.... but do not have the scratch .....
Here is another option, Live on land.
Land living is much cheaper, so much cheaper that if money is a significant issue stay away from boats.
Unless you really like boats and do not care about the cost. That is the reality for almost all boat owners. Buying a boat is the worst money move ever, but they can be worth it in other ways.
I'd suggest getting a room that is roughly the size of boat you are looking at. So for a 30' boat that might be something like a 15'x15' room. Total cost, electrical, water, even parking sometimes use of a yard or driveway, is going to be about $500 a month in a major city close to a university.
Then get a boat, a small one that fits on top of your car or is left in the storage yard at the marina or club.
That way you will be around boats, actually sailing (very different than living on board) and saving money to buy a boat all at the same time.
Just another option.