Originally Posted by Chrisch
I guess the small boat is really a no-go.
Chris I don't entirely agree with what some of the guys are saying. Since I don't know much about you, I don't know if what I'm about to say is at all appropriate.
Let me start by saying that I have been diving for 33 years, and in that time, I have logged about 3500 dives, the vast majority of it on wrecks in the Great Lakes. For the past 25 years, it has mostly been from my own boat. I believe that "any" boat is better than no boat. So buy the best you can afford, and adjust to it. (The first boat I ever dove from was a canoe! I sucked, but it beat swimming!)
My first inflatable was a Zodiac Mk II Compact. It was 12.5' long with a 25HP Merc. We regularly dove 4 guys from it without a problem, although we all suited up before we left the dock. It was "perfect" for two.
The second boat was a Zodiac Mark II Futura (14') with a 40. It was a dream boat for 2-4 divers. We regularly made full day expeditions in it covering long distances.
The third boat was a Hurrican Mk III RIB... 16' of pure bliss... although it had less useable space than the Futura due to the jockey console. But it was ideal for 2 divers and a tender, and the comfort was unbelievable compared to the soft bottoms.
My forth (and probably last power boat) is a Hurricane 590... It's absolutely perfect for what I use it for. Ironically, of all of those guys I dove with in the early years, only one still dives. Since he owns a dive shop, I rarely dive with him, so most of the time, I have this 6m boat all to myself, along with my tender/SO. Oddly, I never seem to have enough space in this boat. Your "stuff" will swell to fit the boat you have... because it can!
Anyway, my point is that whatever boat I had at the time was the best boat EVER! I'm sure if someone offered me a larger Hurricane, I would love it, but it would get tough to pull.
So my advice is to find the best boat you can and get out and use it. If you wait until you find your "perfect" boat, you'll inevitably miss a lot of those perfect days when the water is smooth, the sun is shining and all is right in the world!