The other day in the comment section a classic debate started brewing about Boomers and how Millennials and Gen Z don’t want to collect anything. As a marketing professional, I thought mmmm? That makes no sense. Generations of course have differing interests and as a group can effect things, but the collecting gene? That’s baked in. Part of human software. I recall my oldest son at age 2 collecting ALL the Snow White Dwarfs. Or Little Miners now in our PC world.
My other son a Gen Zer is making a good living collecting, and curating things from the past as art with this business LOWTIMERS .In fact there is a huge movement among Gen Zers to the simplicity of our analog past. Old Typewriters, Vinyl Records, the list goes on and on. The difference is how they view it all. I have talked about this since the start of Woody Boater, They see our childhood memories as art. Not a boat, or an old record, but art. Pure art.
So what in the hell does this have to do with boats? Everything. Your childhood dream of owning a boat is going to die with you. Sorry. DEAD. But if you think about your classic boat as art, YES ART, then you will enjoy it, and see things in it that you didn’t see before. And yes, its value will increase, not be worth what it was before it was restored. Cause you spent 50K on an old outboard. Where as the ratty original is worth more because it hold the image of authenticity.
Here is the bottom line. Its simple. As Millennials, start buying second homes, or because they can move to the water and work from home the ones that appreciate life as an art form, will be attracted to classic boats vs a new plastic pile of crap. Because one is a statement of art, and the other is.. Well. just a boat. If you think I have left the planet and spewing intellectual crap here. Its just a dam boat.. Well, here is a 101 on what art is.
What are six functions that art fulfills?
The six functions are:
Art for Delight – A Simple Boat Ride, the smell of gas , oil, and air all surrounded by the glory of varnished wood.
Art as Commentary – I reject new for new sake, I see nature in my boat. My boat is the only one welcome on the water. I appreciate history and simplicity
Art in Worship and Ritual – BOAT SHOWS and all they include.
Art for Commemoration – Restoration of the process, why we use varnish not modern materials. Our Woody Boats can just sit there in a mall and commemorate our history of our industrial revolution.
Art for Persuasion – Why we all love Chris Crafts, they understood this, and used imagery of our boats and babes as a lifestyle. BRANDING
Art as Self-Expression – Take your pontoon boat mini van and stick it. You jet ski tool! Need I say more..
Mmmmm, you can say each one of these about a Woody Boat, Classic Car and so on. These are generational truths that are timeless. So does this explain why Triples are less now? No. Maybe its the hard fact that restoration costs more than the art is worth, because one other truth is Art is at the top of ones needs. Only after you have secured your basics of a roof and food, do you look for more emotionally driven things to make you happy.
So in conclusion, thank god. Its not generational, but more needs driven. What people collect is related to position in lifes pyramid and what interests them as art. Sorry, this is a lot for a Sunday Morning. Imagine having to write it. Dang, I am going to back to sleep now. Since I cant go out for an art ride!