You sound like you might be new to this? If that is not the case then you probably already know what I am about to write.
I've done some sailing and a couple of courses. About 500nm and maybe 30 days total on a boat, longest being 10 days. I'm pretty new indeed, but I feel I've been doing as due-diligence as I can for this project. I feel that at some point, the next step is to dive in and do the jump.
Living on a boat is not like living ashore. Apart from the lack of space there is the lack of amenities.
To be truly comfortable you need a decent bunk. In your price range that will most likely not be very big but it should be accessible and in a dedicated space. Making up the salon every morning and night gets old fast.
How do you plan to shower? A typical head in this size boat is going to be small and you will have to wipe the whole thing down every time you shower. Where will the shower drain? How will you get that water off the boat? How much water capacity is there? You will have to refill it so fewer times is better.
Speaking of heads, a manual boat toilet is not like the one you have at home where, when you are finished, you pull down on a little lever and everything instantly vanishes forever. On a boat you have to pump vigorously for ten or twelve strokes to clear the lines. After that you have to pump out the holding tank when it is full so you need a place that offers that service. In spite of this your head will clog at some point and require disassembly and cleaning. Not fun as you can imagine.
Yes, you can use the marina facilities but that can also get pretty old carrying your stuff back and forth.
Living inside a thin fiberglass hull is not like living in an insulated building. Whatever the climate is outside you will feel inside. Good fans help, AC helps more. Still, it is not the same as living indoors.
Will you be living in a slip? If so you can plug in and run most anything. If not in a slip then you will most likely have DC power and power regeneration has to be addressed.
Ah yup! I was an infantryman for quite a bit in my life, and in some other parts of my life, lived in metal shacks in Asia. But I agree, definitely will be a challenge and have to keep in mind creature comfort.
Will you be going to a job? If so you will need space for job related clothes.
I work from home/my laptop.
For the last 1.5year, I've been living in my luggages, vagabonding around the world by plane. A boat will be more
stability than what I currently have in my life. =P As long as I have some sort of internet signal every now and then, I'll be good work-wise.
Cooking is no big deal as you will most likely have propane but propane requires some vigilance especially on a boat.
Other than the price of the boat consider the immediate expenses of survey, survey haul, bottom painting, maintenance get ready, etc. Then there is insurance and dockage. Does the marina allow monthly payments or do they want ti all up front?
I'm not quite sure how much all of these will be, to be honest. If you have numbers in mind, that'd be helpful. I'm thinking an extra 10-20k$ in overhead?
Can you sail now? If not do you plan to take courses? If so factor that in.
I can sail. Not the best out there, but I can get around.
If you are doing this to try out live-aboard then the boat amenities might be more relative at this point.
Yeah, my idea is to try out live-aboard while minimizing how many eggs I put in this basket, in case I turn out to hate it. That's why I don't want to buy a 100k boat right off the bat.
So, a boat for Florida that you might want to look at is a Pearson 365 Ketch/Sloop built from 1976-1983. They feature a big galley, large head with separate stall shower, nice V-berth, 150 gallons of water in three tanks and 50 gallons of fuel.
Holding tank sizes vary. Some folks have converted one of the water tanks to a 50 gallon holding tank. Also a dedicated nav station.
Good luck. Many of us have done it.
Thanks, I'll have a look at that model! Wasn't on my radar. Unfortunately I'm too new here to post URLs, but I have a spreadsheet I've circulated with more knowledgable-than-me friends with the list of boats I want to look at.
Thanks a lot for your insight. Very useful feedback!