Re: First Time Builder - looking for advise regarding a rowboat / saiboat
Welcome to the forum. This is the place for answers to your questions. Be prepared that you will get a lot of feedback which may defer any decision on your part. Maybe quick answers, but long pondering may be the result of your question. But it's all good for the process.
Boatbuilding can be done easy or hard, small or large, motor or sail or row. To start building a boat is one thing. To own a boat to find adventure safely is a different manner. Building a boat requires time, patience and some skill. The choice which to build is pretty definite. To find the right design I suggest to boat around more. Try out different designs first, sail, motor and row. That will narrow down your options. There are very simple designs which will give all options of course, like a flat bottom skiff. But any sailboat will complicate matters for a builder. With the load you describe you will need a pretty good sail surface with subsequent rigging. Canoes may be cartoppable. Nothing else is really. But it sounds like you understand this already.
My humble suggestion is to look for a design of and make a simple 12 foot skiff, which should be able to carry your load safely, add a small 5hp outboard, trailer, painted not epoxied outsides. This should get you to the water quickly and with good building lessons to learn. A good general boat with simple building methods. Have fun.
"Wie sturen kan, zeilt bij elke wind"