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There are many online sailing sites that teach all that a newbie needs to know. Some have sailing simulator programs that are quite realistic, presenting problems and solutions that new sailors will face. There is no need for an expensive sailing school, the same money could buy that first sailboat.
Checking out the video sites is quite helpful, as many people post videos of their sailing experiences. Learning from the mistakes of others on their sailing journey proves that there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Trolling through the online auction sites reveals many small sailboats on the market, along with information on each. Comparing sailboat makes and models gives future sailors ideas of what a beginner sailboat should look like.