buying first boat
While I agree in principle that what NJCiscoKid is another valid way to go, for the record, I do want to point out that there is nothing about a lighter weight boat that would suggest that it is less stable nor that a lighter boat necessarily sails on her ear. (Ask John Drake about the heavy boat he test sailed in Florida.)
While there is *nothing*inherently wrong with a simple rig that has a mainsail w/overlapping genny, they are much harder to single-hand in that you are dragging a much bigger sail across the boat on each tack and a big genoa is harder to depower. As conditions worsen it means dealing with a poorly shaped partially rolled up genoa or a sail change to smaller sail. With a mildly bendy fractional rig you can often get by with a smaller non-overlapping jib in a wider range of conditions, powering up and down quite easily. A mildly bendy rig, does not necessarily require running back stays (I don''t have runners) or a lot of tweeking. Fractional rigs are actually simplier to tune since you have two less stays to deal with. A backstay adjuster on a mildly bendy rig gets pretty intuitive, you pull it in until the helm goes neutral, then you stop. Want more feel or a little more speed, then you let it out.
I posted my process not to say that it was exactly the right answer for JerryCooper14''s boat but to talk about one form that a search process for a similar boat had taken. Much of what I was looking for in a boat I would equate to having more tools at my disposal.
Its a bit like deciding on a pocket knife. For years I carried a simple three blade Boy Scout Whittler. Then someone got me a Swiss Army knife. I liked having some of the tools on the knife at my disposal but many of the gizmo''s I never use. Then one day I found a leatherman lying in the street. It is a tremendously handy tool but frankly it is not a very good knife in some ways, I found that I never used most of the tools on it, and it proved too bulky to carry so I went back to the Swiss Army knife.
In the same way, more modern designed boats and hardware offer a lot of tools. For some these extra tools are handy but for others its just a lot of extra stuff that they can''t or don''t want to use. There no one universally right answer here, just differing points of view.
But I do agree, that depending on your goals, (i.e. if part of your goals does not include learning sail trim and boat handling) then for many people and perhaps even most people you can get by with a simplier heavier boat.