I got too curious and had to get nerdy about this.
I pulled a list of the 100 largest metro areas on the US. This is basically every metro area of 1/2 million or more.
I threw out any metro area that is not on a major body of water (ocean or great lake). This left 38 on the list.
I threw out any metro area where people do not normally sail year round (on the East coast I used DC and south for year around sailing. Not sure if this is correct or not). This left 21 on the list.
Finally I threw out any metro area with an unemployment rate >=7%. I ended up with 7 metro areas remaining. A brief google of threads discussing live aboard marinas makes me thing I can throw Honolulu and San Fran off the list.
So that leaves 5 areas(with unemployment rate) [and population]:
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA (5.2%) [1.8 million]
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA (5.3%) [3.5 million]
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA (6.2%) [6 million]
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC MSA (6.3%) [700,000]
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL MSA (6.8%) [600,000]
All of these seem like really nice sailing areas, so pick your favorite climate/size
between 7% and 8% unemployment you can add:
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX MSA
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL MSA
Jacksonville, FL MSA
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSA