Clearly, Hinckley is among the legends of boating - but not a "starter boat" Don't get me wrong, I love Hinckleys - back in the early '60's I sailed aboard Lola, my dad's Hinckley B40, we ventured far and wide and stumbled deep into the abyss on more than one occassion. But for a beginner - start small, start now!! If you want a boat you can't screw up too badly while learning everything the hard way, get an old Columbia, Cape Dory, Bristol, Alberg or the like in the 30-35 foot range they are sturdy boats and already have docking scars, knicks in the bow from running into the dock and they don't mind when you run aground from time to time. If you plan to venture into the blue, they will take you as safely and much more cheaply than the venerable Hinckley - plus you may come to grips with the fact that there a lot of great sailboats out there that you can fall in love with that cost a heck of a lot less.
Then, when you get good, buy a Hinckley as the boat you keep the rest of your sailing years.
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.