Many community colleges offer sailing lessons as a non-credit course. Usually, they consist of two to three days of classroom instruction, then another two to three days on the water
. My wife and I took a course 7 years ago, just prior to me sneaking out and purchasing
a 27-Catalina. She still has no idea what she is doing, but she can hold a course (most of the time), while I go below and fix lunch.
Now, with 7 years of sailing under my belt, by some standards, even though I mostly single
hand sail, I'm considered a novice
sailor. I've owned 15 power boats, fished the Atlantic's offshore
canyons for tuna, marlin, shark, etc..., and have made about 45 to 60 sailing trips a year for the past 7 years.
My longest, single-hand sail was a 10-day voyage from Havre de Grace, MD to Virginia Beach, VA and back. I got caught in a couple storms, sailed a lot on moonless nights and motor-sailed during some scorching hot, windless days.
Believe me, you will learn a lot from your own, practical experiences, and of course, your mistakes. Some folks on the forum might take offense to this, but sailing ain't rocket science. At least from my standpoint. It's just common sense.
And, once you get the hang of it, you can relax and really enjoy those days out on the water
when the power boaters are sitting at the dock
waiting for the wind
to calm down.