I've heard lots of people on here (especially the cruisers) exhorting people considering a boat purchase to "just do it". They speak of how easy it is to spend your life getting ready for fear of actually setting out. I've also heard many people say that only way to really be ready for life with/on a boat is to work hard, pay off your debts, and earn your way to an early retirement. Those seem entirely contradictory, and of course I've also heard everything in between.
So here's the game: If you could do it over, from the beginning, what would you do?
Your starting is age 22, halfway through a degree, with about 6k of your own money and the option of a 20k, low-interest loan. Would you buy a cheap boat, cut out and cruise thrifty? Would you finish the degree, go to law school (you've got the grades, but that's a lot of tuition debt), and work for 20 years before buying a really fancy boat? Would you build your own boat over five years, making it perfect? Would you buy a dinghy and live a normal life on land while playing in the bay, and call that good enough? Would you raise a family and charter somewhere warm once a year? Would you curse the sea forever and go raise cattle? Would you [insert other idea here]?
I don't care about what I should do, and I don't really even care what you actually did (although I hope it was fulfilling for you). I want to know what you would do, if you could do it again. Feel free to debate, feel free to criticize (within the moderator's discretion, of course