Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
A couple of comments. As a former merchant mariner with over 700 days at sea, I can tell you that going to sea on a large ship and going in a small sailboat are two very different things. Spending some time coastal cruising and getting some experience would be high on my priority list. With your limited budget, a boat on the lower size end of your range would make sense. It will still need work, but you should be able to find something that is basically solid but can be updated bit by bit. As to communications at sea, SSB with a ham license is the lowest cost way to go. You can send email with SSB, but its SLOW, even compared to dialup service.