The recommendation of the Casey book is worthwhile. You will tend to get overwhelmed. I am on my second boat and I still am.
But regardless, you do want to address your understanding of the boat as a first step, after you know what the heck you even need to understand. Where are all the thruhulls? Where are the fire extinguishers? How does the toilet work, or does it work? How to use the radio
? How to handle the sails
? How to fuel
the boat? Is the fuel
clean and the tanks
don't leak? But if it were me, I would only plan on motoring out a few times to get used to the boat. But I'm pretty chicken. Others would say just the opposite.
First of all, you want a safe boat. Keeping the water on the outside of the hull
is most important. Anywhere water can come in you need to figure out asap - thruhulls, hoses, hose clamps, rudder
packing, shaft packing, god-forbid hull
Then you want to make sure you can get from A to B safely, etc. etc.
But in my experience, while you want to do all the mechanical and safety bit, it makes it easier if you can mix in some things that just make you prouder of your new boat - cleaning
it up some, etc. You need to do the major other things but if that is all you do, you can get pretty burnt out. But don't go unless you do the minimal requirements. But a good wash, getting rid of mold
, smells, etc. will help you feel better about your new purchase
Oh - you better prioritize your projects by money
you can spend. Does you no good to get a new expensive radar
and not get the engine working well.
Have fun. Been there done that. Sometimes it seems endless and impossible but keep going. But - whatever you do - don't put the boat in the water and go until you know you can get back to your slip safe and sound without a tow or a swim. Or at least pretty sure.