J24 Good first boat???
I think they make great first boats. They are pretty easy to handle. You can learn an enormouss amount about sail trim and boat handling. As your skills build they are still good raceboats and so you can further develop your skills. They are not the best overnighters but I cruised my old Kirby 25 which has even less of an interior. They can be a little tricky in heavier winds but get rid of the jib and if things get really bad reef the main and you can sail in almost anything you might normally encounter. I personally son''t like sailing in J-24''s as the cockpits and deck layout are pretty uncomfortable but that is really more of a nitpick.