Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife
Sailing is not difficult. The Vikings could do it. Even the Americans were able to win the Americas Cup a few times.
Just get out there and give it a go and try to find the enjoyment, not the bad bits.
Hey Mark, the Vikings were very good sailors!!!
Seriously, to the OP, I had a look at the boat in question
Planet Yacht - 27' 1981 Halman Horizon
the boat is described as "The Halman 27 has proven itself to be one of the most sturdy, seakindly blue water pocket cruisers. Bulletproof construction and double ender design have become the trademark of these amazing little boats!"
With only a 4ft draft without a bulb I would say that the 35% B/D is not much and I would not call it a blue water pocket cruiser, but I am quite sure that the boat is able to come up from a 90% knock-down and is a good boat for coastal conditions.
Lona, this means that without waves the boat will not turn turtle whatever the wrong things you can do while learning. My advise is to sail in sheltered waters (where waves cannot develop) while learning, and I mean at least a year if you sail a lot. Start with weak winds and when you feel that you are doing the right thing and have always the boat fully controlled don't be afraid to go for progressively stronger winds. Learn how to reef the boat and sail with those winds and also how to heave-too.
When you feel that you can control perfectly your boat with 25/30K wind in sheltered waters you are good for the next steep and can start with coastal cruising. Small trips first.
It would be a good idea while you learn to sail to take some sailing course, not only to learn faster but to learn about navigation and the rules of the "road". Reading a lot if sailing books will help as well as being around forums like this.
that's pretty much what I have done more than 30 years ago when I learned to sail. Like you I have bought a boat about the same size without never having sailed.