As a wizened old codger, here's my take.
1.Creedence, you may very well own a house at some point in your life. Frankly, now probably ain't the time if you are asking the "house vs. boat" question.
2. Before you shell out the money for anything, house, boat, even a pet that might live longer than a year, you and your wife need to do a gut check as a couple. Ask yourselves three questions and write down the answers.
1. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
2. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
3. Will a broken condom change anything?
3. If you are going to live on a boat, the time to do it is NOW.
4. Something to think about is where you plan to live. If you plan to live in Florida, it may never be a better time to invest in real estate. Buy a condo for 50% of it's build cost, and rent it out. Now you have income and equity.
5. Buying a brand new production boat IS a BAD investment. But, buying an old production boat at the bottom of it's depreciation curve is a GOOD investment.