Originally Posted by kestrel452
Thanks, man. I hate to press you on it, do you have any idea in terms a hard number as to how many people these two craft will carry (total) comfortably? They don't really look like they'd be different, unless you include passengers who may be standing up. The classier ladies won't be dragged on 3+ hour excursions, all that's really necessary to impress them is a quick nighttime run of the Chicago shoreline
You seem to know what you're talking about, unlike most of the dealers. Where precisely would you personally recommend mounting a 5-gallon Jerry can on a PO550? The NATO Jerry's seem to be the most rugged, at least from what I can tell.
2 on the bow , 3 on the back , 2 on the bolster with no equipment. SCUBA, I would not load more than 4 persons. Same with fishing. You are right, the layouts are similar and it limits the seating position, but the bigger boat will be faster and more comfortable.
If you're looking to cross Lake Michigan from Chicago -> South Haven, I'd keep it to 5 persons.
For fuel canisters, plastic is the way to go. I'd recommend purchasing some "off-road racing" type fuel canisters...that way, you don't have to deal with all of the EPA pressurized fuel can stuff that slows filling and increases spillage.