JoEllen, I agree with Chuck - start your own thread, you'll get lots of good feedback. Also, consider searching the site, there are many good threads on those topics.
To the OP, take your time, slow down. There's a great article here on Sailnet
and another over at the Catalina 25 owner's site
that talk about how to self-assess a sailboat. Read both of those 4 or 5 times, and familiarize yourself with all of the terminology in all of them. The Catalina one won't deal specifically with your boat, but it's full of good information that easily translates to your boat. Then head over to your boat and go through the checklists. Take lots of pictures, and post them at a site like Photobucket, or in the galleries here, and update this thread so we know where to look. Then we can start focusing you on the things that NEED work, the things that should be attended to, the things that can really be put off, and the things that you won't have to worry about for a while.
As for sailing, sailing for dummies is a great way to start. There are tons of videos
online, too. And, best of all, the Sailnet site has an Articles section that includes descriptions of sailing techniques.
So, for starters
, does the engine work? If it is an outboard, when it's started, does water stream out the back? If so, that's a good start - that's cooling water that is circulated through the engine (NEVER start the engine out of the water - it NEEDS that water to cool and lubricate some of the parts). What manufacturer and horsepower is it (or, even better, what model number is it)?