Our first "real" sailboat (other than a dinghy) was a late 50's era T-Bird, home built of wood. It was a great sailing boat but a little tough for a novice sailor, at least on San San Francisco Bay. They are actually very sturdy boats if you are lucky enough to find one that has been well maintained; or, the boat you're looking at is made of Glass. If not, and not well cared for, you will find rot--virtually everywhere--under the cockpit; in the transom; and, particularly in the transverse floor beams carrying the keel. To some extent the yachts are "cult" boats as evidenced by the fact that, of late, Sperry has been using them as background for it's print adverts for boat shoes.
We gave up our T-Bird in the early 70's for another, much larger, classic yacht, a Rhodes Reliant, but I have often thought back to out T-Bird daze and occassionally ponder building another (we actually have an original set of the yacht's plans).
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."