That's interesting about the secondary being unnecessary, I had the impression from what I've read here and there that that was something the more experience brewers always did, but I guess that's out of favor now. Hey, one less step I need to worry about, works for me.
Secondary is one of those things that you'll find a wide variety of opinions on. As you brew more batches you'll figure out whether you want to use one or not. Really depends on the brew and I'll agree it's not necessary in a lot of cases. But I still use it fairly often with lighter colored beers and those I plan on letting sit for an extended period of time.
And..unfortunately I did use tap water, but next time I'll go with distilled. Thanks Marty for the offer, Medway's a bit far from Melrose, but hopefully it'll all get fixed shortly.
Tapwater can be fine depending on what your water looks like. Get a water report and see what you're working with. You'll most likely need to treat it for chlorine and chloramines but that beats shelling out for distilled water.