That's the real problem with all the smaller boats: lack of room. I don't care how spartan you can eat and sleep, to actually liveaboard
comfortably for the long haul, you need a lot of gear
and tools that casual cruisers wouldn't consider having aboard the boat. Most of their tools are at home in the garage with the scuba tanks
and spare anchors.
Doing the kind of cruising we all say we do requires a lot of stuff. Weekenders are camping out comparatively. Sure, bring the kayaks along this week! The long-distant cruiser has the kayak
, next to the SUP, and dinghy
trailing along behind.
By the time you get all that stuff secured along with the diesel
jugs, toss in some solar
mounted hither, and the windgen yon, rain catcher, radio
, long-range wifi antenna
, sunshade, propane
tanks, Magma, outboard
on the pushpit, and maybe some clothing
drying on the lifelines
... welcome to liveaboard cruising on the small boat.
And I suspect the more cluttered, less shipshape the vessel (and captain) appear, the more likely one is to be approached by water
cops. Not my favorite thing. Oh yeah, I left out radar
and the watermaker
and the weatherfax, etc. Had to ... no room to install them, and not enough power to run 'em, and likely not enough $ to buy 'em.
I suspect the OP would be fine with a smallish good sailing boat for a year or so in the keys and Bahamas
but inevitably, as one collects gear and tools of the trade
you begin to cramp your own style. And OP, learn to deal with 4' or so of draft
in the shallows because it really matters out in the ocean. From the keys eastward is called the Thorny Path for a reason.