I just turned 27 last month and bought my first boat, a Catalina 25 a few years ago. I'm the "young one" at my marina. I also find it rare to come across other people of my generation into sailing. Most people are very surprised when they find out I sail, let alone even owning my own sailboat. Most people have the misconception that you have to be rich in order to have a sailboat. They think it is so out of reach, but really it isn't. When I bought my sailboat the year after graduating college, I just had different priorities than most of my peers. A lot of my friends' primary activities outside of work were partying, going out to bars, racking up huge bar tabs. Donít get me wrong, I like meeting up for a good beer or two, but I was more interested in pursuing a childhood dream of mine. If they thought about what they could do with the hundreds of dollars per month they spent on drinking and other activities I cut, they could also own a sailboat or pursue an interest.
I figured the boat would be a great social tool as well, being able to bring friends out for something to do other than drinking at bars. As it has turned out, most of my non-sailing friends enjoy sailing, but it isn't their passion and they don't make it out often. Most donít understand the lure of sailing, and thatís fine, itís not for everyone. I've made some great friends in the sailing community of all ages which I really enjoy. I also agree with other comments that it seems younger generations are more attracted to the speed of powerboats and not our slow, challenging (fun) sailboats, and many also are too interested in video games, buying newer, fancier cars, watching TV, etc. One of the worst excuses a friend gave me instead of coming out sailing was that he had some scheduled meeting in his WOW (online World of Warcraft pc game) for an entire Saturday. So, instead of going outside on a beautiful day, he wanted to go kill some virtual monsters with his online friends all day in front of a computerÖ not my thing at all. That was a few years ago and fortunately heís gotten over that addiction.
My girlfriend had never sailed before she met me; she is really enjoying it and learning a lot. She wants to eventually be able handle the boat by herself, so sheís on her way to becoming an excellent first mate. Someday I want to upgrade to a 30í sailboat. The standing headroom, more living and storage space, and extra amenities will be nice for my weekends I live out on the boat. Not sure when it will happen, but Iím sure I will eventually. Another future plan is to sail down the east coast and cross the Gulf Stream over to the Bahamas and if there is time, go even further. I already did a delivery down the east coast a couple years ago, but next time I want to take my time and really enjoy the trip.
Here is my 1982 C-25