Keep in mind that working on a boat this size is vastly different and much easier then your keel boat. For one thing, all the parts can be brought home to a garage, shed or even just covered with a tarp outside. If you are not too proud you could even use a thin tarp or an old used sail to make a knock off for the simple triangular form the lateen rig
uses. I think I have even seen used sails on craigslist for about $100 and used complete boats from around $500 on up.
The Sunfish would be a nearly ideal boat to just 'knock around in the local lake' on. When the wind dies you just raise the dagger board and use it as a paddle to get back. The hull is a little heavy for single handed car topping IMHO but the rest of the rigging
would be easy to bring and take home each time, if the hull were locked on a rack or somewhere near the lake.
There were tons of these boats made and many knock off brands came out that use very similar hull design and rigging
, so used equipment should be easy to find.
I wasn't trying to scare you off by mentioning that older hulls can and usually do take on some water; I was just being honest. The same is probably true of a similar boat that is popular in the mid-West, the Butterfly, which you might also consider. Butterfly Sailboat and Butterfly Sailing News, Information, Events, Results, Parts and Accessories, Used Butterfly listings
It's rigged more like a Laser which you also might like.
I have access to a bunch of Sunfish about an hours drive from home and really enjoy the times I find myself sailing on one when I'm not on my Tartan 27'. One of my best sails last summer was on a Sunfish with a friend in winds gusting near 20 knots. We got that sucker planing on a broad reach and were flying - and hiking out and getting wet. I don't know how fast we went but it sure felt like way more then the 6 knots our T 27' can do on a similar course.
Fun boats but wet.