First off I want to thank all of you for making this forum a wealth of knowledge and even a source of laughter at times. I am deployed to Iraq and what downtime I have is spent reading, learning via online celestial navigation courses and researching everything sailing related I can find.
That said, I have zero real knowledge but consider myself much more aware of what I must learn to master, in part, thanks to all of you fine people.
On to the purpose of this post; Thank You Saildog for this thread; I have read it several times over the past few months and may be utilizing the tips you and everyone else has shared upon my return stateside.
The plan is now to purchase a modest daysailer that needs some work, learn as much as I can, hands on, by restoring her myself; which I had not planned to do for 2 years, after taking some ASA courses and having at least enough experience to confidently say I can at least sail. But then it happened, while looking at listings one jumped out at me and now I am currently "looking" at a 20' sloop modestly priced and have only begun e-mail correspondence with the broker and to be honest, I was very discouraged by his vague responses to very specific questions, which I would not have known to ask, if it wasn't for you all.
I will let you all know how this first step into being a 1st time boat owner turns out, and Thank You again, everyone, for sustaining this great community.