A rambling selection of thoughts, here.

You might look for a used bay boat. They generally are made of fiberglass with a fairly flat bottom and not a whole lot of fancies on the inside like carpeting, etc. They would be quite a bit less expensive than 20k and are rated for at least 6 people, as long as they don't mind sitting wherever, as there usually aren't more than a couple of seats.

If you want comfort on a budget, get a bimini top. It makes ALL the difference on a hot sunny day. Not too shabby when a rainstorm moves in either, but you'd better hope the wind doesn't pick up. [img]/forums/images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

If you're really wanting the best value for your dollar, you might look at a used runabout with an inboard/outboard. You likely would be able to find one for 5k or thereabouts that is in decent shape. Most are rated to hold 5 or 6 people just fine, as long as you aren't planning on having a dance party or the like.

It's been mentioned before by Bird at least, but make sure you do the proper maintenance or you will be sorry. [img]/forums/images/icons/frown.gif[/img] Saltwater is really tough on equipment, especially so with outboards. Flushing after every use is mandatory.

Used outboards are always money pits if they haven't been taken care of. Many are money pits even if they have been cared for. I won't name any makes/models here, but there are certain ones that are known to have problems. A common one is a failed oil-injection pump. Bottom line is that a 5-10 year old 150 hp outboard is a 4k+ rebuild waiting to happen.

Smaller new motors aren't cheap either. I bought a Mercury four stroke 40 hp efi last year and it set me back almost 5k before installation (ouch!). But it sure is sweet . . .

Bottom line. If you don't know much about boats, you are likely to get burned buying a used one from an individual. You might be able to find a deal at a reputable dealer, but that's a real long shot for many reasons.

Incidentally, that's why your's truely bought a new tractor instead of a used one.