Originally Posted by Gerry
Thanks for the input. I realise I'm exepecting a lot from the budget.
Also trying to work out whether it's better (or easier) to get a boat with an older engine but good layout and update engine later, or get a decent engine with the wrong layout and change console/seats. Surprised how expensive some consoles (e.g. Outhill) seem to be...
To my mind buy the right boat and upgrade the engine later. Old consoles ripped out of boats aren't worth much, and it takes a lot of time and effort/skill to fit replacements, rewire etc. As you've already discovered the costs soon mount up too - especially when you add upholstery and steel work too! Whilst you are waiting to do the work the boat will be a bigger compromise which might mean you don't use it much.
The other way round second hand engines in good running order will get you some money back (but only a fraction of its replacement cost!) but are relatively straightforward to fit (no angle grinders usually required!) and add some value to the boat, and in the meantime you can use it - all assuming the engine is reliable.
That said I wouldn't rule out a boat because it doesn't seem to have the right seat layout - unless you really know what you will use it for. Its not uncommon to hear people say they want all jockey seats because they are better for rough seas and then say but we won't really go out in bad weather - especially with the full family on board.
Also you may be able to easily add a suicide seat on the front of the console e.g. using something like a large cool box; if you really need it.