My J/24 uses from a 4 to 6hp outboard, but it weighs around 3000lbs. You might check the weight on the hunter to make a comparison.
A crack around the keel on a j/24 is a big deal - in some cases the keels can waggle - which is bad. I was able to tighten mine up with the big bolts in the floor, then apply epoxy sealant to the crack and I now have no seepage.
You're probably going to want to learn what all those "ropes" do... but you might start by referring to them as lines. I'm a newbie myself, but the ones that raise the sails are halyards, and the ones for trimming are sheets.
I spent my first summer learning how to rig and launch my boat leaving little time for sailing. This season I'm getting more time on the water, and learning how to shape the sail for various conditions.
Tip: if you're able to keep your boat in the water - you're more likely to spend time sailing it.