Join Date: Jun 2007
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Taken a lesson now, buy or rent?
Having limited sailing experience (occasional crew with uncles as a kid/teen) I decided it best to read some books and then take a basic sailing class (with wife so she knows what we are getting into).
What we want, I think, is an older, comfortable bay cruiser, something in the 25'-33' range (wide range) for daysailing and weekending on the Chesapeake. Something like that is not in the budget right now, maybe next year or the following, and perhaps more importantly I would like to improve my skills before getting into a bigger boat. So that leaves me in a bit of a dilemma for this season, do I join a club with ~20-24' daysailers or purchase my very own inexpensive (kinda beat up) practice boat.
I've looked at a couple of clubs so far and my reservations with the club are: beat up boats, halyards not rigged to cockpit, limited hours and availability, no overnights, need to supply VHF, GPS.... And the cost of a club is comparable to a season of slip rental, but no maintenance for me.
I've looked at a few boats in the <$2k range and one I am currently considering is pretty beat up, but the big things are a crack at the top of the rudder, a couple of cracks at the underside of the deck (exposed foam core) and the need for some new ropes. Other than that all lines are rigged to the cockpit, it has a main traveler, a decent suite of sails and a decent outboard. I figure I could sail this for a year or 2 while I get more experience and the initial investment isn't too great.
I suppose a third option is to try to crew some races and rent-a-boat whenever I can. I'm within 30 minute drive to the Raritan and Chesapeake.
Any advice for a budding sailor?