I have just purchased a 27' Watkins sailboat, and am learning to sail her, up in the cold waters of Lake Winnipeg Canada. I have taken the boat out about a dozen times and have not sunk her yet, although I have not had the boat in any winds greater than about 12 - 15 knots. I hope to be able to learn more about sailing from the many experienced yachtsmen on the site.
Welcome aboard! 12-15 k winds are just fine. No reason to look for more unless you like to heel a lot and get really wet. You'll certainly encounter more winds so be sure to have reefing points in your mainsail that you know how to use.