AK- first things first. Where exactly are you planning to do this coastal cruising while living aboard? It makes a big difference in the type of boat you should be looking for IMHO. If you are planning to live aboard and cruise the BC coast (Alaska to Seattle area) you might want to think about a pilothouse, or at least something you can put a full enclosure over the cockpit and still sail. You'll also need a reliable heat source (or two). If, on the other hand you are planning to return to CA, especially southern CA, you might want to concentrate on a completely different type of boat. Are you interested in racing at all, or are you thinking about offshore? These are all basic questions that you need to answer before looking at specific boats to buy. It's easy to buy a boat right now, hard to sell one so you want to get what will work for you the first time. I think you'll be able to find a decent boat for $12-15K, but do your homework first and figure out what is important to you. Good luck and keep us informed.
SV Laurie Anne
1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse