Ok, hi. been sailing 3 times, on boats in general more than that, just wasn't "helping". I loved every second and have always wanted to learn and do it, and decided when i get back from Iraq I'm going to (I figure i owe myself some fun). I'm not really on here for advice on learning, although it wouldn't go amiss, but more on choices for first boats. I'll be taking classes in basic keelboats before I make final purchases, but It'll still be new territory for me
I know from common sense that there's no such thing as a perfect boat, but i'd like some knowledgable advice on choices. i'm east coast at the moment (Georgia through north carolina area) and looking for a live aboard/coastal while i'm in school, with the capability to go cross ATL if its possible in the same boat, but realistically I have to say it won't happen for at least 2 years or more, so can't really factor into my plans. anyway i figured it'd help to have a list of things I'd need/want so you guys can maybe throw out a few model suggestions...
first-off is what i NEED in a boat, things that can't be comprimised:
Cost: $45,000 max. I have some money in savings and good credit for my age (20). but can't really see being able to afford AND maintain a ship larger/more costly than that
size: 30-45. I expect to be single-handing for most of the time. friends along for trips and whatnot, but as far as actual crew it'll be me and possibly one friend who has an interest. i'd prefer it were able to hold 4 over a month-long trip as a good general idea. i've read that 35-40 is soloable, correct me if i'm wrong,
purpose: liveaboard+costal /w bluewater capability. I don't need one thats blue capable off the bat, but a ship that's able to become capable with a little work on storage space/water container or whatever else i haven't learned about yet, lol.
as far as WANTS, things that are compromisable:
good storage space and room for size. i've read that beam has alot more to do with room than length, so maybe a fat girl is the type for me.
5'-ish draft. now i'm a toddler at all this but i've read that any more than that limits movement in many island areas in the atlantic and gulf, also a bridge clearance thats safe is good... 55'??
1 shower seperate from toilet. its not a must but i'd prefer that for obvious reasons.
reliable electronics. LOL, I know that sounds like a joke but you know what I mean. a ship with a reputation of shitty wiring isnt the best for me. my potantial first mate is one of those people that just looks at something and can fix it, I know my way around a computer and engine, but it's always taken time to get that way. he says he's just puerto rican, whatever, lol.
head room? i'm 5'11" so i'm ok in most areas but my friend that will be along for the ride is 6'5" and i'd like him to be able to have at least partial comfort, not a dealbreaker though.
so, anyone who has an idea on what would work for me, thank you