You're right, Daveboy and Polwart - it's difficult if not impossible to find the perfect compromise, particularly on a budget. But I'm not trying to be cheap - it's simply about means.
I started off wanting a little runaround for the family, just to get us on the water, that might pull the kids on a doughnut or something. Not looking for high-speed, wave-jumping thrills. There seemed plenty of options around the £2/3k mark, eg
I could even have got a new Excel and used outboard for around this mark.
Then I noticed that for not alot more I could get a fibreglass bowrider, something that might take us further afield, as many RIBNET experts had told me that a SIB is pretty useless in the chop. So I raised my budget slightly, to consider this type of thing:
I was getting into deep water here - if you'll excuse the pun - as at this budget the boats were pretty old and being a newbie I wouldn't have known what to look out for.
I then visited Excel BS with Mrs Lordy, where we saw all sorts of finance deals on brand new (bowrider) boats at around the £15k mark. A big leap from my little £2k runaround, but thanks to all the great advice I've had on Ribnet, a wise move in my eyes.
I therefore posted this thread, looking for a forum as good as this for fibreglass boats - they don't exist!! - and have received all this additional and quite unexpected advice from Ribnetters.
So, it may look like I'm cheap, hard to please and going around in circles, but with all the excellent advice I've had from the enthusiastic experts on this forum - both on inflatables and fibreglass boats - it is difficult to find that perfect compromise.
For now I'll probably pass on the Botnia, but am giving serious thought to a semi second-hand open dayboat AND (as a tender?!!) a second-hand SIB.
Not sure how I'm going to get this past Mrs Lordy, but it seems the perfect compromise, albeit a little excessive for a newbie.
Oh - and without a shadow of a doubt, a day or two's training in speedboat handling.
Sorry to waffle....