I have to agree with the others. What you want to do is not really very workable. A club is a good option, or a sailing school
. Nice thing about a sailing school
is that you would have the credentials most charter
outfits would recognize, so you could fly down to the Caribbean
or some place, and bareboat
charter. If your sailing would only be a week or two a year, this would actually be cheaper than owning a boat, even if the boat were given to you.
on someone else's boat is a great way to get started. No experience? No problem. All you have to do is whatever the skipper
tells you, which initially will mostly consist of sitting on the rail or scrambling across to sit on the other rail, acting as self propelled movable human ballast. Once you are good at sitting on the rail, you will probably be taught how to grind on a winch
. Once you get good at turning a winch
handle, you might get to learn more technical stuff. Eventually you will get a pretty good grasp of the bigger picture. Wednesday evenings or Sunday, most clubs or marinas
have informal "beer can" races, Everybody has lots of fun and you will meet all sorts of folks, some pretentious and full of themselves, but most just great folks who love to socialize and sail.
My favorite option to recommend would be to start out with a dinghy
and a dummies book, and of course a couple of good PFDs, figure on getting dumped in the water
a few times, and go it yourself on some local lake or sheltered bay. Or maybe a nice day sailer. You could easily pick up something for a couple grand. With careful maintenance
you would get most of your purchase
price back on resale should you decide to move up to a small cruising boat. Teeny weeny boats will teach you about the dynamics of sailing a lot quicker and more effectively than a cruiser, IMHO. The bang for buck is much higher with a daysailer if you ask me. TBH right now the only reason I have a bigger boat is because it is cheaper to live aboard than to rent an apartment. Practically all of my sailing the last several years has been on Lake Pontchartrain or to/from nearby Gulf Coast ports
and a 24' daysailer with a small cuddy forward would actually be better for that kind of sailing. I have owned more small boats than big boats. Anyway, even if daysailers or dinghys are just a step in the learning
ladder for you, it won't be money wasted at all.
Look up Glen-L. You can get a used dinghy or daysailer pretty darn cheap
. You certainly can't build a boat cheaper than you can buy a used one that has been knocked around a bit, but you can typically build one cheaper than you can buy new, at least for a small boat. A small sailing skiff can be a 3 weekend project
and cost you maybe $400 to build, if you want to go really really basic. I have had a lot of fun on cheap plywood
sailing skiffs I have built. Glen-L is a good source for plans and parts
Capsizing is a great learning experience that you seldom get to enjoy in a cruiser. Fortunately.
"Power Squadron" and see if they have any classes
in your area. They can teach you an awful lot about boating
in general, going into basic boathandling, navigation
, upkeep, rules and regulations
, and of course safety
Be safe and have fun!