Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern Maine
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I'm am 23, and have been cruising on an off since the age of 20. Last winter my girlfriend and I sailed my 30' 1973 Pearson from Maine to the Abacos, Bahamas. We ended up living on the boat for six months and picking up a cat on about month two. Eventually we ran low on funds and traded the boat for an SUV in Florida and drove back north with all of our belongings.
It was a fantastic trip, but it made us realize how few young cruisers there are in the world today. All together, we met four other cruisers about our age - 2 were a brother and sister from Maine (whom we had never met before the trip) on a what I think was a 28' Albin Vega racing boat from the 80's, one was a 27 year old out of Maryland on a 28' Cheoy Lee, and the last one was a 24 year old out with his father from New York on a 35' ketch.
I think the greatest inhibitors to cruising is the amount of preparation involved in doing an extended trip on a sailboat (including working on a boat and accumulating enough money), and the time required to do it. Rather than "regular travel" where you just have to buy a couple airline tickets and book a hostel, cruising requires a fairly expensive boat that needs to be outfitted with many expensive parts. Also, most young people don't even know that cruising is an option available to them. The only young cruisers who get publicity are those who circumnavigate, which is honestly a completely different kind of cruising than what most people would ever want to do.