Slightly trolling, so I appologise, but for all the "650b is ruining our sport" threads, here's some food for thought.
Dinghy sailing is probably a very similar demographic to mountainbiking, some kids, a handfull of serious guys in their 20's raceing, and a lot of 30-50 MAMINs (Middle Aged Men In Neoprene) and an unassuming looking 85yr old guy who'll kick your arse. New boats cost £4k and upwards, but second hand is a more usefull option than it is in mountainbiking, so realisticaly a £300 to £500 boat could be competative in some classes, so not dissimilar to bike prices.
Just got a quote for a new carbon rig and sail for a "One Design", i.e. a boat who's design is relatively fixed to keep costs down and prevent money being spent on development to gain an advantage, but there are still multiple suppliers for similar parts so competition should keep prices in check and drive development within the rules. Basicly the same a the UCI's rules on minimum weight limits and bikes having to be bike shaped.
The alternative is a "single make one design" which is like Giant creating an XC race series where everyone must ride a Giant XTC, with very little allowed in the way of changes but everyone moans it's expensive/crap as Giant are still chargeing top dollar for a badly built bike they didn't design 40 years ago and have stoped paying royalites to the designer on, that has to be raced on steel rimmed wheels with 5 speed screw on free wheels. And "development class" where within certain rules anything goes, often a 'box rule' where the boat has to be X length, Y beam, Z depth etc and consequently very expensive as every year there's something new and faster making old boats uncompetative and that development also needs to be paid for.
Mast £1500 (for a straight tube, compare that to the swoopyness of a carbon bike frame!)
Boom £Free (January sale so comes free with the mast, but £500 normaly for a much shorter straight tube!)
Sail £880 (oddly, I reckon that's actualy good value for what it is)
So £2300 to upgrade the boating equivelent of wheels and tyres, and they have a comparable useable life!
Disgruntled (with the people who vote in changes to allow carbon masts in older classes rather than just joining a new class with them) of Wokingham