mojoe wrote:A 12' fiberglass DD 350 would also be a good starter rig for what you describe. They regularly sell for under $5000, cruise around 25 mph with 3 people or 2 and gear. Will run anything wet. Get good gas mileage and can be very reliable.
Love DD boats, and they don't need to be just a SBC. I've seen DD inline Ford, Chevy, and even Chrysler slant six engines. The trick is to keep them light and to not try to run with the 'big dogs' if they decide to head out cross country. A nice DD will take you anywhere you want to go on the water, and I've never been too proud to park on the bank and walk up to the trees if need be.