Greg, since you have time on your side the best thing you can do is join your local sailing club and sail with others. Join a racing
crew and get some miles under your belt. Racers do not let inclement weather
stop them from sailing. In five years of racing
you'll sail in a wide variety of weather
condiditons and get invaluable experience.
Different boats have different characteristics. Mono's heel but I've sailed them so long I don't notice, multis don't heel but have a quicker motion that does bother some. Cruising multi's and mono's of the same size will have about the same passage
times contrary to the claim of a multihulls blazing speed. Multis can sail in shallower water
, make a better party platform, don't sink like a mono but can capsize
although it is rare.
Greg, you really need to get time on sailboats to understand.