Hey everyone! I've been lurking here for a few years and I figured it was about time for a reality check as I find myself getting more and more enticed by the liveaboard lifestyle.
I've been sailing since I was a kid and absolutely love traveling. I'm 21 now, going into my 4th year of Uni. I'm doing a visiting researcher/study abroad program in Japan and will be here through the end of 2011. After that I'll be returning to Florida for a few more classes and then graduating. I really like the idea of living aboard and having the complete freedom to travel and would like to do this before I get tied down in a serious job.
I have 30k in savings from working through college and have been looking at prospective boats on yachtworld to see what's available. I think something in the 8-10m (28-32ft) range and around 10k best suits my needs. I'd be buying during the off-peak season with lots of haggling. The O'day strikes me as a good prospective, but I am slightly concerned over its blue water seaworthiness. Are boats in this size category suitable for Atlantic/Pacific crossings? I'd be starting off in the Gulf/Caribbean for a while, but eventually want to make my way over to Europe and Asia (and anywhere else I might get a job offer). I'm an engineer, so I'm not too worried about fixing up and making improvements to the boat as long as it has a solid hull. What are some other boats I should be looking at?
As far as my budget goes, after allocating for the initial boat cost and upgrades I'm planning for ~$1000/month of expenses with an additional emergency reserve fund. I'm going to try and do a rotation work cycle where I work for 3 months, take 3 months off etc.. so I should have effectively a zero net income for however long I decide to do this.
I often read on these forums that you guys wish you had started doing this at a younger age and I'm trying to take that advice
Thank you all for the help and let me know if you need any more information!