Plus, I'd rather go for a short sail beforehand than have coffee or beer. It's cheaper, and I've found a lot of people (e.g., ones who've only taken ASA courses) can't steer worth a darn. And the crew should want to check the boat for holes and see what kind of a sailor I am. Perhaps I can't steer worth a darn, either.
How are poor people who were only able to take some ASA courses supposed to get more experience?
Since you're going to be staying in rivers, it shouldn't matter much if the boat has a few holes