I am hoping you guys can help me out. I live down in Oregon and currently have a Aire Leopard, which is a great boat. However, I have found that in the last two summers I haven't really spent anytime floating with it just motoring. So I am thinking real hard about getting rid of my Leopard and getting a power boat of some kind. In addition I was out after chinook this last weekend and it got pretty wet. I have lots of people that are willing and want to go but aren't necessarily up for wet rides either physically or mentally.
All that being said I am addicted to the stability and load capacity of my Leopard. It seems like a RIB would be a good choice but I am having a hell of a time finding one used or even a place close that sells them that I could look at. I am also looking at a jet style boat with a wider flat bottom. I don't really have an issue with shallow water where I go so I don't need the depth benefits of a jet motor, but the design appears to be more stable then a Vhull. I don't want to go to long as the rivers around here are fairly narrow. So I am thinking something between a 16-20' max. I also love the fuel consumption of my Merc 9.9 and the noise level. My questions are:
Does anyone make a RIB with aluminum hull?
Good places to find used RIBs online?
How much maintenance do they require?
Anyone know of stores in Central Oregon or even Oregon period?
How stable are the jet boat designs with the flatter bottoms?
Do they handle more weight then a Vhull?
I guess the biggest question is what is the best approximation of a Leopard as far as capacity and stability in a power boat that will also keep you dryer?
I would appreciate any help I can get.