First time sail boat buyer
2 yrs out of undergrad I bought my first boat, a new Pearson 26. While I was saving those 2 years I read maybe a thousand sailing books, and took all the USPS classes I could. I''d never sailed a yard until the day I took off out into Lk MI. The first time I''d ever set foot on a moving sailboat was the first leg, Holland (MI) to Muskegon. Spent that summer sailing around Mich. The next boat was a Pearson 30, then an Irwin 31 - this over 20 years. Now I''m boatless, saving for boat #4, tweaking my short list.
Forget starting w/ small boats - buy the biggest boat you can afford; they''re more forgiving...you sound like you''ve got some common sense: you''ll go slow. Get a wheel - or a tiller: it doesn''t matter..they''re apples & oranges..those who start on tillers have to learn a wheel later (or visa versa),and then, once learned, they never look back....learn a wheel (or tiller) now or later:it doesn''t matter. Get a boat you can sell because you WILL want to move up: either to get out of sailing or to stay in it. Go out! Every friggin'' chance you get.