Re: Need help finding perfect boat!
A couple of thoughts:
Tanzer 22 - in your price range with a nice big cockpit. They have a cabin but pretty much any boat over 18 ft. is going to. They are also fairly beamy which might help with getting into and out of the water. They are available as a keel/cb model for skinny water.
Colgate 26 - it has an open transom which might be helpful. An even larger cockpit than the Tanzer and the cabin is really just a crawlspace, but it would be a good place to stow gear. Probably out of your price range however.
Precision 185 - very similar to the Colgate (same designer and manufacturer) in a smaller package. Again though, probably out of your price range.