Re: I am 26, and seriously considering moving aboard with my girlfriend. Any advice?
Have a look at a Nonsuch 33 or 36 for a very comfy liveaboard and cruiser in your price range. We had an Espar heater when we lived aboard in NYC for two winters. We were much happier with our heating situation than people with electric were.
In South Africa doing lots of boat stuff. Departure north from Cape Town around December 15th. Arrival in the Caribbean around the beginning of February, after 5300 miles or so.