There is an excellent (tho' long @ 431 page PDF) Doctoral thesis that examines the psychology of cruising & cruisers.
Modern day ocean voyaging in private sailing vessels dates back to the turn of the century. Despite this, the present thesis is the first academic study of ocean cruising to be completed.
Of the thousands of people who make ocean voyages only a few hundred are committed to the lifestyle of cruising, that is, see cruising as a whole way of life that they will pursue indefinitely
The thesis first presents an ethnography of the lifestyle of cruising with particular attention to (1) what activities constitute the lifestyle, (2) why people cruise
, and (3) what values, attitudes, and characteristics attach to the participants.
Second, the thesis relates this ethnography to several theories in sociology and psychology.
“Ocean cruising: a study of affirmative deviance”
by Dr. James Macbeth