This weekend I started my Basic Cruising sailing course. And I LOVED it!
Saturday and Sunday were around 9 hours each, with a very quick lunch (nobody wanted to wait, and hurried back to the yachts). The classes were supposed to finish at 5pm, but went until around 6. It was nice, it showed that the instructors were enjoying themselves and not just watching the clock tick away. Also funny was the sea-legs that came quickly. We all swaggered for a few minutes after getting back to land, as we were used to the rocking of the sailboats!
There were a couple of downsides, notably 2 of the 4 people assigned to my yacht. This couple talked on their phones throughout the in-class sections, or mumbled with each other instead of paying attention. When we got into the boats, the wife kept looking in the opposite direction to where she was steering, nearly ran into both the dock and a huge ferry (both at around 3mph), and would move to the sunny-side of the cockpit and ignore her duties! I'm actually a bit worried about next Sunday's test, when we have to be in the boat together but without the instructor. At least if she crashes the yacht we won't be in the lake for long.
I'm enjoying it enough that I'm looking into a membership at this club. For less than the monthly fee for my gym, I can rent their 20'-24' boats for free, race a couple of nights a week (learning more than this 4-day course), and drink cheap beer in their quay-side clubhouse.
B.O.A.T. = Bring Out Another Thousand
And I believe it. $500 for a 4-day course, and I'm ready to funnel my savings and future earnings into a sailboat. Sell the house, sell the children, sell the watches. Buy the boat.