Re: A bluewater live-aboard for under $20k
If you are going to be coastal hopping and want to have a boat that can cruise longer distances on the cheap, a Vanguard that has been well maintained would be a good solution. Felicity is for sale in Falmouth Maine (no interest or relation) for $11,500 asking and looks to be in great shape with a rebuilt A4. They come in a standard or dinette layout, Felicity is a dinette. Boats are bullet proof older hulls. The dinette is great for living aboard, more galley space then the Bristol 35.5 I'm looking at.
Boat sails well for its age and type and will handle the bigger stuff easily. Three guys from St Anselms College bought one and did a three year circumnavigation as a graduation present to themselves. I spoke with the captain and he indicated the boat performed very well. I know of several in addition that have done pacific crossings and plenty of trans Atlantic crossings.
6'2" headroom, prettiest lines in the harbor, from the drawing board of Phil Rhodes.
I'm getting close to my time to cruise and if I were going solo, I'd do it on a Vanguard in a heartbeat. Would I like a bigger boat? Maybe a little bigger-for one its comfortable and for two its a squeeze, but the money I save and the simplicity of an easier to handle the design is very attractive. Its not camping, I have hot water, rerfigeration and an oven. The interior is plain, but a lot of the upgrades I have done have been mostly cosmetic and mine is becoming pretty darned yachty down below.
Guess I am biased, but seems to fit your budget-would that I had the clarity when I was your age to chuck it all and go on a journey.