Re: wind conditions and reefing
15-20 kt winds with gusts to 30 are generally good sailing for an experienced sailor, but for a novice, they can be very challenging. I agree with Denise. Get a little experience sailing in those conditions before you try it alone. Sail with a more experienced friend, who can make suggestions on sail selection and reefing options, and who can help you with sail trim and boat handling. In those conditions, it can be a challenge to just get in and out of your slip singlehanded.