I notice that you asked about what to be reading... I can't say which title of his is best, but you should look into Don Casey's books. I have "This Old Boat", and it's really good about general boating (not just sailboats) maintenance/repair, as well as technique. I think his "Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual" is talked about a lot here, but I don't know whether it addresses repairs and renovations... at any rate, this author is very good, and entertaining to read.
Good luck with your dream!