Just got back from the Destin, Florida trip. All in all I'm still pretty happy with things. Last year at this time the boat was still brand new and I was still in shake down mode. This year the wind howled for a good part of the trip which kept us in the harbor more than we would have liked. Had a house rented with a dock so the boat was always ready to go...that was really nice! Snuck out in the Gulf a few times to some near shore reefs. Furthest out was only two miles from shore. Other was only a mile out but five down from the pass. I got some funny looks out there...totally justifiable I guess. But to any of you still planning your new boat upfitting, if you can swing the few extra bucks for the I-pilot...do it. You'll be happy you did. We didn't even pull the anchor out of the box once for the whole week. Out in the Gulf over the wrecks, the big guys were regularly pulling/dropping anchor moving 50 feet from one spot to another. I may have had the funny looking little boat but if I saw a school l on the screen, I hit the anchor lock and there we stayed. If I wanted to move, a few button pushes and we're over the next spot. Even in the pass under the Destin Bridge with an out going tide, it would hold us in place while we let pinfish drift back under the bridge. "If" I would have hooked into one of those bull reds, I could have started the motor and went after him without worrying about dropping anchor and retrieving later. My big gripe...The darn livewell was up to it's old tricks again. No rhyme or reason to when it would work and when it wouldn't. Sometimes it would fill when sitting still. Other times I would have to goose it in reverse for 20 yards to make it take a prime. Other times it would hold prime between auto cycles while moving forward. Frustrating. Time for some modifications.
The only other issue is one I've been watching since late last season. I've had an intermittent miss or slip while taking off from a dead stop. I've been trying to identify if it was the prop blowing out or if I had a cylinder cutting in and out. Once up on plane it clears up. Weird and hard to put a finger on it. Since it didn't do it from new, I'm leaning toward the cylinder. The Merc guy at Bass Pro said that there was a batch of that series of engine that had some coil problems and that's pretty much what it acts like. I'll get it over to him and post what comes of it. Other than that, two trips to Florida and back and one to Lake Michigan and back, and nothing is the worse for wear. I did have my spare fuel tank just sitting on the deck for the trip home with about three gallons left in it...it wore four little spots on the deck to the point were the non-slip nubs are gone. I had it tied in but not tied down, my bad. Inner treads on the tires are worn, outers look new. Now if it will just warm up here.