I am brand new to the forum as well as the sailing world. I want to introduce myself and get some feedback on a potential plan/dream that I have.
I am 26 years old and I am single. In about 6 months I am going to graduate Medical School in the United States and I am going to be doing an Emergency Medicine Residency hopefully somewhere in the South East. I am trying to do it somewhere in Florida (preferably Jacksonville FL, which puts me close to St. Augustine, they have a good training program there)... Anyways.. I am a very adventurous person and have always been close to the water. Residency Training is three years long and I thought it would be an awesome idea if I could live on a boat in a Marina close to where I am training at. I am the type of person who is more then willing to try to live on a boat. I have the drive to do it, and since I am single and young I am not tied down to anything. I live in a condo as of now, so downsizing is not an issue for me.
I just wanted some general feedback from you guys/gals (the experts) about what size sailboat and in general what brands of sailboats would probably fit me the best. I will probably for the first three years spend 90% of my time on it in the marina unfortunately due to the training hour requirements. But I would still like the boat to be able to cruise weekends as well as head to the Caribbean for holidays and longer vacations and such. I would need a boat that has probably two berths, 1 full head and shower, full kitchen and possibly washer/dryer? I was thinking along the lines of a 30 to 35 foot boat, and the only names that come to mind so far are Hunter, Catalina or freedom? Anyways... I have a lot of research to continue doing.. and I have only been reading for a month. But I have about 7 months to prepare. As for my budget! HAH! well.. I am basically have no funds saved due to the fact that I have been in school for the past 8 years, but will be making a salary during residency, I will have to finance the entire boat purchase, but this is no different then me going to finance the entire mortgage on a house if I chose to do that.
Sorry for such a long post.. just wanted to give enough info so I can get adequate response.
Anyways... Thanks so much for the advice, look forward to reading more and maybe someday running into some of you.
A young man your age named Robin lived aboard next to us. He had a early 80's model Hunter around 36/37 feet. He as an RN that was going back to school to get his Anesth RN cert. He loved it and I think you would too.
I think something in the low to mid 30's would work for you. I would certiainly go for a production boat. You need to make sure you have some left over cash for maintenance. You may have difficulty financing the whole thing. They typically require 15-20% down, but your degree will make you a bit of a safe bet. Forget the washer/dryer. You will be like every other live aboard and will wash at the marina. All good marinas have nice wash facilities.
If you can avoid Ft Laud/Miami/West Palm area, then I can see live aboard as an option. Naples is possible, but you will have to live north in Bonita or Ft Myers Beach.
Regarding the carribean, forget it. You won't have that kind of time. You are looking at a very likely 2 weeks there and 2 weeks back. That may also be limited by weather windows. Take that deestination off your map until you are done with your residency (unless you do it in the Islands where they need docs, hint-hint). The Bahamas are a definite for you and close. It is also very boater friendly. You will see more there than you will know what to do with anyways and the passage is not as gruelling as the thorny path to the carrib. Even Sea Rays make it across, and if they can do it, any canoe with a stick and pillow case flying can do it!
I think your plan is great. I think LA for your lifestyle will be super because it will allow you a great break on the weekends or whenever you are free. You will find the dock environment fun for night life and the view off your back porch much better than any condo. Go for it. That is EXACTLY what I was giong to do too (I was a PreMed) and as I said, my neighbor already did.
Let me know if you need any other help/direction!