My suggestion would be to buy a small boat right now. Larger than 12 but smaller than 20 feet. Learn to sail it. learn to capsize
it and right it again.
Learn how to take care of it and fix it. Maintenance
is a big part of boating
, and the amount of time and effort it takes frequently comes as a surprise to new boat owners.
Concurrently, register as available racing
crew (railmeat) at as many yacht clubs and marinas
as you can get to.
When on other skipper's boats - keep your eyes open, mouth shut and do as you're told. If you have a question, wait until a calm time before asking, and when your question is answered - nod sagely and take it in, regardless of how intelligent or stupid the answer seems.
If there are other people in your family
, involve them as much as you can.
Enjoy yourself and don't take anything that isn't a safety
issue too seriously.
Good Luck !