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Hello from central Florida. I've recently signed up for ASA 101...been wanting to learn to sail for a long time, finally getting off my butt and doing something about it. Right now still reading and practicing knots, but I guess we all start somewhere. This seems like a great community and I hope to learn a lot.
 

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Welcome to SailNet!

In ten years hopefully you'll look back and realize how far you've come and how much more you still have to learn! It never stops.
 
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It all goes rather quick really. I still like the boatyard best. No place is the learning curve faster. Each sailor makes guess's at what the ocean will do and where to bolster his or her vessel. You hear their dreams and see their boats much like tree houses I knew as a child. Everyone has an opinion and you must decide which to adapt or make one of your own. It's too exciting to explain. The dynamics of wind & water will carry you along so fast you hardly notice the time is passing but it does.
 

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OK, you've fallen over the fence, now get out there! This is how the madness starts. If I may be so bold as to pontificate a recommendation . . .

Buy a trailer sailor in the 22 foot range. Big enough to learn on and not spend most of your time swimming, small enough to let you make mistakes and not pay too much for them. A sailboat in that range will go for around $3500 on a trailer and in fair to good condition. A mid-sized car car still haul it and if you wanted you can "dry sail" her at a local marina for short money. It's also big enough for a cozy weekend and a bottle of Merlot or a "who needs to shower" weekend with a buddy. (Whoa, I guess I'm assuming you're a guy). A short keel is perfect for the water around that sandbar you live on. Then, in a couple of years when the sickness really takes hold of you and your wallet, you sell the little one pretty much for what you bought her for and buy her big sister. I suggest picking up a copy of The Complete Trailer Sailor by Brian Gilbert. Lots of great info on the subject but most important is a section in the back that gives you specs, photos, sketches, pros, cons and the like of about 50 boats in the 15 to 28 foot range. It can help you to figure out what you like, what you don'y like and what you never knew you always wanted.

We picked up a Lancer 25 six years ago and now spend every possible weekend and vacation sailing the "rockbound coast of Maine". In 29 days, 10 hours and 9 minutes we take possession of a yacht that we are chartering in the British Virgin Isles. Yeah, get jealous. I'm ok with that!

Don
 
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