My name is James, and I'm looking to get into sailing in the all-too-distant future. Just a little about me: Right now I am 31 years old, so I have a fair amount of time to get into the hobby/sport. I am a second year surgical resident (6 total years). What that means is that right now I work 80+ hours per week making a modest salary, but once I complete my residency and go into practice, I can expect to make a very good salary. Currently, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, but I'm originally from Nebraska. Every chance I get, I try to go boating/fishing, but currently my only vessel is a 10' kayak.
I hope to eventually land in the Santa Barbara/Southern California area. My family is originally from the area, and I have very fond memories of my uncle taking us out on his sailboat when I was younger. I have wanted to learn to sail for some time, but being from Nebraska, there were few opportunities.
Currently, my plan is to take a sailing course on the great salt lake here in Utah, so that I can learn the ropes.
Here in landlocked Utah, most boating is done with standard motorboats. I will probably acquire one of these at the end of the year for fishing/waterskiing. (Any suggestions on cuddy cabin vs open bow are appreciated...) My ultimate dream, however, is to acquire a sailboat to use in the southern California waters from San Diego to Santa Barbara and out to the channel islands.
While I wish this plan could come to fruition in the near future, I realize that it will be 6+ years before it becomes a reality. My main questions at this point is what I can do now to prepare for when I am more financially able to achieve my goal. Additionally, what size/type of boat should I be in the market for? Are used boats from the 1970s-1980s still viable or should I be looking to purchase something almost brand new? What guiding principles should I adhere to when looking to buy my first boat?
Thanks for your input,