I think most organizations/groups/whatever are too hard on themselves when they get introspective.
I stumbled on this site a few years ago while daydreaming about one day owning a boat - which is something that's been rattling around my brain since I was 12. I had recently moved to Toronto and starting sailing with a friend, and I discovered how soft the used market is/how fun craigslist is.
Seeing newbs get encouragement here, and specifically encouragement from Jonesy and others on inspecting the boat I ended up with, combined with Smack's great suggestions about sailing with little kids ... and 18 months ago I found myself with a boat.
We've been having an insane blast ever since. My kids might still enjoy a couple hours anchored and jumping in the water as much as a couple hours sailing. I don't have a vang, a traveller, or wind instruments. My outhaul is a reef knot from the clew to the end of the boom. When my sumlog knot spinner thingy isn't clogged with marina weed, the needle wavers too much to be really sure whether my trim adjustments help or hurt. I can't see the screen on my cheapie phone's GPS app in the cockpit, and I forget to charge the thing half the time anyway.
I dunno if I'm a "serious sailor." I like reading what gurus like Jeff and RichH and many others have to say about sail trim etc, even if I don't understand it all (eg. one line about 'feeling the keel lifting to windward' - huh?). I'm gradually starting to develop some comfort trying to bury the rail (harder than I thought). I'm thinking about cutting up an audio tape and installing jib telltales.
I dunno if we'll ever sell the house and buy the big boat. At this pace, I dunno if we'll be able to fit the kids on it if we ever do. Maybe in 20 years when they're all grown up
I'm having the time of my life and hopefully making lifetime memories for my kids - their crazy dad and his pirate ship. (looking for canadian suppliers of jolly rogers)
I mostly keep my mouth shut here. Lots of people with more experience than me. But I'm happy to pipe up and say this place rocks.