Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?
I say forget the class. Unless you have that kind of income to dispose of it is a luxury not required. Or unless you are an offshore sailor. Then you should atleast make friends with a competant skipper and go out with him 4-5 times to get the hang of things. I never took any classes and ive single handed the past three days up to 30 knot gusts with no centerboard and a faulty engine . Of course, I understand sail trim and points of sail. Docking tends to be the trickiest part of the entire day.
You can easily learn points of sail from a 2 min you tube video. The rest you need a few hours on the water in 10-15. Just get out on someones boat rented or otherwise and play around. Hike in the jib let out the main, set the travler in different places, turn in and out of the wind.. FEEL the tiller/wheel response.. Its quite easy.
Unless you plan on doing a solo or offshore trip in the net six months save your money (unless your well-ff) and go buy a Chapman and find a boat.
It is great to be safe and have every piece of equipment and an experienced skipper on hand but for most of us, or for me anyway, I never had that option.
It was either teach myself or don't go. I had a great day yesterday, maybe i'll see you out there soon.