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Maria, the cheapest place to get sailing lessons in NYC is probably through a club/program that runs out of the boathouse on the Flushing Meadow Park lake. Yes, that one south of Shea Stadium. It isn't much and you will be learning on very small boats--but it is still formal sailing instruction, inexpensive (dont know how much these days) and they can "graduate" you into a club program that has a couple of larger boats operating out of the World's Fair Marina, whatever that's called these days.
Seasonal program only, as I recall, so probably nothing to be offered until late spring, but that will give you time to find them.