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Old 10-05-2012
canucksailorguy canucksailorguy is offline
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Re: Aspiring sailor searching for boats.

You're going to get lots of information here - keep in mind it's worth exactly what you've paid for it, mine included.
Most of the folks here have never taken a formal sailing class - and while it's not a bad idea, it's not mandatory - and I say that as a sailing instructor. Since you're on a budget, go to the nearest yacht club and offer to crew on race night. You'll get out on the water, meet sailors who will help you out, and learn what sailing's about. No cost.
What I would recommend you take is the Power Squadron or similar, to learn the rules of the road and some basic navigation. That will put you miles ahead of most other boaters. Again, not too expensive.
As for a boat - take your time, get out on OPB (other people's boats), learn what you want and what services that need. Don't do what I did and buy the first boat you can afford - you might, like I did, get a dog because of your lack of knowledge.
Consider donation boats - you can get a lot of boat for little money, provided you're willing and able to fix it up, and you'll learn stuff you need to know in that process.
Good luck - IM me if you have specific questions.
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