Subguy - Last year I decided to learn to sail. I figured I would just buy a boat and go for it. I was about to drop $7K on a really nice newport
27. It would have been a fantastic deal. Unfortunately, the guy sold it to someone else that put cash in his face, after we agreed and shook hands on the deal.
The next day a friend told me about a local sailing club.
To use the club's boats, I had to take a three day class and get the ASA basic keelboat certification
. The class was pretty good (a little crowded with 6 people on a Wavelength 24). Also did a lot of studying on my own.
Now instead of spending $7000 on a boat, thousands more on upgrades and repairs
, and $200 / month for a slip, I pay $150 a month club dues. This gets me access to all their boats 25 feet and under, which is just fine for my current
skill set. Once I get the next certification, I can take any of their boats out. They have three locations, so if I get sick of putting around Budd Inlet, I can go to Kirkland or Portland
It's a really awesome arrangement and now I'm glad that guy sold the newport
out from under me. If you can find something similar, I'd recommend it. It's cheaper than a free boat!