Self taught if you don't count reading books first. Synopsis was; I read a couple of books, rented a small boat, bought Far Cry and learned how to make it go where I wanted. About six months later I started racing with others and then "really" learned a lot about sailing in a very short period of time. I still learn whenever I'm on the water, especially in different boats. They all seem to have individual preferences to make them happy. Is that why boats are referred to as females?