Originally Posted by canadianseamonkey
Buy a small boat and go sailing. It's the best thing in the world!!!!
I think this is the best advice. Find where you can either buy a cheap, small, sailing dinghy, say 12-16 feet, and just go sailing. If you can find some casual lessons around, great. If you can't, get some books and a pfd and go sailing. Learning to sail in a small sailing dinghy will teach you a lot about sailing in a very short period of time.
Learning to sail is easy. Learning to manage a cruising boat is more complicated. First learn the sailing part and then if you love it (as opposed to just the idea of it) then move on from there.