While still in college, my husband (well, then boyfriend) and I bought a 1965 Pearson Vanguard for $9,000. She was Smurf blue and had a bit of hurricane damage. For two years, we finished school, worked on the boat, and fed the cruising kitty as much as we could. And then we untied the docklines and left! Our journey took us down to the Florida Keys, over to the Bahamas, through the Turks & Caicos, and to the Dominican Republic. We had an absolute blast, met some great people, and changed in ways that were unexpected.