Ahoy! been a member for a number of years. I've owned small boats all my life. Wife and I were planning to buy a trawler a couple years before retiring and then cruise from SE Louisiana to the Bahamas and possibly further south. Then Katrina hit, then Rita. After seeing all the damage we decided to skip the boat and go to plan B. Bought a 39' motorhome then retired and started traveling. Sold the house, traded up to a 45' motorhome and full timed for a couple years. We rented a 42' canal boat in France with another couple and had an awesome time. I was really impressed watching our wives handle the lines through all of the locks. Bought a smaller house in a retirement community and sold the motorhome. We live less than an hour from Lake Maurepas which leads to Lake Ponchartrain and the Gulf. I'm having an envie again to buy a boat since we have so much great cruising areas near us.
My plans would be to cruise on local waters with friends and family for day trips and some overnights. Also to cruise the ICW east and west and head into Florida over the winter. Possibly do the Bahamas. Then head up the east coast. Not sure if we'll do the loop, possibly parts of it. We'll probably spend a month or so on the boat, leave it and head home for a couple months then repeat.
The time in the motorhome gave us some insight on living with limited water and space so we're comfortable with that but like our long hot showers when we have hookups.
Remember this is a pipe dream, haven't even broached this with my wife yet
So I'm thinking of either a trawler or motor yacht no longer than 40'. I'm not as limber as I once was so engine space accessibility is a consideration.