99% landlubber, 1% sailor
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I'll take a general stab at your questions, although you might be a little more specific in the future to avoid confusion.
step 1: rent/borrow/ get a boat to suit your budget
step 2: learn to sail via formal lessons, or crewing for others, or just find a friendly sailor
step 3: go sailling
there are not yet any hard and fast rules for this hobby/sport yet, although a boating course will help you to be safe and a little more aware and confident on the water, It will also make you aware of the equipment you should carry onboard.
to sail, i recommend not being prone to seasickness, and to be healthy enough that you can climb around the deck with one hand free. If you are looking at sailing a dinghy, definitely be healthy enough to swim and/or tread water.
Honestly, try it out before you jump into sailing. you may or may not like it. It's not for everyone, but you may find it quite enjoyable and satisfying.