Otherwise a 780 should be ok single handed, I single hand my E7 a bit, only drama is getting the main up without a tiler pilot, I just hang off a mooring which keeps me roughly head to wind. I haven't figured out how to gybe the (symmetrical) spinnaker in anything above really light conditions, but they're beautifully balanced boats, and behave nicely with a line tied to the tiller.
We have done 2 handed races in an E780, just have to go smaller jibs way earlier than when you have 6 bodies in the side, but was quick downwind, and that was a 7 foot draught boat!
As for the minis, we had one that was going to set the world in fire here once in a major regatta before heading to mini transat events, couldn't beat the E7's around the track!!! Don't believe the hype!
i sail my young rocket solo. if your just out for a day sail, you can lock off the tiller with a coule of loops of rope to hold the tiller in the center whilst you pull sails up, otherwise buy a tillerpilot. i picked one up on ebay for $250, works like a dream. kites up and down can get a bit hectic but as long as you have room to do it. new tiller pilots can come with remor=te control so you could point up or down from the foredeck... everything can be done with a bit of forethought. i wouldnt bother with canting keel.. run a smaller jib, get your reefing lines in and sorted from the start.
There is a Rogers 8m canter with a pedestal in the cockpit in Brisbane. I don't believe it's currently advertised, only an old listing, but I can give you a Facebook contact if you are keen. Priced around 25kor less
I've done lots of coastal miles on an E780, and coastal miles on my Eagle 8 plus coastal and Tasman miles on a Mini. In a WA 3m Swell and 30+ knots the Mini is the place to be. For a 100 mile over nighter you can get away with a E780 but you would be looking at the rig, rudder etc. Similarly the Mini is (should be) set up with hydraulic auto pilot you can totally rely on. Sure a Mini is only 21 foot long in a light upwind - but give it a chance to stretch its legs and it would be way cool.
I'd only convert a 780 if I wanted a project. It aint only the hull, it is the rig, and electronics and beefing up the rudder.....
The Dix looks a good deal being new and local, and Wild Child took a while but ended up pretty sorted. Might be due for an upgrade by now - which is far easier and more fun than keels and canards (in my view).
In my experience - other users may have different views....
The Eagle 8 Supergroove was conceived as a w/l weapon and coastal capable. It was a progression from the E 780 which wasn't as good on the wind or in the light but reaches really well. Because it was a new build we added a bit to the engineering - mainly hull and deck core and laminate to ensure long term stiffness. Probably 15 kg in the hull and decks. It meant we never had any concerns about the boat.
The rig was an early carbon build with rod rigging. We were conscious of getting the weight out up high so ran the catalogue specs pretty hard. Changes as follows. Mainly Halyards and Sheaves.We were running 6 mm / stripped halyards and small sheaves when we were course racing. When we went longer we had to grunt things up a bit. Similarly spreader attachments were fine but needed work after a particularly bruising coastal 2 hander. I also had adjustable rig tension and over time the blocks died - they were specced right. Also reefing lines need thinking about. I had a solid boom but never really got the reef set up ideal for long races.
My rudder and stock were fine but we had to beef up the attachment to the transom. In the middle of a 120 miler we had me down a locker and another crew leaning over the back to tighten up the bolts. After the race we found we had sheered a few bolts. Fixed by going wider and adding another 4 bolts. I put on a Spinlock telescopic handle tiller rather than just a normal tiller extension. Magical in the long races.
Sheets and control lines for ease of use. 6 mm kite sheets work great around the harbour but get very ordinary over time.
Cabin hatch and wash boards. We had this sorted from the start, but most boats don't.