It has taken much longer then expected to get everything on track but I am still working towards it and hopefully getting closer.
Well I'm on the 6th year of my 5 year plan! If you had asked me 6 years ago I would have bet the farm that I would have been cruising for at least a year by my 30th B-day which is next Aug. I decided to go back to school first for a more portable career. What's taking so long now is digging out of the debt I've acumulated from being in school for three years. The longer I stay shoreshide the harder it is to not acumulate bills, cable, internet, computer. All I have is about $15,000 more on my student loan, hopefully paid off by July if I have to work 7 days a week,I WILL be debbt free by 30 years old. Me and my GF are doing pretty good. We only have one 12 year old truck we share and keep our bills to the minimum. She also has about the same in student loans and nothing else. I' owned 6 boats in the last so many years and while I wouldn't take that back because the education has been valuable albeit expensive, if I had managed that better I could have a pretty sweet cruiser right now. As it stands I have the perfect boat for what we do, local cruising and racing. I also bought a boat that needed a huge refit cheap thinking it was the way to go. It turned out to be a money pit that I would have a lot more money into than it was worth.
The thing I've learned about boats that need work is you need to find something with some working systems that don't need upgrading. For instance a friend just got a great deal on an older boat someone had just replaced the rig and sails, it needed a lot of other work but the most expensive thing was new. Or a boat that was recently raced or cruised that suffered dome damage or engine failure. At least some thing work and doen't need attention. My dream would be to find a cruiser that has recently been used and updated that has a blown engine. I'd toss the engine and related equipment and go. When you have to replace, rig, sails, engine, head, fiberglass and so on it becomes a financial nightmare. Best to find something in the middle.
I'm going! Hope I see you out there.
End the end I'm glad I have a career, I can work as an RN anywhere. I'd rather use my captains liscense but it's a great backup. Screw school if it won't directly help you.