Look at a Pearson 365 cutter
. Lots of room, some nice design features for actually living aboard
, and shallow draft
. Not great sailors but adequate and you're cruising anyway.
A good windlass is priceless, canvas
awnings to cover the deck
do away with the need for air conditioning
. Being at anchor
keeps air flowing through the boat and cuts way down on expenses. If you need A/C to cruise
you aren't cruising. You shouldn't need a watermaker
if you rig the canvas
to catch water. Some areas like Baja
, CA and other desert locations do need watermakers. A ham radio
is way cheaper than Marine
SSB and the knowledge gained getting the license
is very beneficial. A couple of solar panels
and/or wind generator
should supply all the power you need. Refrigeration
is a pain in the butt to keep running and an energy hog. You not only need to have the tools and expertise to maintain refrigeration
but the generating power to keep it running. Try eating food
at room temp. Really amazing how much better it tastes. In any case, food will keep a couple of days without refrigeration and mayonaisse doesn't need refrigeration at all. Do get a windvane
. Being a slave to the helm
is PITA. Autopilots are nice but electrickery is just a failure waiting to happen.
With your job skills, bet you could leave and never come back. People with expertise in Restaurant/hotel management are in great demand anywhere there are tourists. Work permits may not be easy but you probably could hire out as a consultant to skirt the labor laws.
We went when we were in our early 30's. The best times of our lives and something we've never regretted doing. Just wish we'd stayed out longer. We knew a number of couples on very small boats with small children. Having the parents around 24/7 seemed to do the kids a world of good. It will be a challenge, howver, as that mobile age between 1 and 2 without reason is interesting.