I've compiled some good links for manufacturers, boat building plans, software, etc. These are links mainly for coastal cruiser style boats for saltwater (deeper vee, heavier build), plus mostly Pacific Northwest type stuff.
I've got a fiberglass powerboat now and for the type of weather we get here (like Seattle) you really need a hardtop, wipers, heater if you want to go boating year-round. As well, I found aluminum vessels seem easier to repair, are more durable, need little maintenance, and don't depreciate like a stone when you drive it off the dealer's lot.
I started looking into them since we bought property on Keats Island (Howe Sound) with family and need an all-weather boat.
Here's the hull design I prefer:
But the forward cabin design is more roomy:
I first thought these vessels were kinda ugly but they're growing on me.
Edit: The only problem is a new one is around $100k cdn for a 26ft'er. Used you can't really pick up anything under $50k cdn that has a diesel in it which I suppose is more desireable for efficiency and you can go to biodiesel down-the-road.
These are boats for sale or manufacturers of finished aluminum boats:
http://www.workskiff.com/ WA, USA
www.ironwoodboats.com New Westminister, BC - typically $2000 per ft of boat length (ie. 20ft costs $40,000 finished) - nice smooth quality bends and welding, looks like fiberglass smoothness.
http://www.eaglecraft.bc.ca/ Campbell River, BC (Van Island) - THE most expensive boats anywhere. Nice videos on their site of assembly and stuff.
http://www.harbercraft.com/Home/ Vernon, BC (Okanagan)
http://www.coastalcraft.com/250SportCruiser.html Gibsons, BC (Sunshine Coast)
http://www.bridgeviewmarine.com/pages/boats.html Delta, BC
http://www.silverstreakboats.com/ Sooke, BC (Van Island) - show pricing for different models, everything is extra.
http://www.rmxboats.com/ Surrey, BC - they had a big one at the boat show a few weeks ago but it looked like crap, all bumpy on the sides, not smooth. I think that's a symptom of not breaking up your welds on the inside, you're supposed to make 2-6inch welds spaces 12 or so inches apart otherwise the plates bow like that. What do I know, I'm no expert.
There were some cheapo aluminum boats at the boat show, made in WA, USA but the welds looked terrible and the bottom thickness was half as thick as the others but I guess if you can't afford a good one they were around $40k cdn with motor for a 22 or 24ft'er.
Ready to go plans
http://www.specmar.com/products1.html some really nice modern hull designs here! The 26'9" "orca" looks ideal. Nice shape of the bow where it's higher than the rear by a considerable margin.
http://www.responsemarine.com/pastwork.htm Lots of good designs here too.
http://www.iboats.com/mall/index.cgi...t_id=804647482 all kinds of stuff including seats, seat pedestals, etc.
http://www.royalcitybedding.com/main.htm They had some really nice seats and pedestals on display at the boat show. Look expensive but I haven't priced anything out.
Boat Design Software
http://www.marinerkayaks.com/mkhtml/downloads.htm Kayak design software
Even with "unfolding" features where you can calculate panels and pieces as if they were fabricated from flat pieces with exact dimensions, like a cut sheet list. Cool stuff.
Welding Techniques & Advice
http://www.aluminumrepair.com/ aluminum repair flux-less welding rod for brazing