First things first... a huge THANK-YOU to all of you on this forum. Thanks to everyone who has posted threads, added their 2 cents, and responded to my PMs. This is truly a treasure-trove of information for Alaskan boating. For the last 9 months I have scoured the lists, researched what I found on this forum, and learned so much that I was completely confident when the right boat popped up that I would know it. I knew what I wanted, I knew the pluses and minuses of all those hotly debated topics, and when I finally found my boat I was able to move fast and make it happen. So thanks to all of you!
This boat, Eagle VI, came up on the Seattle Craigslist and I jumped on it. I was able to get down there within a few days and test drive it and it comes as close to filling all of my families needs as I have found that is within my price range. Extra bonus: the gentleman that I bought it from is an absolutely wonderful person who was meticulous in his care, he had receipts and notes about everything he's ever done to the boat. He sold it because he's 74 and his fishing partner is 91. They're not done fishing, but they are getting something a little smaller and easier for them to launch and recover. I sure hope I'm fishing at 91! Truly amazing.
23' Wooldridge SS XL Offshore
Evinrude 225 main
Yamaha 8hp kicker
Full electronics suite with radar
Nice array of little extras - downriggers, dingy, windlass, radio, outdoor speakers, full back cover etc...
For anyone who's looking for aluminum, don't rule out Seattle and Portland. I actually saw more aluminum boat possibilities on the Portland list overall than anywhere else. Had a buddy put it on the ferry in Bellingham and I went and picked it up in Haines from Anchorage. $2,100 for the ferry, $400 in gas, and $200 in road-trip expenses. Pretty happy with that total. The road to Haines is actually very good, other than the stretch from Burwash to Beaver Creek... which sucks pretty bad. But it's a small percentage of the total drive.
Once again, thanks to everyone who takes the time to make this forum so awesome. With any luck I'll have a few opinions of my own to post by the end of the summer. Can't wait to see you guys out on the water.