Thanks for the tips. One thing I like of a beater is the "getting to know you" aspect. I actually enjoy fixing things, although my only fiber glass experience has been with surfboards. I'm still keeping my eye out, roaming the marinas, and I've got a couple of eyes on the hunt in NJ as well. But we are leaning to the club part (at least for this season), since that can get us in the water this weekend.
My plan is to sail the club boats on weekends, and try to crew some races during the week to get exposure to different boats.