I know the information is out there but I wanted to post up to speed up the learning curve.

I am a mechanic with my dad at our own place and currently get by with a cheapy mig flux wire rig which has done all my body work/fab needs thus far.

I seek this help as I am planning a Jet Jon Boat custom build. A jet ski engine will be installed into a Jon boat.

Considerations:
Thin metals down to the gage of a stock Jon boat hull MIXED with possible bottom strengthening/remodeling of thicker sheet aluminum.

Clean like alloys for all add on aluminums BUT possible odd ball alloys in the jet ski pump systems such as the cast aluminum "shoe" that will be bolted to the hull (basically houses the impeller and is a closed cast tunnel for the jet water flow.

I COULD just bolt the cast shoe pump tunnel to the hull but I figure ill throw that out there since this is always something to consider when customizing existing aluminums

SO, what are the opinions out there for basically a light weight aluminum rig which can also handle like wise gages for steel up to roughly 1/4" on either would be awesome. Budget is a thing, but I know from growing up that I aint trying to pinch pennies here.
So im looking for a basic yet tuneable little rig to make me smile after using junk for so long!