Coast guard has allot to do with ratings. Same size boat does not mean it is built the same. Lund pro v verses my crossover. Pro v has thicker metal and beefed up transom so higher horsepower rating. If you have kids I would for sure look for a boat with rear jump seats. If you do any amount of trolling jump seats are nice. I never put the rear pedestal seats in. They are just in the way. Hydraulic Steering for 150 and up outboards. Otherwise Hydraulic not needed. If you are within 25 hp of max is close enough. Depending how small a boat your going to. If you are undecided between a 17 foot boat and a 18. Always go with the bigger boat. If you can afford it. Very few people say I bought to big of boat. They always wish they had bought the next size up. Normally I would say for a first boat go used. Because no matter how much you look around. Once you have a boat for a few years. You will likely change your mind about what you would have bought. With the used boat prices right now. Can not blame you for looking new. The other thing is try to order within the next few weeks. Way better chance of getting the boat in time for next year.
2014 Lund 1875 Crossover
2014 Mercury 150 four stroke