The OP first off is very fortunate to be living in Oz, I would trade
a rarely used body part to live there. The AUS dollar is stronger than the USD. A double envious position.
I am not a sailor, nor do I own a sailboat, my background tend to be somewhat sideways in marine
mechanics. But its been my goal to have a liveaboard
situation for the last three or more years now.
His dollars would go very far indeed in Florida, much further than any state though I would suggest taking a look at boat sales in Hawaii
, I have, its not as big as the mainland but the economy is stumbling there.Be at the right place at the right time and it could work out very well, I have personally seen deals where owners have to sell because they need to relocate, so I have seen a fair amount of boats suddenly being put up for sale
The next prime area is the San Fransisco bay area, I saw a Craigslist ad for a decent sail boat that was I think 31', the owner was asking $1500, it was worth as far as I could tell at least $7,000.
I would especially love to do what he is doing but me being in Alaska
makes it difficult, any boat up here is priced too high, but if I head
down around Puget Sound
then I can shop, but I would try looking in Hawaii
first. Boats there are usually kept up better for distance sailing.
I wish the OP well, if I travel to OZ it will be our next winter and on a six month Visa. Things in America are nearly getting out of hand, at least in Alaska
we are not affected too much, I still have a good job though its seasonal.