I live in SoCal now (Newport Beach), grew up in Houston
and have lived on the east coast for some 10 years, and I am a boater, so I have some credentials for your question.
If it weren't for the high cost of living, the dysfunctional government
and my interest in cruising I would stay here when we retire next year. But..
Cruising is limited here. Once you have crossed to Catalina
a couple of dozen times, hung out in the Channel Islands, gone down to San Diego
and anchored in Mission Bay or Glorietta Bay, that is it. Unless you want to go down to Baja
and slog back up again or brave Conception Point and others on your way north.
The east coast has the Chesapeake, where we plan to retire next year, Long Island Sound
and if you want to go that far, the Bahamas
and the Carribean.
Living cost are cheaper, sometimes much cheaper if you pick an out of the way place. Governments are iffy- Florida
sucks but Virginia and Maryland
But different strokes....