Yes, it is an option for sailing...but even a basic course would go a long way to cutting the steep part of the learning curve down considerably. IMHO, it would well be worth the money to take a weekend off and take a learn to sail ASA 101 course someplace.
I'd recommend Dave Seidman's book, "The Complete Sailor" as one of the best ones for you to read and keep with you. It covers a fairly wide breadth of history, design, technique, and philosophy and is very, very well written and easy to read. It is also fairly well illustrated. The book is about $17 at B&N or Borders, cheaper on-line.
I'd also like to welcome you to the asylum, and recommend that you read the post in my signature to help you get more out of the time you spend here.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.