Originally Posted by SailingChance
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"
You call my post cynical, but didn't adduce facts to counter it. In fact, you confirm the mistaken perception that it takes some years getting '6 figure' salaries in order to go cruising.
There are good technical and vocational tracks in some HS; the student and parents just need to take the initiative and spend a bit more in study time and money respectively.
A high school grad who first has spent a few years in some construction or reno trade, or even better, working in a boat-yard, can find a reasonably-priced deep-water vessel being reluctantly relinquished by an ailing 'old salt' (or his widow). And go cruising after getting getting current on how to sail a keel-boat. Or a cat.
The discouraging words are likely meant to encourage any would-be sailor to get instruction and experience before leaping off the coastal maps. Here be monster - waves.
And there are other hazards that haven't had some government nanny post convenient warning signs around them. Discouraging some wild enthusiasms may save some lives, and keep your name out of the media. Obits, or helicopter rescue stories.
The same cautions apply to mountain climbing... Know your equipment and capabilities before setting that first knuckle.