I would have GOT a small boat after having spent years going around and sailing on other people's boats because as I've read here that is the only way to learn to sail, BUT decided to get a 39' boat as my starter cruiser boat that could sail anywhere I wanted to go in order to skip right to learning
how to cruise
; until after 2 years decided a bigger boat was more comfortable and worth it in the long run. This was possible because I knew basic navigation
, had a GPS/chart plotter, knew how to read up on things etc and already knew I wasn't in general an idiot.