I started an an old Aqua Cat 12. (think conduit riiging and the big styrofoam ball at the masthead) Whie we overloaded and abused that little boat, I TOTALLY agree that it would be a bit small for the orginal poster to start on.
As far as learning to sail, you can learn on your own, but it is much faster with a little help.
Read, sail, think, ask, read, sail again. I have been using that learning technique for a long time and still have got it totally figured out!!!
Pics of the Aqua Cat coming soon!!!!