Honestly, I didn’t wait long at all. I took a sailing class in June of 2010, and purchased a little 17 foot racing-type boat in summer not long before school started again. Once it became clear that my family wanted to go out and we needed more space, I purchased a 25 foot MacGregor sloop. That was in November. We got the boat out of the marina where it was stored and launched it on May 21 of this year. So, from sailing class (and really the only significant sailing experience I had) to boat purchase was only 5 months. Having said that, I was sold on sailing when I took my class, so I was pretty sure I was going to like it long term.
I’m perhaps one extreme, but there are also people who purchased boats before they learned how to sail, though I don’t know how much sailing they had done on other people’s boats before their purchases.
To answer your other question, I looked for awhile before I purchased the MacGregor, looking at other boat types and evaluating what I thought I wanted. I also asked my instructor more questions about compromises on boat types than he probably wanted to answer. Once I was confident I knew what I wanted, and didn't want, I felt comfortable making the purchase.
The amount of time will obviously vary with the person.
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And straight on 'til morning
Last edited by arknoah; 06-22-2011 at 08:43 AM.