After looking at lots and lots of different boats the one that I love that's often advertised as a "great first boat" are the Roberts designed ones around 25-28 ft.
Just something about them.
A brokerage I've been talking with is located at a marina that also runs AYC approved sailing courses.
There's an intro 2 day course followed by what they call a "crew" course and then a 3rd 2 day course called the inshore skipper
They also offer a whole plethora of other courses too. Things like crossing Bass Strait (which Pt Phillip and Westernport Bay open onto) to things like celestial navigation
and the customs
of sailing people in different regions of the world. But those courses seem more directed towards experienced sailors.
The inshore skipper
course involves sailing from Westernport Bay into Bass Strait and then on into Port Phillip Bay and back. To get in and out of Port Phillip bay involves navigating the entrance known colloquially (and pretty much officially) as "the rip" and Bass Straight is the roaring 40's lattitudes where the Southern Ocean is forced though a bottleneck. (Lots of shipwrecks for any of you divers out there
Port Phillip Bay is a great stretch of water
to learn on. And is pretty big too. Circular in shape which is 80k or so in diamater. Few hazzards apart from the shallows located around some of the shore areas but all so well mapped and marked it's not funny
But to get out of the Bay and on to distant anchorages
involves navigating "the rip" and the afore mentioned Bass Strait.
That the 3rd of the 3 courses I initially want to take over the summer covers "the rip" and Bass Strait all just sounds too good to be true.
I fall asleep every night thinking about sailing and wake up every monring thinking about it too and now that the reality of actually doing it is becoming so tangible I'm occasionally being overcome by anxiety attacks.
There's an argument going on in my head
between "get a grip! - you're going off the rails with all this boat
nonsense" and "you only live once chase the dream"
Needed to get this off my chest and out in the open as I don't talk to anyone in real life about this.