We had our first boat in our mid 30's. A 22' pocket cruiser. Wow was that fun. It was the escape from work, the connection with the ocean, it was important to us. By then we had a house, decent jobs, and a couple of cars...all that we "owned" but the bank owned us
. It's what we did back then.
There is an argument that the future is not about ownership. Young people are happy renting the place they live, leasing a car (or better ride sharing and ultimately pressing a button on their iPhone for a self driving car to arrive at their house to take them to x), doing virtual stuff, owning less....valuing experience over ownership. Is this wrong? No, it's just different. There is little doubt in terms of capital efficiency that ownership isn't always the best use of capital. Particularly when your talking about rapidly depreciating assets that gobble money to maintain like yachts.
What they may miss is: there is a feeling that you get when you maintain, repair, navigate, sail, power, and get someplace in your own vessel based on your own abilities. There is a freedom to this and self determination. It is more than experiencing sailing, it's doing it, the whole thing. Somehow a sunset is better from the deck of your own boat, that you got there, that you maintained, that you got through the fog bank, that you varnished the teak, that ......
Somehow that's all much more real for me than any experience that is managed by technology or other people. Somehow that's better than any organized activity. Yea, I don't go on bus tours or cruise ships. No appeal. Wonder how many sailors feel the same?
Maybe it's because we weren't carted off to one group experience after another as kids. We organized our own sand lot games. We played touch football in the street, time out for cars. We went off the play in the neighborhood and self organized activities. Nothing was virtual, and little was organized for us.
Yea, I know, I'm getting old and sounding like an old man. Guilty as charged. Every generation has a similar set of complaints about the next.