Been going out with friends for a few years now and always have a ball. But also always have scheduling conflicts and just want to be able to get going and go whenever I want to. I've fished out of Whittier and Homer in the past, but I'm not really all that familiar with either area. I don't have tons of cash to spend but I won't buy some clunker that's going to strand me. My plan or thought right now is that I would rather buy a smaller boat with a newer outboard rather for around the same money as an older but larger boat and motor. Smaller boat is going to be easier to tow, load/unload, as well as maintain. I don't want or need a cabin, head, shower, or any of that, a soft top maybe. We won't be staying out overnight, and know full well the long range Montague type trips will be out.
I see 18' Klamath and Bayrunner type boats for $5-$7.5k quite regularly and just wonder about the utility. I like the idea of being able to fish some saltwater when the weather is good, shrimp close to the harbor in Whittier, and still troll for lakers on Louise or cruise BigLake. I have done a small amount of running around inside Orca inlet at Cordova in a 16' Klamath with a 35hp Johnson and while I won't say I was comfortable, I'd also never seen the ocean just 2 years before and had never been on it so don't think my fears were well founded. It's been a few years and I've grown a little more comfortable with the idea of being on that great big water.
I know a guy can pick up older Bayliners fairly cheap, but they are heavy, have a bunch of amenities I don't feel like I need, and just seem far more complicated to maintain and work on than an open aluminum boat. Although I've had bad luck in the past with outboards, my luck seems to have turned and I think I would rather have an outboard from a standpoint of familiarity.
I know now that a boat like I'm talking isn't going to be the end all halibut boat, I don't expect it to be, but I'd like to know before I get in over my head wheather or not I'm having a pipe dream or me and the Mrs can stick close and catch some fish. Suggestions and experience is welcome. Thanks guys