with diesels in a 380, you can easilt make key west from tampa in one tank, and then key west to the bahamas (though most people stop over in miami or thereabouts). the advantage to a lift is less bottom maintenance. however, me and a million other people keep our boats in the water year round. you deal with it. the key question here is - what do you want as far as off-water amenities? are you gonna get cable tv, and never leave your house? is a grocery store and 2 restaurants enough? do you want to be part of an urban area? my bet is that you will spend more time off your boat than on it, so you need to think about your shore-side life a little more. that said - welcome to the West Coast.