I'm still shopping and waiting for the chance to move aboard and head south on a budget that is basically NO budget
We have owned many boats and only ever got a survey on one (our Legend 37), and only because we had to finance $12,000 of the purchase of it and the lender required the survey. Otherwise I do my own surveys on over a dozen boats we have owned over the years.
If you get a smaller boat to start with with an outboard and pretty simple and basic systems, anybody that knows the difference between a vise grips and a screwdriver, and is reasonably experienced with boats should be able to do their own survey.
We have always had liability insurance in the event we are sailing along and somebody with a $1.5M boat cuts us off just because they figure they're "better" than we are. So we consequently ram the side of their boat and put a hole in it and sink it. Being they have a $1.5M boat they probably have high dollar lawyers too. And those high dollar lawyers will make it our fault, even though it's not.
We have always self-insured on comp on our boats until we got the Legend, which we had to buy comp for because of the damn lender. The lender will be paid off in May and then we will drop the comp on it. If somebody rams the side of our boat and sinks it, we'll just take the money we saved on comp premiums, buy one of those high dollar lawyers and sue 'em