Re: Starting From Scratch...
Read read read and read some more. Read Eric Hiscock and Allard Coles, and Moitessier and Beth Leonard and Hal Roth and anything else decent you can get your hands on. It is not that they tell you what you should choose but they teach you about what matters in the choices you make. And then, you make the first of the consequential decisions about your future which are what cruising / sailing is all about.
Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself