Join Date: Jul 2000
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The "on base, in service" marina rates you are entitled to are a great benefit. Just be warned, staying anywhere else is gonna be a rude surprise on the east coast if you aren't familiar with marina rates.
I'd suggest taking some "bareboat" or "passagemaking" course with a good sailing school, both will teach you more about small boat systems and how to inspect and maintain them yourself, and you'll usually find the staff very willing to go into more detail with you, and discuss liveaboard issues as well.
Even if you have no interest in it, I'd also suggest a beginning and intermediate racing course, because racing carries over into a crusier's lifestyles--when you need to get back against tide and wind for reveille, THAT'S RACING and the performance sailing tricks you learn, will work just as well when you're only racing the clock.
Again, the staff and the other sailors you meet, will be a good source of information.
But a Marine actually *doing* something on a boat, instead of being carried by it? Isn't that against the Joint Operations rulebook?