Catamarans are a bit more expensive, but many are quite capable bluewater boats. Two good books to read are Chris White's The Cruising Multihull and Thomas Firth Jones's Multihull Voyaging.
You can probably find a fairly decent one in that price range
, but it would be a smaller one. Even a 34' catamaran will have far more space than most 40' monohulls. The main issue with living aboard some of the larger cats is that they are so wide that finding a slip that can accommodate them can be difficult. Some good ones that are fairly seaworthy and in your price range are the Gemini, the Heavenly Twins 26, the Iroquois, the Catalac 8/9M and Prout Quest.
IMHO, a much better magazine for learning about working and restoring boats is Good Old Boat magazine...
If you have any questions about multihulls, please let me know, I'd be happy to help answer them.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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