I was 13 when I started cruising and made my first solo trans-Atlantic when I was 21 in 1974. I have been living on my own boats since then and still manage to sail quite a bit. My most recent trip was to Bermuda last year and in 07 I am sailing to Greenland. Over the years I have run across a lot of young people sailing and your age is not that unusual.
I think itís important to have a job you enjoy and forget about the money. I make a living in a boating related business and I have since I was a kid. You might learn to do repair work on engines and boats and earn money while sailing by working on other boats and doing some yacht deliveries.
Some of the things I do now are teaching sailing and boatbuilding to children. Our web site is www.fisheriestrust.org
Good luck and all the best,