If you are going to live aboard you will find that you need more cumfort than if you are only sleeping aboard for a weekend now and then. I have lived aboard my Columbia
41 for just over a year. It has lots of room and storage
space. Even so, I had to dispose of a lot of stuff in the process. And I always have to ask myself where I can stow some new thing before
I buy it. Larger, older boats are quite affordable. But anything over 15 years old (regardless of the survey) will have to be paid for in cash. You will quickly find that financing
for older boats is not be possible. Look around for an older fiberglass
boat like a Morgan
41. It may cost you about $35K US in as is condition. The best thing about fiberglass
is it can be neglected for a long time and be brought back. It is a forgiving material and does not require a highly developed skill level or a lot of specialized tools.
Pay for a survey
before you commit yourself, financially or emotionally.
Avoid a wood boat unless you can build a floating Hepplewhite hutch. Marine
carpentry is arguably the most skilled trade
going. Boat yards are full of rotting wood hulls that were once works of art. Deferred maintenance
catches up with them and they get passed around like a case of the clap (a little waterfront lingo there). The last guy buys it thinking he can fix up for cheap
. Surprised at how much it costs to restore, he opts for lots of home builders caulk. And the rot
I will not bother you with pontification on fero or steel
hulls. There are plenty of posts on those.
Boat technology is not something you can learn inside a day. You will need to read dozzens of books
on a wide range of subjects. So, before you even spend $2,500 on that little trailerable catalina
spend $250 on books
(abebooks.com is a good resource for used books) and 4 or 5 months reading every night. Crew for other people. Learn, learn, learn.