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I'm Mark and have very limited sailing experience. I working towards learning to sail (using the proper channels to do so) and thought this site would be a good place to read about people who actually sail and have a wealth of knowledge. I'm 55 and would like to learn, buy a 33-37' bluewater boat and gain more experience on new (actually used) boat, and make my dreams happen. My friend whom shared this dream, had bought his boat, but cancer cut his life short, just months after acquiring his boat, so I shelved that dream for 20 years. Time to get going!
 

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I would look at a bit of a smaller boat to learn own - maybe an Erickson 29,31 a Cal 31, something along those lines - good solid older boats. Easier to handle - well built - well priced in Florida - you can buy a fairly well outfitted one for $10-12K, buy one that does not need a lot of work, better to spend your time sailing than fixing , if you find out you like sailing, cruising - move up to a larger boat in a couple of years.
 

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Mark, there are as many opinions on learning to sail as there are sailors.

There are some very good sailing schools in Florida that will give you experience and time on the water before you spend the money on a boat.

Another thing to keep in mind is most of us didn't really know what we wanted when we started out; our opinions changed and evolved as we gained experience.

Starting with a 22 foot day sailer and then moving up as we got a better idea of how we'd really use the boat worked for us. Best of all by maintaining that boat in good condition we were able to sell it with virtually no out of pocket for the boat for those two years, just our slip fees.

Best of luck
Jim
 
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Mark,

I would strongly suggest sailing on other people's boats in order for you to get started. You will learn new tips and techniques from every different skipper, and you will find things that you like, and dislike in their boats. All of this knowledge will help you when it comes time for you to purchase your own vessel.

Sailing lessons are great for learning how to sail (as an instructor, I know this), but the education that you get from sailing with different skippers will teach you what works best for you in pursuit of your dream.

I don't know where in Florida you are located, but there are many sailing clubs throughout the state. Joining one is the best way that I know to get time on different boats, under different skippers.
 

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Thanks for the reply cdy! I don't plan on buying until I have learned to sail, have taken a diesel mechanics course. When I do purchase my boat, I plan on spending some time outfitting and getting used to her.
 

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All great suggestions! This is why I posted here first. As a newbie, these are some of the things I would have never have considered. I am all ears and really appreciate your comments. BTW, I live at the beach right outside of Jacksonville.
 
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