Have been considering this myself, I'm 33 have no family no inheritance and an average wage slave job, I have been dreaming of taking up sailing for almost 5 years. My options are work my *** off and save what I can, realistically this would take me 2-3 years to save for one leg at £4-5k. on the subject of value its not bad for 1 leg, they provide full training which comes to about of 32 days of training including 8 RYA qualifications (these are £100 - £500 each) so you do get something to show for it. As with all things the bigger and more organised things become the higher the costs. I think I'm going to have to curb my dreams and save for individual RYA courses and work my way through what courses I can afford.
I have such a determination to become a sailor and get out on the high seas I'm now teaching myself carpentry, looking at fibreglass/ferro cement/carbon fibre techniques for construction advantages of rigging types draft types. I've looked at materials, designs, construction, maintenance, stresses, tolerances, sourcing, manufacturers, looking to improve current design and innovate solutions beyond what is currently available... Long story short I am devouring every bit of sailing information I can possibly get my hands on to see if I can bring my goal of having my own boat closer, and I know if I make a mistake it could cost me my life. £30k would buy me a boat and supplies and have me sailing for 2 years around the world and give me somewhere to live at the end of it.
Personally I would be ecstatic to get my hands on a second hand sextant (yes I did look at making my own and can do it to a reasonable accuracy using ancient arabian designs but it wouldn't give enough for larger ocean voyages) or second hand books or charts I can use to practise and train myself but I would never have the audacity to ask for money just out of respect for myself.
If you think you can raise £30k for yourself good luck to you can think of 50 charities that I would rather give my money too..