I feel the same, though I know there's bad apples in every bunch (I'm a little rotten myself sometimes) and the boating community may be more varied in it's types of members than just about any group of folks with a common interest. There exists elitism in the boating world like any other. Engineless sailors vs. aux. engine sailors, sailing "yachts" vs everyone else, motor yachts vs. sailboats, wooden boats vs. fiberglass boats, working mariners vs. cruisers, and then there's tall ship sailors vs. everyone else.
Liveaboard tall ship crew are unique compared to most liveaboard pleasure and merchant vessels. They volunteer to endure a strict schedule and long days of work on someone else's boat in return the experience and seamanship skills gained, community and camaraderie, sea time, and almost NO PAY. Most sign up for a minimum four month contract that rarely includes benefits. When I first boarded the Lady Washington in 2003, I volunteered for two weeks before landing an $800 per month stipend as steward (good pay for that boat), and got my first day off three months later. The point is that merchant mariners work hard for decent money, and pleasure cruisers own their boats and can usually do what they want, when they want, while tall ship sailors have volunteered to give their strength and love to the tall ship experience and furthering maritime culture. Why, then, am I hearing so often from non-tall ship crew or alumni crew that when they go to visit a tall ship, they are ignored and even snubbed by crew?
Tall ship crew are there to foster interest in maritime culture by all of those who visit. Dealing with the public isn't always fun, but the catch is that if they don't engage visitors in a positive way, this way of life that they/we enjoy will continue to lose funding and disappear.
Bryce wrote a great piece about this in the last issue of JT and I will post that later, but I'd love to hear some thoughts on why some of the boat crew act a little more elitist and/or unfriendly than they should...