I don't care how good you think sailing/cruising is going to be - it is better!
You are smart to join this group and ask for advice, so from the standpoint of this old sailor/cruiser you are approaching your dream correctly.
I suggest a few ideas.
-Find a local class or online sailing classes
. Learn theory and practice. Now that may be difficult in Michigan in the winter. Check out your local West Marine
store for seminars.
-Consider flying down south for some sail training, Key west
, Ft. Lauderdale and up the coasts. We have the Lanier Sailing Academy here in Pensacola
-Be objective when choosing your boat
. Ask what do you want the boat to do for you? Don't fall for a "pretty" boat that may not be appropriate to your needs.
-Spend time on this forum as there are some very experienced folks who will help.
-After you have your boat, learn all you can about it and it's systems. VIP!
- Don't set unrealistic travel goals. Smell the roses.
-Weather Rules! I have a plate on my boat, "WX RULES".
-If you come this way, down the Tenn-Tom, be sure and stop by Bayou Chico. We will make room at our dock
and drive you shopping
ENJOY! It's gonna be better than you dream.