Originally Posted by dropanchorfor3
I forgot to ask, what publications can I get that will be of some education to me. I've seen sailing, yachting etc.
Pick up a few at the book store. Most are just advertizing for things most here can't and decide not to afford. I personally only read Good Old Boat on a regular basis. It is based on how to maintain an affordable older sailboat. There kitsch of "the boating magazine for the rest of us" (or something like that) seems true. The second best magazines tend to be the local ones and are often free. (here in New York we have Boating on the Hudson) and they give very practical info on your area. Also Latitudes and Attitudes help get you in the sailing mindset and can be interesting, but not real practical, kind of a biker magazine for sailboats.
Take your time, rent, or even better bum rides as much as you can. Put your name on as many lists for crew as you can find. (many marinas have boards, and be honest about your experience and intent) There are also some sailing sharing/club fleets that give a yearly membership, rather than buying outright. I have been looking seriously for almost 2 years now and I think I have it narrowed down. Remember you won't be getting anywhere in a hurry so no need to be in a hurry to get into a boat.
One other note, you will notice most people here tend to favor mono hulls but the main advantage of a Cat is space, and speed. The biggest disadvantages are going to be initial cost, motion comfort, cost of a slip (most will take nearly 2 slips so it will be more extensive, but not so on a mooring) and cost. There are some smaller cats that will fit in a normal slip (though tight) like the Gemini but they are in the minority. Life on a mooring can be nice as it is quieter, and generally might be more breeze, but will be rougher than most slips and has no water or electricity available.
The issue of displacement hull is really with mono hulls, as the cats don't really plain, but since there hulls are more like a canoe, they seem to be able to exceed there hull speed. Some are very fast.