People form communities -- mostly because the group is more successful than the individual. Sailors stick together because there's so much to know and learn; you can't boldly go where no person has gone before without running terrible risks.
The folks that own the same (or similar) boats naturally form communities to compare, contrast, and support each other. Also, they get together to race; when all the boats are identical, it's called "one design" racing; technology is out of the picture and it comes down to skills.
There are several layers of awareness and participation.
There's the non-participation level. You have no idea the group even exists. Even six months ago, I had no clue. Also, there's a subtlety of folks who may know about the group, but aren't really interested or don't participate.
There's the lurker level. Once upon a time, the internet used "news groups", through which you could lurk anonymously. Nowadays, this is not as heavily used, and you have to at least sign up to get the email feed. But you don't need to actually participate beyond reading the emails.
Then, there's the actual participation level.
Have One of Mine
Someone asked about their hydraulic steering. I'm lucky that the previous owner meticulously kept every document (every receipt, everything.)
I could step up from lurker to participant by scanning my ancient Hynautic Owner's Manual for another member of the Whitby association. Helping others is way cool. It's nice to cross that threshold from receiver to giver.
I'm not sure where their boat is, but maybe we'll link up someday.