Re: Where are the younger people?
Lots of great stuff here... I agree with many that younger people do want things on the faster side; food, internet etc.-And I would say patience is not a virtue among my younger friends. But I think the monetary cost and work and learning associated with sailing plays a bigger role. Among the youth I have encountered, Sailing is this romantic idea resolved to the wealthy. This is true if the idea of a 30 footer as an entry level or smaller vessel prevails, as the costs of well suited 30 footers DOES make entering sailing a costly endeavor. If I had a 35 or 40 foot boat for free, the cost to run the thing would probably exceed affordability for me.
I also find that some of my younger friends are near obsessed with popular culture. Sailing just doesnt seem to be a part of that, rendering the sport useless to them. "Im on a boat!" novelty wears off quick- then on the next.
If you want to sail now you will find a way. Im 30 now, had a sunfish for about 4 years then got an old 26' sloop. (26 feet seemed awfully big for an 'entry level' keelboat!)I knew it would need work-repairs, maintenance, and that moorings, equipment, hauling and paint all cost money, but you dont have to do everything at once. The work is the tradeoff for keeping entrance and ongoing costs low. I dont need it if I cant afford it (for the most part... I do need a gunboat)
That said, there is a big investment beyond money in sailing. The learning seems (and most likely is) endless. If you want in cheap, you must invest time to work on things, and to learn...And to mess up things and to fix those things that you have messed up. But the research is ever important-for the frugal minded can't just walk into west marine and buy. Learn what you need, then learn how to get it or make it, whichever is cheaper (or safer).
Anyway, I have met a couple younger sailors (none in Mt Sinai!(yet)), but I relish the opportunity to talk to any older, friendly sailor. I almost always learn something because they have been through a lot of the things a younger sailor will encounter. I plan to meet many more this season in my home port as Ive given up my apartment and plan to live on my boat for most of the summer. Now, im off to learn about, construct, break and rebuild mounts for my solar panels!