I'm a newbie too and starting out on an O'Day DaySailer 3. Just waiting until spring to give a whirl! I've looked at lots of these sub-20' day sailers from different manufacturers. They all are fairly similar, most are open bow or have a small cuddy cabin
and some have a bit more than that like berths and a porta-potty. It all depends on how many people you plan to carry and what kinds of things you plan on doing with your boat.
My specs for a boat where mostly to be able to get it to the lake using our economy cars, it couldn't be very heavy. Secondly, I wanted something with two sails
in a sloop
rig just to get the hang of this commonly used rig. When I move up in many years ahead, I'll have more of an understanding how this all works. Finally, I wanted a cabin
or at least a cuddy cabin because I would like to try camping with it. Using a boom tent expands the room the small O'Day DaySailer has in the cuddy cabin.
I think you'll do well with the Flying Junior. I'm not speaking from experience but from my research
for my own needs and you said you want to do this with 3 people it shouldn't be a problem for having fun on the lake during the day. There isn't much storage
on this boat so if you want to do more or if you need to have a portapotty for the ladies then you may want to look for something a bit bigger.
From the pictures I found and some reading I've done on this boat, it seems to be used for racing
a lot. I saw some people hiking out (hanging over the side) on this boat. This isn't something newbies are real comfortable with or for Significant Other's that are a bit nervous.
The problem with shopping
for a boat now if you are in the northern winter locked latitudes is that most of these small boats have either been sold
or put away until spring when the seller may be able to get a better price
. There isn't much in this small boat
category right now. I've looked on Kajiji, Ebay, SailboatListings, CraigsList, etc. The inventory is really low right now. I bought mine in November and found a seller willing to hold it for me until spring.
Enjoy the adventure, it's a lot of fun. I just can't wait for the snow to go away.