I would write a contrasting viewpoint to Jeff C''s, but he''s dead on. The biggest consideration in cruising is not whether or not you have a good handle on the basics of sailing, but rather are you prepared for the unexpected? Having cruised Mexico and the South Pacific, I found the YEARS of preparation, shakedown cruises, intentional beats to strong weather, etc., only moderately prepared us for the conditions we faced. Time on the water is essential, in all types of conditions, because that is the only thing that can prepare you for unexpected, and often unwanted, eventualities. Cruising isn''t all mai tai''s and sunsets, but with proper preparation, you definitely can work in a bit of both!