Thanks for the great responses. I will definitely pick up the recommended books, as I have been gorging myself on information prior to making "the" decision. I am planning on viewing lots of boats at the Ft. Lauderdale show - although I'm wondering if the Annapolis sailboat show may be more help?? I also plan to do a bareboat in the Caribbean on the boat that I plan to buy. They all look good in the harbor... Most of my interests have been in boats that are also highly utilized in the charter market, so shouldn't be a problem.
ebs - I realized that the mast height on the lagoon is significant - is that because of the height of the boom with the fly bridge? What are the height concerns on the ICW? I'll obviously order a guide to the ICW, but was not aware that there were some fixed height obstructions. Please inform. Thanks again for the info.