Wow - holy cynics Batman. I think each of these responses is not only misguided, but ignorant and out of context. I am a young soon-to-be cruiser. My girlfriend and I are both giving up 6 figure careers to rebuild an old boat and take the plunge. We are lucky, but we still have to cover our student loans, etc.
The truth is, college is getting way too expensive, HS prepares you for **** and even though we have more college grads than ever in history, their degrees are costly and worth about as much as the paper they were printed on. Sailing is an expensive hobby. It's even more expensive to sustain long term as a cruiser without a retirement plan or a pension to pay the bills.
I have to say that I've found it rather troublesome how many "older" sailors poopoo the younger generation of sailors out there or even the idea of young cruisers. Many of the older cruisers on this forum put themselves in a higher class and practically discourage younger sailors with negative remarks and discouraging advice.
How often do you hear the old salts telling someone who wants to buy a boat and make a go of it - "you can't do that, you need 10 YEARS of sailing experience" or "you dont know what you're getting yourself into" or "you better reconsider..."
If people on this forum, ESPECIALLY THIS THREAD spent more time encouraging young sailors, volunteering time to teach, or shoot, even offering encouraging words of support, sailing would continue to grow.
"The ones who come before us will teach us the way forward"