So what did I learn? Nothing!!
What did you learn??? I hope that you learned the MOST valuable thing (and I even discuss this seriously in my singlehanded book.) You have learned that the engine
is the least reliable part of your boat. There are 100 reasons why your engine can fail. And it will always fail at the worst possible moment. It will fail when you are 10' from boats on each side and you are 1/4 way out of the marina, and the wind
is blowing 20. It will fail when you are just entering the marina and are 10' from the rock breakwater, and the wind
is blowing 30. It will fail when your wife has just started crying because the 4' chop is too much for her to take. And it will do all of these when you are singlehanding
the boat so you have to solve the problem all by yourself.
So I hope that you learned that your engine WILL fail (not Might fail but WILL fail) at the worst possible moment. So every moment that you are using your engine, you should be thinking "What would I do if the engine quits Right Now? Right Now? Right Now? You should practice this mantra every time that you use your engine, on nice calm days and on nasty windy days. Then on the day that it does fail, you can calmly manage the situation.
I'll give you two hints that have kept me sane after many many failures. First, you are on a SAIL boat. Sail it. Any time you are under engine power you must be ready to launch a sail within seconds. This will get you out of most problems.
Second, boats are a lot tougher than you think. Bumping into rocks, walls and even other boats will do a lot less damage than you think. It will probably do no damage at all It's nerve wracking, but after you've done it a few times you come to realize that a fibreglass boat is different from a metal car.
Have fun. Stop worrying and learn the lesson that you've been taught