I am a returning sailor, more or less, having taken some sailing classes in college years ago.
I always liked sailing but when I last took classes I didnt know of any sailing clubs, at least not where I lived at the time, and there were long waits (years) at the local marina for slips which made buying a boat either expensive (with slip), or confusing (without slip - what to do with the boat?).
Years have gone by and sailing clubs are common and I moved to the SF Bay area where vacant slips and used boats are plentiful. What a combination, world renowned sailing condition and multiple ways to have regular boat access! I'm obsessed.
Since my sailing training was pretty old (decades) and the conditions here are kinda intense, I picked a sailing club/school and took classes to qualify to charter their boats. Classes went well and I have started renting boats and sailing with friends.
Sailing the SF bay is fantastic! I love the great wind here, and there is a huge sailing culture of charter clubs, yacht clubs, sailing meetups, destinations, and services.
I still want to get a boat, but for the moment, the math is just not as attractive as doing the sailing club/opb thing. Annual operating costs of slip, insurance, registration, and maintenance, plus actually purchasing a boat adds up to a lot of club rentals. So for now, I'm boat clubbing it with an eye toward eventually buying something when the right deal appears combined with me getting up to speed on the reality and particulars of owning.
See you on the water...