This isn't a personal finance discussion board but .
But you are gonna treat it like one.
I'm occasionally broke.
I always sail.
I find a way to sail in spite of the fact that I am occasionally broke.
Yep, I get some envelopes in the mail, occasionally, marked "final notice". They, eventually, get paid.
I find a way to sail.
I quit smoking. the money i used to spend on tobacco exceeded my annual sailing cost- slip fees, maintenance, etc.,
So, I could afford to sail even though the rest of my financial and personal life was chaos...
...Because sailing is the only thing that permitted me to ENDURE the rest of my chaotic life.
So respectfully, hudsonian, i don't fell that having one's financial house in order is a prerequisite for becoming a sailboat owner.
In fact being fiscally responsible is an argument AGAINST sailboat ownership.
FFS, is the dream-killing done here?
Are we all good with trying to make the illogical logical?
Can we now get past the tired, and currently largely untrue, cliches about free boats?
captain jack, here's some advice from a broke-ass mofo who has been sailing, more or less successfully, for years on an annual budget that would not buy a new mainsail on a Catalina 400.
Grab the most complete free boat you can find and sail it. Make sure the engine runs, it doesn't smell bad, the chainplates aren't ready to pull right out of the hull, and the bilge isn't filling faster than it can be pumped out.
Everything else is just details.
Cripes, one thread bemoans the lack of new cruisers, another thread remarks on the smaller numbers of sailors every year...
...and here we have 15 pages of reasons why someone shouldn't take on a free sailboat.
Y'know, in 2005, when the boat market was on the rise because anyone with a pulse could buy a boat using the overinflated unsupported equity in their overleveraged McMansion, sure, a "free boat' was a suckers' game. Today, not so much.
In fact, not so very much, at all.
With used boat prices cut by 50% or more since 2008, with boats more than 20 years old being increasingly more difficult to finance, with the pool of buyers smaller than the pool of sellers and getting smaller every year, wiht the number of boat owners who face more money than month not decreasing, there are a lot of very sailable "free" boats that are worth much more than salvage value making them not free at all.
captain jack, let me hit it again: find the best one you can find, and get sailing. if it falls apart under you, lick your wounds, learn form the experience, and find another, better one, using the hard won experience you have gained.