In the end, we decided to purchase the 9'4" hard shell water tender boat from West Marine. Cost was $587 with tax and shipping, so that's $263 less than the Pelican Scorpio. We've had it for little over a month now and it is doing great. There is plenty of room for all four of us and cargo. It only weighs 114lbs, so it's easy to lift up onto the bow and it fits nicely there.
Currently, it is operated under oar power. You can get quite a workout oaring the boat to and from shore.