Flexible, I would recommend starting in optis at age 7 as the ideal way to learn to sail. But I'm assuming that age has passed you by eh?
Since you have the boat you have, and you are the age you are I would recommend getting an instructor or experienced sailor to show you the ropes for a few days as the fastest/safest path to sailing nirvana. I'm not saying you can't learn to sail on your own, or that that isn't hella fun, just that in your current position getting good instruction is gonna be the fastest/safest path. The advantage of an instructor is that you may be able to get a certificate from ASA or USSailing at the end of it, which is actually helpful for insurance, or chartering (not required, helpful). The advantage of a experience sailor is they may bring beer and have other good qualities. Both will be able to teach you the four things you absolutely need to know - getting in and out of the marina safetly, anchoring, not going out in bad weather or what to do if you get caught out in it (reef early, reef deep), and what to do in COB situations.
I would also recommend making lots of boating friends, these are the people you will sail with, as you will soon discover that most people in your life will like the _idea_ of sailing, but aren't that keen on actually _doing_ it.
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Last edited by tenuki; 01-26-2008 at 07:05 PM.