Student at LSU, been sailing all my life in NWLA.
Dad sold the family boat- a '70's Spirit 23 when I got to middle school because us kids were busy doing kid things and lost interest. When I was in HS I was looking to get back into it and decided to get one for myself. Bought my first boat - a 1980's Dolphin 22 - for a killer deal (credit Dad for helping me shop around and teaching me to haggle) all with my own money. It was a fixer upper to say the least, but the hull and sails were in great shape (still are) and after a thorough cleaning and a few repairs we were sailing. Fixed it up a little here and there over the years and now she's back to her old glory.
Then came the summer. Dad had always showed me pictures and told stories of the greatness of his beach catamarans of his younger years. I was still hooked on the monohull cruiser, but now the thirst for speed was catching on. We shopped around and found another couldn't-pass-up deal on one in Houston. 1980's Boston Whaler Supercat 19. Same story, gave this one the same TLC as the Dolphin and now she's back to her fighting weight. That one's a blast and we take her down to the coast for regattas every summer.
Yeah, the boats aren't the prettiest on our lake by far, but the memories spent working on them with my Dad are priceless and the work was very rewarding in the end.
Confident I could at least break even after all my expenses on repairs are added in. Sailboats hold their value very well in my area. Only cost to me nowadays area Marina Fees, which are very manageable, even for a college student such as myself.
By my senior year of HS, I was the owner of two Sailboats. Not boasting, just making a point that owning a sailboat is very manageable for any budget as long as you have the patience to hold out for a good deal and are willing to put some work back into it if you buy a junker like I did. But if you have the $$ for a 2013 then by all means save yourself the effort.