One reason sailing may be stronger in some areas than others - public access to the water. We're lucky here on the coast of Maine to have lot's of public water access. A large part is due to our fishing industry and heritage. Fishermen and their towns realized early on they needed water access to work and live.
The coast of Mass. is another great example of fine public water access.
While many coastal municipalities sold their water assets (for a pittance) long ago, all is not lost.
My daughter lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan. On her walk to the train today, she sent me these photos of the Brooklyn waterfront.
There is new sailing activity along the NYC waterfront. This whole Brooklyn waterfront (if I recall correctly), was privately owned until just a decade or so ago. It was nasty, industrial.
Brooklyn bought it back and turned industrial waterfront into parks. And there is new energy in community sailing programs for anyone interested, and the interest is there!
Another 'new' promoter is sailboat racing. Global these days, racing sailboats are attracting people to the sport. I assume these are a few of AC boats that raced in the harbor this week.
I'm of the opinion that many young people today are attracted to the speed side of sailing. And sailing always draws due to it's unique mode of travel.
On the other hand, I don't think 'cruising' on a sailboat has as much interest with young people as it did on the boomers.
But sailing is holding it's own.
And look at this! A new publicly owned marina, in Brooklyn NY, right across the river from Manhattan.
I'd say, sailing is on the increase in Maine - and Manhattan.