Okay, fair enuff. But Antarctica :-)???
You'll be setting out on a wonderful journey and there is much to learn. You say: "What should I buy for a boat to live on, something where fuel
costs will be minimal", so let's start there.
Fuel costs are totally irrelevant to what you want to do. You do not go great distances in a sailboat using the "iron wind". You sail! That is the original, immutable form of "green", solar
power. For the odd spot of getting in and out of harbour, or going a few miles when there is a schedule to meet, for example due to tricky tides, you might like to have an engine
, though that is not absolutely required. In TrentePieds, the 20 horse Kubota burns 1/2 gallon an hour and drives the boat, on flat water
, at 6 knots (6 nautical miles an hour), so you get, in a sense 12 miles to the gallon. But tha't through the water
, and very rarely "over the ground". I only carry 30 gallons of fuel, so my range under power, on FLAT water, is something like 350 miles. Unless the current
and/or the wind
is against me. Not enuff to cross oceans. In the ocean you SAIL! And you follow a route
favours you, even though that might make you have to go hundreds of extra miles.
Now crossing oceans is NOT everybody's cuppatea. When I do it, I do it by 747, because in the ocean there is nothing IMO but tired, cold, tired, hungry, bored, tired and uncomfortable. Not my cuppatea. You couldn't pay me enuff to put up with that crap. But coastwise - now that's a kettle of fish
of a whole different colour.
In a time long ago and a universe right next door, I was a professional sailing instructor. Basic boat handling I could teach you in a week-end. Nobody can teach you to be a skipper
- a functionary whose first responsibility is to keep his crew safe, which he cannot do without keeping his ship safe. Learning
that will be all down to you. And it takes a lifetime of dedicated application.
So turning more directly to the question of what (make of) boat you should buy, that cannot be answered on the basis of a simplistic question. Boats are not Ram 350s that you drive outta the showroom and blow down Route
66! Boats are highly individualized things that have to be chosen, and adapted and modified, to suit their owners personalities, the jobs to which their owners/skippers will be putting them, and the waters in which they will be sailed.
So go pick out some boats you think your might like, put them before us by name, and tell us something about what you'd like to do with those boats and where you'd like to do it - something more realistic than Antarctica - and we can critique your choices. What's more: We'll be glad to do so. One of our members likes to hang out in Patagonia, so if you just can't get Antarctica off you mind, maybe you'd better talk to him :-)
Tell us where you hang out at the moment. That'll enable us to begin to point you in the right direction for instruction, and to have some opinion of what might be available in your local market.