building a small racing sloop
A Lightning might be a reasonable first boat. The class rules allow wooden construction, they are not too tough to trailer, but would probably require hoist instead of ramp launching. I think there is an active group sailing them in the L.A. area- I thought I saw a bunch at a Marina del Rey Yacht Club (or were those Stars? from a distance, they''re similar...)
Anyway, Woodenboat did a two-part article on the construction of a lightning in issues 153-4.
But I think building something even smaller and simpler first wouldn''t be a bad idea- even a stitch and glue pram or kit kayak- just to work out the bugs in your skills with epoxy and related goops. Read Gougeon''s epoxy manual before and after your first project- you''ll be amazed at how many concepts come into focus after having lived thru the problems they solve.
Or get a few friends together and jump straight into building a mount gay 30 from Dix- it looks like a hoot! Lets see, the next Transpac is in ''05: can you be ready by then?