Well it's the way I did it. Self taught on a 30` Beneteau in the English Bristol channel (40` spring tide and 6 knots). First sailing yacht at age 58 having had small power boats for 30+ years. Took the navigation and radio shore courses and read and read and read. Then got out there to try it. (Always had the "Admiral" with me - not single handed). Had some "moments" but in general adopted a careful approach (not too much sail - reef early). Have now been sailing 5 Years including many hundreds of miles on the Croatia coast. Really super. A few things to be careful of - Booms (covered in other posts), remember you only have a few hp engine so getting trapped on the lee side of an island with the tide running towards the island can be a "interesting" experience. So make sure you know how to reef the sails (you can practice in the harbour when the wind is light), remember to use a harness, watch out for tides and currents.
Go for it it's a great experience.