No reason the boat can't do some coastal work in decent weather. Sounds like you may need some work in heavier stuff though. Have you had her out in the bay in 20-30 knts?
I would start there so you know how she handles when the wind pipes up...reefing the main etc. Then take some short jaunts with benign forecasts outside the bay...even day sails will give you confidence in the boat and knowledge. Of particular concern would be the fuel tanks and filters and what happens when the wind/sea stirs up the sludge in the tanks.... Find out about that while still in the bay!!