Cruising round the Med, stopping in little coves, sitting enjoying a drink on the deck or taking part in a Sunday race series. All make yacht sailing so appealing and it is something that is accessible with the right training. You do not need to own your own boat, you can train at an RYA training centre and then join a club.
The entry level is the Start Yachting course. This is a weekend course where you will experience being part of the crew of a training course. If you decide that sailing is for you then you can do another weekend course to obtain your Competent Crew qualification. From here you move on to the Day Skipper course. This is the certificate that is required for you to be able to charter a boat if you are going on a flotilla holiday or are wanting to just simply charter a yacht. You can go up to 12 miles off shore.
As a Day Skipper you will be responsible for your boat and the crew on it so the greater your knowledge the happier you will feel on any trips or whilst at sea. After the Day Skipper you can then go on to the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster, which means you will be able to do trans Atlantic crossings or go sailing further afield.
There are many training centres in the UK that offer these courses. Wherever you go make sure that they are RYA registered. You still do not need to buy your own boat. There are various venues, such as Lagoon Watersports in Brighton, that have a membership scheme that allow you to use their boats and maintain your skill level. A lot of clubs also have race series that run throughout the year which are great for learning new skills, the social side of sailing and also making new contacts for finding new people to sail with or crew for.