.......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.
A new mainsail on a C400 would be a couple thousand or more? The OP is needing time to accumulate $350.
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.
... the sails aren't going to blow out, the rudder is solid and secure, the drive train is true, the prop isn't de-zinced, the deck isn't too wet, the keel bolts or pivot are not rotten, the standing rigging isn't corroded or frayed, the running rigging isn't too worn, etc.
I get your point and have no objection to it. However, there are many things that can throw you a serious curve and then you wish you had spent what money you have on something else.
I would seriously think the soiled crib in your story is a better find by far than the boat in the OP.