Buying a 1st boat
I suggest you start off by taking some sailing courses from a local sailing school by you. Try it out. If you fall in love with sailing then progress to joining a club. Like the United States Power Squadron or a similar club. You can take courses there in navigation, safety, etc... While doing that, be a crew member to a friend of yours who has a sailboat. If you don''t know anyone who owns a sailboat then ask at the club or in message boards like this one that your willing to be a crew member. You will pick up a lot of experience and tips in sailing and purchasing your first boat.