Re: Buying a Cruiser
1.) I would specifically advise that you NOT "fall in love" with any boats while you are still shopping. Fall in love with your boat AFTER you buy it, not before. Too many bad purchase decisions have been made by people who fell in love with a boat before the deal was done.
4.) There are lots of boats available on the east coast of the USA, especially in Florida. If you can't find it here then you're being way, way too picky.
5.) "Blue water" means different things to different people. And it is really all about your seamanship, not the boat. The Atlantic has been crossed a number of times by people in open boats less than 20' in length. I doubt, however, that any of them had an especially comfortable journey. Being realistic about what you intend to do, and what level of comfort you expect, is the first step to take to avoid spending a lot of money on a boat that does not fit your needs.
10.) Whether or not you will puke your guts out has less to do with the boat than it does with you. People get seasick practically every week of the year on giant cruise ships. Looking for a boat with a comfortable motion at sea is a fine thing, but don't expect that doing so guarantees that you won't get sick.
8, 9, and 11.) If you only have a total of $70k for purchase and repairs, and you can't do much work yourself, then you are going to be very limited. You are going to have to find an older boat, and a smaller boat, but one that has been reasonably well cared for. Then, if you don't do the work yourself, you are at least going to have to be very good at finding people who do good work for a fair price, and you are going to have to be very good at scrounging used parts and pieces that will serve your needs. Oh, and you might as well accept that the boat is going to look like crap--you can't afford to spend money on anything cosmetic.
You've set yourself some pretty restrictive criteria. Best of luck in finding something that will serve your needs.