Two thoughts. Firstly, do not make your decision without your wife's agreement unless you plan to do your sailing alone more often than not. An unhappy wife makes for an unenthusiastic crew/partner and that is not what you need. Like it or not, unless you want to do this as "your own" entertainment/hobby the wife needs to feel safe, secure and comfortable aboard the boat. The Bay can get fairly nasty at times and a frightened, nervous, wife doesn't/can't help the situation.
Oh, trust me, I'm well aware of that. Unfortunately, I can't get her in-person approval (long story), but fortunately she likes the idea and is adventurous enough to give it a good try.
Secondly, the electric drive may have some merits but it isn't likely to be viewed as a positive attribute by many when it comes time to sell the boat, so you may/will be limiting the market for your boat. I realize that there are relatively more "environmentally sensitive" folks in the Bay area than in other areas but they are a relatively small percentage of the population never-the-less and an awful lot of them have a rapid change of heart when confronted with the practical limitations/trade-off's. (That said, I have often thought that a diesel-electric drive would make more sense for a boat then not given that such an arrangement allows one to place the diesel in a more opportune location from a weight and balance perspective with the drive where it needs to be.) N'any case, to test your theory about electric drive you might opt for an electric outboard to begin with which you can do relatively inexpensively. You'll need a fairly sizable battery bank for much running but that's not such a big deal given your objectives and the system will allow you to test your patience/tolerance for such a system. If you like it, an electric outboard can easily be resold and an internal drive substituted. Or not.
The problem with reselling electric boats is that people tend to do the conversion with turn-key kits and expensive batteries that end up costing more than a diesel repower. They expect to recoup a large portion of that cost when selling the boat, but predictably get much less than a comparable diesel boat. No surprise there, if I had a choice between diesel and electric, all else equal, I'd go for diesel every time. Now, if you compare electric to Atomic 4, it's a different story
So, I'd expect an electric conversion to sell for a little more than an Atomic 4 boat, but well short of diesel price.
It doesn't make financial sense to repower that boat with a diesel, it's a big upfront cost and little chance of getting it back on resale ($4K boat + $10K conversion - $8K resale tops = $6K loss). All I'm looking for is a reasonable inboard option that won't break the bank ($4K boat + $5K conversion - $6K resale = $3K loss). I suppose I could probably put an old Atomic 4 in for about $2K, but that's just plain wrong...
Electric outboard is an interesting idea, but it kind of defeats the purpose. If an outboard will be enough for me, I'll just stay with the Honda. Besides, I can probably resell inboard electric components for around 2/3 of their purchase price if it doesn't work out (assuming I don't short them out of course
All that said, I'm fully prepared to leave it with the outboard Honda if it turns out to be sufficient for my needs. The real attraction of this deal is that I'll have options and won't need to do anything about it right from the start.
Now, if only the seller would get off his *ahem* and get the paperwork straightened out...