I'm surprised I haven't seen a response yet like this, so I'll have a go.
You don't have to be rich to sail.
You do have to be rich to sail...(choose any of the following)
- comfortably in any weather
- if you need to stay in marinas while cruising
- across borders
- a big boat
- with kids
Our first boat was a Tanzer 22, purchased in the water, in a slip, full of fuel, with a bunch of sails. Paid about $4000, and that was thru a broker. Not knowing any better, we had a great time with that boat. Felt it was a pretty cheap hobby.
We decided we needed more room, for the kids.
bought a bigger boat for $8000. Had to use a bigger slip. Wanted to go faster. Bought better sails. Wanted to be comfortable. Updated the cushions, installed roller furling, electronics, and ran rigging to the cockpit.
We decided we wanted to race more competitively.. (go faster) Bought a bigger boat for more than double the 2nd boat. sails don't perform well, so need to buy new ones. One sail is worth more than the price of the entire first boat. Need to rent the second-largest slip size in the marina. It is no longer a cheap hobby, but it means enough to us that we make the sacrifices we need to to continue doing it - as hard-core as we can afford.
I'm not rich, but we live comfortably. I'm not comfortable telling anyone but other sailors much about the cost of our boat, because of the 'you must be rich' stigma.
You don't have to be rich to sail, but the folks that are out there, sailing around in 22-footers, aren't what the general populus thinks about when they think 'yachtsmen', either....it's all a matter of perspective.