Another thing to realize is that the $1000 is not a one time drop of money. It takes time to build ships ... months and in some cases, a year. That cost could (and usually is) spread out over the course of the ship build. By the way, Florida has many captains in state that could offer direct help. Battlers Connection, the business that sells hulls and ship parts to the hobby, is based in the Orlando area. And of course, there are many online resources such as this web site and the email lists you are already part of. The resources and expirience is available. I argee with Nick that the hobby on a whole is not suffering from low recruitment. We have seen incredible growth in some areas, especially in Ohio and surrounding states. That growth is due to the selflessness of captains willing to help someone get started. Something similier can be done in Southern Florida, either by going with an existing format or the low cost alternative listed above, in addition to a drive and energy to promote the hobby. I applaud the thinking outside of the box. Developing and promoting the low cost alternative in your area is the best way to get it started.