Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??
I think a lot of you guys are missing one of the greatest reasons why young people aren't sailing - Lack of exposure. First you have to look at the price of real estate on the water. As it continues to climb, owning property on/near water is becoming more and more prohibitive for families. And when families don't live on/near, then their kids will have less exposure to the water and the experiences that come along with it. When these people who live further from the water do make it out they use "go-fast" boats for three reasons: they are easier to care for, easier to operate, and because of their speed they require less time to "get where you are going", thus they require less time.
So I cruised for a bit a couple of years ago and more often than not when I talk about cruising with my friends (typically in their 20's) they are surprised because they never even thought that it is feasible/safe/affordable to live on a sailboat. Most people only hear about sailing from the media, and these stories are virtually always about circumnavigations or ship wrecks, neither of which appeal to the vast majority of people.
The only pro I can see to the declining interest in sailing is that it means that over time the value of sailboats will fall, thus making larger boats more affordable to me.