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Chrisbloom7 01-03-2010 09:07 PM

Where to move to now, so we can eventually move aboard?
Long time lurker, first time poster.

We want to move to a boat. We know this. But we're not sure where. Oh, and we don't yet know how to sail. But we DO know that New England has become too damn cold and we want to get out soon! Given the following laundry list, can anyone recommend some good coastal locations? East or West coast, or in the Gulf, the exact location doesn't matter as much as these points. We will most likely move to an apartment in the area first, then make the leap to a boat.

General location:
* Warm climate!
* Good mass transit system
* Cultural center (museums, etc.)
* Near hospital or medical school
* Good, progressive school system
* Liberal political climate
* Reasonable cost-of-living rate

Most of our family is on the East Coast, so we're feeling slightly pressured to find some place over there. However, not too many places seem to meet our criteria except maybe western Florida. Any other suggestions?

tempest 01-03-2010 09:43 PM

Not many places are fitting because I think You have a pretty tough wish list....

It sounds like you want everything you have now...but you don't want winter....and you want a lower cost of living....
I'm assuming you have kids in school...or I'd suggest becoming snowbirds..

And you're right, I come up with western fla....

Not sure you'll get the mass transit...can't speak to the liberal politics..

mdbee 01-03-2010 11:17 PM

Isn't a "Good, progressive school system," an oxymoron?
Oh wait, they did say "Liberal political climate."
I suppose it depends on your viewpoint.

And... "Reasonable cost-of-living rate." Doesn't that also rule out most "Liberal political climates?"

tager 01-03-2010 11:38 PM

Seattle and Portland come to mind. San Francisco is bound to be more expensive, Portland would be best.

MARC2012 01-04-2010 03:20 AM

Not too warm here in Fl now.Not too cheap either.Will monitor this to see myself.

closehauled14 01-04-2010 06:52 AM

San diego seems to fit the bill for you. If you're a liberal, you will have a hard time finding like minded folks on the gulf(FLA,AL,MS,LA,TX), or the east coast (NC,SC,GA,FLA). Not exactly liberal, or even liberal friendly in the south. Besides, Mdbee has it right. There's no such thing as a "liberal climate" with a low cost of living (hence, liberal)

Chrisbloom7 01-04-2010 11:59 AM

Thanks for the advice all. And your criticism is well received :) FWIW, I'm not looking for "low" COL, just "reasonable" - i.e. not as crazy as say San Fran, and somewhere where rent for a nice 2 BR apartment in a safe place isn't going to cost us more than our monthly mortgage payment for our house in central MA. (The whole point is to downsize after all, budget included)

We spent some time looking at rental property in St Petersburg and Ft Myers areas of FL last night, and they seemed to fit our idea of "reasonable", and there are a few progressive private schools in the area that we are familiar with. The Pew Foundation ranks Florida 20th in the country in regards to how religious each state is, which may or may not translate to a more liberal climate than those states nearer the top. Of course, we're coming from MA which is a heathen state at #44. (Source:

@closehauled14 - San Diego is one of the places I would love to go. The only downside to CA in general is that my wife is a pharmacist and that's the one state where there is a market saturation of pharmacists, so finding a job would be more difficult for her then elsewhere.

@MARC2012 - Where in FL are you, and what's the temperature like? Even an average low temperatures in the 50s is better than where we are now.

@tager - We've looked at Seattle in the past, but our research gave us the impression it wouldn't be too much warmer than New England. Would you say otherwise? Is Portland much warmer than Seattle?

denverd0n 01-04-2010 12:47 PM

You won't find Florida, in general, to be a liberal state, although there are pockets of liberality here and there, as there are everywhere. You also won't find good mass transit in Florida. In fact, you won't even find average mass transit in Florida. What you will find is below average mass transit and cities/streets that are very poorly laid out for walking and/or biking. In Florida the car is King!

You can, however, find a warm climate, reasonable cultural opportunities, good hospitals, and a fairly reasonable cost of living. You will also find very hot and humid summers, lots of bugs, and plenty of other sorts of creepy-crawlies.

Personally, I would recommend against moving to Florida, mainly because I love it here and it's already plenty crowded enough!

CaptainForce 01-04-2010 12:53 PM

Oh, Brer Fox, please, please don't throw me in that briar patch! ..or any place in Florida!

63bccartoon 01-04-2010 01:01 PM

Warm-boater friendly-Florida place
Looking for a new-be sailor frendly Florida place;
I reccomend the Fort Myers-St. Petersburg area.
I live on the East coast of central Florida. Not
nearly as boater friendly as the area around Tampa Bay.
St. Perersburg has the Salvador Doly museum next to
a livaboard marina. Very close to that is a sailing school and
university. Also very close is the municipal area of St. Petersburg.
The East coast main Coast Gaurd Station is in St. petersburg.
Tampa Bay is big and deep enough and clean enough to
offer a great place to test your sailing skills. Fort Myers
is also very boater friendly. Both offer close access to
the Gulf of Mexico. Also, very important, full service marinas
nearby to help with repairs and general maintainance and
parts access for your dream home.

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