ASA vs. US Sailing
I put the cart before the horse. I have sailed a 18'' hobie in the past and sailed once with a friend on a 21'' cruiser, but I bought a sailboat because I got a great deal and then went to learn how to sail. I read 2 books almost completely and then stepped my mast and wanted to get a feel for the running rigging. The next day I signed up for an ASA class. I thought I understood what I was reading but I wonder what would have happened my first time out without a knowledgeable sailor on board. If you don''t know someone who will be with you for the first 3-4 sails, I highly recommend not getting on the water without a class. It is not as easy as the book makes it out.
I also bought a sailing racing simulator on the internet from century 21 and it helps make sense out of the easing out sails versus trimming them in depending on the type run you are own.