Designer Ken Lange Develops Trailer-able Powerboat For Sailing Enthusiasts of All Ages

ventura 23 sailboat

Ventura 23 sailboat is a trailer-sailor designed to meet needs of both younger and older generation sailors with amenities usually seen on a larger boat

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With approximately 4.1 million U.S. participants last year alone, sailing is undoubtedly a beloved hobby for all generations. However, approximately 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices like canes to aid their mobility, and as people transition into their golden years, they may start to think that sailing is less accessible based on their mobility needs.

There are, however, a surprising number of sailboats designed with the older generation in mind, according to Phil Burgess, president of the Annapolis Institute and author of “Reboot! What To Do When Your Career Is Over But Your Life Isn’t.”

Burgess recently spoke with Ken Lange, designer and builder of a number of high end sailboats. His most recent creation, called the Ventura 23, is already in production. It’s a trailer-sailor on the larger end that has most of the camping-like amenities associated with a larger boat.

Lange said he developed the Ventura 23 specifically for both younger- and older-generation sailors.

“I love product design and development,” he told the Capital Gazette. “I designed this boat especially for young millennials and aging boomers.”

The creation seems timely, considering the fact that 26% of Boomers were planning to take domestic multi-generational trips (with three or more generations traveling together) in 2016. A boat that can handle the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of young adults and 20-something sailors while maintaining and prioritizing accessibility and ease of use for the older generation at the same time seems to be the perfect vessel for all sorts of family vacations and reunions.

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Features of Trailer-sailor Ventura 23 Sailboat

The Ventura 23 also has an essential feature that’s lacking on other similar models. It isn’t simply a trailer-sailor; Burgess refers to it as a ‘power sailor’ due to its water ballast design as opposed to having a heavy keel, which enhances stability while sailing. More advanced sailors, however, have the freedom to lower the sails, drain the water ballast and enable the engine of the 50-horsepower outboard of the sailor’s choosing. This gives the skipper the option to speed over waves at up to 20 miles per hour.

Of course, for the average family getaway, the Ventura 23 seems perfectly suited. Lange explains his inspiration behind the vessel’s design:

“Retiring boomers have cash and time. They are living longer and healthier. The trailering-sailing-powering approach has huge benefits. It reduces storage and slip fees. It allows for multiple locations and seasonal opportunity to explore other places. This is the perfect recreational vessel — a new kind of RV.”

Lange also noted that the Ventura 23 has the ability to serve as a camper on road trips and even as a shelter in harsh winter weather.

Lange’s life seems to emulate many sailing enthusiasts’ dream come true: he’s currently living on a Jeanneau 35. He calls the lifestyle “euphoric” and says it provides “access to that other world.”

Lange serves as a prime example of a hard worker who merged his profession with his lifelong hobby. And now, he’s making sure others can enjoy their sailing hobby no matter what stage they’re at in life.

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