First of all, welcome to the asylum! Of course you're crazy...we all are! And probably 99% of us wouldn't have it any other way.
Now, here's my $0.02. I always tell anyone who is learning to sail, and has the itch to buy a boat, to get a sailing dinghy
. I learned to sail on FJs and Lasers, bit there are dozens of models from which to choose. For $500 to $1000 bucks (maybe less, if you look around a bit) you can score a good used FJ, Lido, 470, et cetera, with a trailer and all the stuff you need to get out on the water. My preference would be a sloop-rigged dinghy
, but a cat-rigged boat such as an Optimist, Sabot, or El Toro is almost as good for learning to sail. Then, when you have the boat, sail the Bejeezus out of it
. That will be easy, because it will be small enough to haul to any suitable body of water, and cheap to fix all the little do-dads you're likely to break as you sail the Bejeezus out of it.
You'll learn more (much, much more) about sailing by sailing the Bejeezus out of a dinghy
for a season or two than you're likely to learn sailing a 20-something-foot boat every once in a while for years (which, sadly, is what almost always happens...regardless of intentions). AND, when you're ready to get a "real boat" (even though you actually have been sailing the Bejeezus out of a real boat
), you'll have a much better idea of what to look for before you invest in a really big "hole in the water", into which you are going to start throwing serious cash (and, with boats, the cash is always more serious than you can ever anticipate; trust me on this).
OK, now, go out an buy that little 20-something-foot "yacht" --- no one ever takes my dinghy
advice. Why should you be the first?