Thanks Sailmonkey for your prompt response. I agree with you advise, perhaps I should have been a little more specific when I said that I have "very limited experience" in my initial post. I actually joined a sail club on a local lake a couple years back and have taken informal lessons with club members on sunfish, snipes, lasers, and J-22s. I guess I'm trying to bridge the gap of small lake boat sailing to reach the point where I can handle a larger boat, on a larger body of water
, for longer passages with confidence.