Your opinion of those who posted here doesn't change the fact that...
-fewer people under 30 have their driver's license, the first step on the road to adventure and independence, than 30 years ago.
-fewer people under 30 are leaving home to live independently than 30 years ago. You can't blame the economy- young people were travelling the country in droves during the Depression, for example.
-interest in sailing is lower than it was 30 years ago. Fleets are smaller, sailors older.
Slag those of us here who are over 40 all you want, facts is facts. The gen Ys you meet may be "focused and motivated and working hard"... but maybe that's beacause , by your own admission you "work and sailed" with them. They have already drunk the kool-aid- Think your sample might be just as biased as you feel the opinions posted here are?
What does hearten me, being the over- 40, non- Huffington post reading, listening conversationalist that I am, is the flurry of teen circumnavigation that we haven't seen before...ever. I hope that over the next decade this translates into more interest, plants seeds that will grow the next generation of adventurers.
Sorry that you feel I've singled you out. But if I have, oh well. We might be in a unique situation in Seattle where there are a number of younger folks buying older boats, fixing them up, and racing/sailing the hell out of them. Yes, my sample is biased to two locations that I know pretty well, Seattle and a whole bunch of young designers (industrial, architecture, communication) in Japan. No, the kids in Japan aren't sailing, but they're working damn hard doing interesting things and just getting by.
This is not a simple nor one dimensional problem of 'computer games' and spoiled youth. Yeah, young people travelled all over during the depressing.... to simply survive. Very bad analogy. A lot of younger folks don't drive because families can barely afford gas for getting to work yet along jr. taking a date to the prom or going to the submarine races. As for having already 'drank the kool-aid', we'll have at least two 20 somethings on the boat tonight who didn't grow up sailing, but just think boats are cool. One is a university student living on a 25' boat, the other someone who just likes the people she's been exposed to on our boat and others she sails with.
I'd also hope that a lot of the older crowd here remember the age group that's risking life and limb every day and coming home to very diminished economic prospects. We're in the middle of a world wide structural political and economic shift because of radical changes in how we communicate that hasn't been seen since the likes of the invention of the printing press, Martin Luther, and the reformation. If anyone including current presidents and potential contenders really think they know where all this is going and what the end result will be in the US, they're kidding themselves. That young people are sailing at all is an accomplishment. So am I biased? Yes. I am because I've also taught them.