Uh... I am not discounting the value of attending an ABYC certified course, but I don't put all my faith behind the ABYC designation.
I had also enrolled in, and attended, a two-day ABYC seminar in Marine Electronics. Come to think of it, I got a certificate too!
The course was taught at the Mystic Seaport in CT by a well known and respected person from the ABYC. I honestly feel that I got less from the ABYC seminar than I did from the course that was not certified by the ABYC. (my opinion, based on my experience)...I'm just sayin'...
This is why I honestly believe that the OP would be better off with buying a cheap boat, participating here, and studying the excellent Maine Sail "How To" Articles.