before all else I will say this. NEVER "settle" on a boat
without having set foot aboard it. a particular model? sure, but never a particular boat
. I say this because too often people will decide on a boat sight unseen and when they do see the boat in person they have on the proverbial "rose colored glasses" and are either unable or unwilling to see/acknowledge problems. keep and open mind and be honest with your broker about what you're after and what you want to do with the boat.
yes. 47-51ft is a big boat for a beginner. and understand that even after your courses you will still be very much a novice
sailor. there's no substitute for time on the water
and time on the helm
. while just going out sailing is nice you have to practice things like tucking and shaking a reef, keeping control in a gybe anchoring
, both under power and under sail. heaving to etc. do it again and again and again. also docking
, don't just get used to docking
a certain way. learn to dock
port side to, starboard side to, back in and out of slips. do it in strong winds, in currents, practice it in the dark. in the rain. I think you get my drift on this one.
the long and short of it is I think you're putting the cart before the horse as it were. learn to sail first. it will inform a lot about what you like in a boat. you may find that you're the type of person that prefers a faster boat in exchange for some creature comforts, conversely you may find that you put a premium on comfort and don't care how slow you chosen boat is.