Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Thanked 16 Times in 15 Posts
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Another late-comer sailing newbie
I didn't sail as a kid either, and was facing a very similar dilemna when the sailing bug bit me a few years ago.
I highly suggest starting with a basic sailing course at a reputable school. Yes, there are lots of books on sailing, but I found them far more readable after actual experience on the water. Yes, you can volunteer to be a crew member on someone's boat, but without the most basic instruction and familiarity with sailing lingo, most of the instructions from your capitan will be incomprehensible. (It does cost some money, but you can save up for it, ask for contributions for X-mas and birthday presents, take a shorter and less expensive program to keep costs lower.)
There are so many unused and unloved boats docked at the marina where I sail that I can't help but think that 'buy a boat' is poor advice for many. Some of these boats haven't even been visited for years. (Clearly the Sailnet community is a more committed sample of sailors than the universe of boat owners generally.)
As for your wife, unless you are a very patient instructor and have a very solid relationship, it might be worth the money to have her enroll in sailing school as well, rather than have you teach her as you gain experience. You'll get out more if it's a family activity and you'll have a crew for your practice sails.
Good luck learning to sail!