Re: Where are the younger people?
I'll agree that there are fewer younger people sailing. I'm...lemme think...59, and I got my first sailboat, a 16 foot daysailer, when I was 21. Bought it used, and towed it behind my Ford Pinto to every nearby body of water, and had a blast.
NOT expensive. Young people are able to buy snowmobiles, sportbikes, speedboats, and jetskis, but I almost never see a daysailor or a catamaran being towed down the road. Used to be a common site.
If you can afford a Jetski you can afford a sailboat. Laser, Sunfish, etc..
IMHO, it's more the result of a cultural shift than a reflection of economic hard times. I'll go along with those posters who cited "self direction". My stepkid's whole young lives were occupied with planned, supervised, activities. Soccer, band, band camp, baseball, and on and on. Left on their own, they were lost.
Contrasted with my childhood in the sixties in a rural area. The neighborhood kid attitude was, "hey, let's go.........get some guys together for some ball. hike the woods, go down to the river, etc..
Our family used to go trailer camping. The second we stopped at a new area, we kids said, "let's go explore...what's over here?". It's been documented that today's kids don't do that.
So, yeah, cultural shift. And I don't want to mark myself as an old codger, but it's not a shift I like.