This is an excellent thread and contains a lot of information I've wondered about as well. I'm 24 and bought my 1982 Catalina 25 (same birth year as myself
) the first week of January this year (2006, since some may read this in a few days, 07). It has been a childhood dream that I made happen. It doesn't seem like I've been sailing her for a year already, but I have had some awesome times sailing out on the Chesapeake. I have also learned so much and it is funny to look back at my early days.
I too have always been wondering why there aren't more people of my age range into sailing. I agree it isn't exactly cheap to own a sailboat, but it doesn't have to be that expensive either. Those bar tabs that so many people my age rack up monthly can cost the same as it costs me to own my C-25. Personally, I would much rather being sailing than partying every Friday and Saturday night. I think some of us just have different priorities, but I still do enjoy going out every so often. I know I'm fortunate to be where I am today, but it took hard work, especially when I worked two jobs and went to college full time.
I am now seriously thinking about cruising full time. I have an alright job, it pays, but sitting in an office really isn't that appealing. Then factor in I only get 5 days of vacation a year?! I think there is a lot more to life and this year I have found how much I love sailing. If I cruise, I most likely will upgrade to a larger, stronger boat, but after reading about "AfterBlue Sailaway" in their blog, maybe starting out in my C-25 could work since their's was a 25 footer too. If I started my cruising in my Catalina, I would remain coastal and take the ICW down to FL. Maybe down there I would then choose to buy a larger boat for cruising offshore if I really enjoyed it. I am doing lots of reading and trying to plan things out. At the earliest I think it would be in about a year, but to buy a larger boat then it probably wouldn't be for maybe 3 years from now. I'm setting my goals now and trying to figure it out. The main problem is the financial aspect. I don't want to cruise and then have it screw over my future.
If I do cruise full time, I may end up single handling most of it. I might try to meet some others to help me crew. I have also thought about if I would be a minority being young at most cruising destinations. I want to meet other people in my age range that sail, but it's hard when you live in northern VA and the bay is 1.5 hours away. Rarely will you meet someone that sails, not to mention even being in my age range. As someone else mentioned forming a club. I've thought of maybe trying to create some kind of organization and promote sailing to the younger generations.
Well, I'm definitely enjoying reading many of the blogs/sites and these forums to learn about pursuing my sailing dreams. If anyone wants to check out my sailblog, here it is:
Happy New Year!