in my time when all that was available was lead acid which also need more maintenance. Wind generators are feasible but noisy and dangerous, specially during storms, they can easily cut off an arm if you are not careful. One important development are the flexible solar panels that can be built onto the sails, there is not enough area on small sailboats for rigid solar panels. My boat had one rigid and one flexible solar panel and a small windmill that was mostly PITA.
There are other ways to make the boat ‘renewable.’ I had two autopilots, one electric and the other wind operated. The electric one was mostly wasted money.
The first boat they talked about was a 42 footer. Mine was a 38 which I considered the minimum for creature comforts while 42 was the maximum I could handle solo. Even if you have crew it’s good to be able to sail solo. I had dreams of circumnavigating but my sailing buddy sadly died of cancer. It’s very difficult to find compatible crew for long distance sailing. Most cruisers are couples. After my buddy died I tried lots of crews but ended sailing solo which is quite an experience. It was also my last sail.
If you can do it, traveling to a big boat show would be very interesting.
Not really. I started sailing in college at age 19 and stopped at over 70. I sold my boat around 2010 and the beach condo in 2015. A boat show would just be nostalgia. I prefer looking to the future and sailing is not in the cards.
By the way, I am trying to decide if I should attempt to get my Florida Electrical contractors licence or take a sales support engineering position at Enphase. The changes I see coming in fixed battery and solar are so big that even at my advanced age the pay back is compelling.
Back in 1977 I met a Ph.D. rocket scientist in St. Thomas, USVI, who had been let go by NASA when some of their programs were cancelled. He owned a Chinese Junk and was freelancing as an electrician on the docks. I have no idea if that required a licence or not. On St. Croix I met an ex IBM sales rep like myself who took tourists to St. John, a little islands nearby on his sailboat Mongoose. At the time I was trying to find out what retirement as a beach bum might be like. His short answer, “The same effing rat race!” By around 2010 I had my fill of sailing. I was just doing websites.
BTW, it’s wonderful to watch the little kids who are raised on boats, incredibly independent and self reliant!
Yes, the end of fossil fuel era is nigh.