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TOPIC: 40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15

40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 10 months ago #111456

Last summer I was shopping a boat nearby for a good price. It was a 1970 Glastron Swinger 17' runabout. I loved the look of the fiberglass tri-hull, and was looking at a pretty good price.

Unfortunately, it was one of those situations where the boat was good from far, but far from good. The deck was squishy (rotten floor), many patches in the hull, the entire front seating deck had been pulled out, steering was broke, and the motor was is disrepair. I walked away :(

My father in law commented to me as I lamented my story to him that he had picked up a boat several decades ago from a friend that was very similar. It was also a 17' tri hull and was (according to him) in "mint" condition. Being wary of claims on condition of old boats now, I sort of brushed him off and thought not much more of it. Especially since he lives in Connecticut, and I'm in Wisconsin. Not exactly a hop skip and a jump to get a boat delivered that far.

Fast forward to this summer, and my father in law has finally sent me pictures, and is getting her serviced and ready for transport. It's been under a tarp in a climate controlled warehouse for over 30 years. He says I can have it, I just need to transport it.

Pics reveal that it appears to be a Muskie 17, I believe a 1973. Can anyone confirm? What about the motor? Can you tell what year the motor is by the pics?













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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111460

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The motor is a 1973. Not sure about the boat, but would be reasonably certain they were sold as a matched year set.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111461

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The motor is a 1973. Not sure about the boat, but would be reasonably certain they were sold as a matched year set. Boat should have HIN numbers at the starboard rear.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111474

All I can say is I grew up with a 1972 Johnson 65hp. Everything we put that motor through and the only repair, other than maintenance, during the 20 or so years my parents owned it was a starter and about a dozen props :laugh: . Some people are not fond of the hydro-electric drive but nearly all of the bugs had been worked out of it by that time. Excellent motor, in my opinion. Had it on a Starcraft trihull about that size. It did in the low 30's with one or two people on board and would pull two slalom skiers up from a dead stop, as long as each of them were under 180# or so.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111479

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the motor looks like a full gear shift to me, there are two cables going to the motor. but I have been wrong before. it is a very nice boat, looks like new. frog

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111527

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Good call Frog, the motor is a "Powershift II" , which is hydraulic assist on the shift mechanism - good unit IMHO! Looks like a great score Smalltownguy2, and welcome aboard. ;)

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Mark

Re: 40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111530

smalltownguy2,

WELCOME ABOARD. = NEAT RIG, too.

yours, satx

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Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

Re: 40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111607

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Wow all I got from the FIL was a 96 Buick Roadmaster wagon. I would rather had a boat. :)

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Boats: 76 Chrysler Conqueror S3, 61 Larson Playmate. Outboards: 76 Chrysler 105, 70 Chrysler 70, 57 Evinrude Bigtwin 35, 80 Johnson 35 looper, 74 Chrysler 45, 67 Mercury 650SS, and others.

Re: 40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 10 months ago #111747

The Buick would be a good boat puller though.

You are really going to like that Johnson. One of the best motors from a company known for good motors. Good power and decent fuel mileage for it's age. And they idle. Don't get me wrong, I've owned more Merc's than all other motors I've had put together but the OMC loop charged 3 cylinder, especially with a regular shift, is a fine motor.

And the boat surely looks mint to me.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 9 months ago #112539

More pictures. I have it up on U-ship right now. I'm getting excited!

















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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 9 months ago #112640

Shipper confirmed, and the boat will be on it's way later today. I should have it by Monday.

Excited!

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 9 months ago #112653

smalltownguy2,

LUCKY DOG, LUCKY DOG.

yours, satx

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Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 9 months ago #112690

Thanks!! I'm stoked.

My father in law says the motor ran fine when last used it. He says I don't need to worry about changing the water pump impeller. What say all of you?

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 9 months ago #112697

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With all due respect to your father-in-law, the experts here (real mechanics with years of experience) say to change the impeller every couple of year minimum. It's only a $25 item that cools your motor, if it craps out your motor is likely "toast". The rubber gets worn, hard, and brittle after a while and the blades can break off and plug the cooling water passages in the power head. Just not worth taking a chance IMHO.

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Mark

Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 17 2 years 9 months ago #112772

Definitely agree with Mark. Do you really want to risk destroying a beautiful preserved piece of history, by cheaping out on a $25 part?

My $.02, change it and have a boat that will last you for years to come.

I would have a mechanic give the engine a once-over as well, especially the carb.

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Frederic
Retired Army Guy
1969 OMC Evinrude Rogue II 210
163 original hours

Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112890

She's here! We're so excited.

A couple notes:

We were cleaning up the hull from travel dirt and debris, and my wife was wiping down the interior, she peeked at the coast guard tag by the throttle. Turns out the boat is a Muskie 15, not a 17! Pulled out a tape measure, and yep, she's 15 feet bow to stern. OK...that makes a few things easier for WI boating regs, that's nice.

Took her to an old Johnson motor tech yesterday morning and changed the impeller. The old impeller was in OK shape, just a few dings, not much sand or debris. The rubber was still in pretty good shape. I probably could have left it, but at least I'm 100% sure it's good now. Test fired the motor in the driveway and after several choke attempts and sputters, she finally idled. Time for launch!

Later that afternoon, my wife and I launched her on the same lake that the Johnson tech lived on (just in case we needed to make a quick call for help!). I let my wife start the motor, while I assisted on the manual choke lever at the powerhead. After about 10 minutes of choking/cranking, we finally got it idling, and hit the throttle.

She only runs about 3500 rpms total :( It's like it's weak under load and won't come up to WOT. She won't plane out. Tech stepped into the boat, pulled the cover, and in neutral we can wind the motor up to WOT no problem, but she won't do it under load. We changed plugs, gas line, tank, tried all different permutations. He tested spark and we're good there.

On the way back to the dock, she struggled to maintain idle in neutral.

I'm going to have to take the motor in for diagnosis.



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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112891

I would think he already did this, but were the carbs cleaned and fuel filter checked?

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112892

ggreggc wrote:

I would think he already did this, but were the carbs cleaned and fuel filter checked?


The fuel filter was inspected yesterday when we changed the impeller, but the carbs have not been cleaned. I suspect he did not correctly treat the motor when he put it away, and now there's buildup / gunk in the carbs. It's the last thing I can reasonably think of.

It's just weird that I can hit WOT no problem in neutral, but under load it can't. If a dirty / plugged carb can cause this, then that's where I'll need to focus.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112896

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Definitely go thru the carbs AND fuel pump, clean 'em out good and put fresh gaskets / diaphragm in. Check your gas lines, the rubber usually starts to disintegrate from the inside first - maybe clogging up the works. If you can get ethanol free gas definitely use it, even the 10% stuff will wreak havoc on your fuel system in short time.

Glad to see you're getting her out and enjoying, just a little more "tweaking" and you'll have a great rig there IMHO.

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Mark

Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112904

Mark has a good point. Could definitely be collapsing fuel line(s). That motor is known to be a good idler so it sounds like the carbs do definitely need attention also.

I used to work for a company that had a small engine shop onsite. 80% of our repairs were due to bad gas and it hasn't gotten any better since then.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112984

  • 75GT
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It's fuel related. Have the carb at the least cleaned, but given the OMC rebuild kits can be had for under $20 bucks each on Amazon just go ahead and rebuild it. Buy the OMC kit, not the cheaper Sierra kit. The OMC kit comes with a new float, the Sierra kit does not. That way you know exactly where you are at. While you are in there, replace the fuel lines from the fitting to the pump and from pump to carb. Look over your tank to motor line and replace as well along with the bulb. If any of those components are original, they were never intended for todays gas.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112991

ggreggc wrote:

Mark has a good point. Could definitely be collapsing fuel line(s). That motor is known to be a good idler so it sounds like the carbs do definitely need attention also.

I used to work for a company that had a small engine shop onsite. 80% of our repairs were due to bad gas and it hasn't gotten any better since then.


Further inspection today revealed that might be the case. I pulled all 3 carbs to take a look at them. The top two carbs both had fuel in the bowls when I pulled the drain bolts. The bottom carb was BONE DRY inside the bowl. The 'T' fitting for the fuel lines feeding the carbs is clear, but the bottom fuel line going from that fitting is very hard and not pliable any more. I removed the line and blew in it and was able to get air to pass, but it's not as easy as the top line.

I'm going to pick up new fuel lines tomorrow and change out those lines. I'll do the rest of the lines while I'm at it.

Carb kits will be here tomorrow.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #112998

  • 75GT
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If that bottom carb was bone dry the most likely cause is the needle is stuck in the seat. That would cause a complete blockage. Not to worry, new parts will be in the kits. The new needles in the kits come with a small wire clip that the old needles do not have. Make sure you use it and clip it properly on the float arm or it will give you problems.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #113003

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Don't forget to service the fuel pump as well, a diaphragm kit and good cleaning will ensure no more fuel problems for a long time!

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Mark

Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #113008

MarkS wrote:

Don't forget to service the fuel pump as well, a diaphragm kit and good cleaning will ensure no more fuel problems for a long time!


I can't seem to find a rebuild kit for the pump, where can I get it?

EDIT: Never mind, I believe I found it:



Is that the correct rebuild kit?

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #113011

Stupid question here - do my metal 6 gallon tanks have a vent on them? I didn't look too closely, but is there a vent I should be opening to run my motor?

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #113013

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I don't think that is the correct kit for your pump. The seller lists a phone#. Call them and let them know the year of your motor so they can get you the right kit. Your tank is vented. If you have a small finger screw in the center of the cap, turn it right to left to open. Some also used a self venting cap. If there is just a rivit head in the center of the cap, then it's self venting.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #113044

Got the carb kits done tonight...everything looks good.

Fired the motor in the driveway, still sounds like it's running on 2 of 3.

Dropped the boat in the water, and yes, it's still running on 2 cylinders.

BUT.......here's something new.....

While we were circling at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle, suddenly the boat gave a lurch forward and the RPM's jumped for a split second. Then it did it again, for a 1/2 second. And another time, and a 4th time. Then it never happened again. We did a few more laps hoping for something, but to no avail.

So....perhaps something electrical?

Tomorrow I will test spark in all 3 cylinders. And I'll check gas in the 3 carbs by pulling the drains. Hopefully I see gas in the bottom carb....

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 9 months ago #113053

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Ah HA...now you are getting somewhere. Ok, it sounds like you still did not do the pump? Do these checks on the motor. First, pull the plugs and look them over. If one is not firing, or firing intermittently you should see a difference. Second, verify that all carbs are indeed getting fuel. Third, with the motor running pull the plug wire off each plug one at a time and note which one/ones make a difference in how it runs. If one makes no difference you have found your culprit. Use insulated pliers to do this so you don't get shocked and blow the fillings out of your teeth. Forth, look over the coils very carefully. You are looking for cracks in the epoxy casing of the coils. A bad/dying coil may work fine at idle but drop out at higher RPM. If you have access to a timing light test each spark plug lead while accelerating the motor. You are looking for steady even flashes. If you see one that is sporadic at higher RPM you have a bad coil on that cylinder. It is best to test the coils while the motor is under load. You may need to employ a helper with this.
Keep us posted!

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113137

She lives!! Replacing the coil did the trick. I can't tell you how satisfying it was to crank that engine and see the spark in the tester. When we fired it in the driveway on the muffs, I could immediately tell that it was running on all 3. It just felt more powerful.

We couldn't resist taking it out for a little spin yesterday. We only had about an hour and half of daylight left, but we ran out to Balsam Lake anyway. My mechanic friend saw me cruising around the lake and came out to greet us!









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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113152

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Congrats Buddy!! Enjoy it!

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113170

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"The thrill of victory", glad you got it worked out.

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Mark

Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113294

Hi;

Funny to note - My uncle just gave me his mint 1973 Muskie 15 Crestliner. Identical to yours except Evinrude 65 HP. Mine too was kept under cover in dry garage, last used in 98.

As to your fuel pump - there is no rebuild kit for it. The entire pump must be replaced.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113342

Here is a picture of my 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 :laugh:










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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113344

More pics of my Evinrude powered 73 Muskie 15. Our boats could be twins.... This also was a gigt to me (but I am 55 :(

My uncle decided he wanted to give it to me - I never would have expected it. I had not seen it since 1977, and had no idea what to expect. Lived its life in a dark garage - never left outside. Used verrrrry little - last time he had it out was 1998. I changed the impeller in the water pump and new plugs - ran like a top for 3 weekends, then died on the water. It turned out to be a the OMC Power Pack on the engine - cost me $100 for a new one and 1/2 hour to install it.

We are both very lucky guys - I feel a little guilty using it (don't want to get it dirty). I added the tack last week, so I could see the RPMs.







Attachments:

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113350

WOW.....beautiful! You're right - our boats could be twins!

I see you have the aft cover for your bimini enclosure. Is it the original one? If it is, I'd sure love to borrow it for a little while so my local vinyl lady can reproduce it!

I noticed an interesting color scheme on the trailer. Do you know if yours is original? I can't tell with mine. I really do like the two tone paint job though.

How's your stern grommet? Mine's completely gone - just a black plastic circle where the steering and throttle cables come out. That's on my list to replace, just not sure how to pull that one off.

At any rate, your boat looks fantastic! I'm blown away that there was another one out there just like mine, in similar condition. Thanks for sharing!

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113354

My grommets are still mint (both steering/throttle and the one for the fuel line. The grommet on the outer (exposed) side is a cream-white (looks to be Nylon or teflon).

As for the top, have the fron cover and the cover for below the center window as well.

I'll make you a deal - I send you my rear cover and you have two made (a new one for each of us... lol)....

If you decide to add a tach, it's not too hard of a project.

Trailer is the original - I even have all original bills of sale from the dealer. Made by Sterling.

Mine never had the AMF logo near the Crestliner decal - I was told mine was a very early build date (mid 1972 for the 1973 release. Is your vin tag near the control, as well? Early builds were there, later builds had tag on back right on the transom - I had to prove that to the state of NC when I registered it (as by law 1973 boats were to have vin tag on right of transom just below the rub rail.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113486

Took the kids out this weekend on a small (200 acre) lake nearby to try tubing. Was pretty windy, so we got some practice in launching and landing the boat in the wind. The ramp was also a lot shallower grade than some of the other boat launches I've been to, had to put the truck nearly all the way into the water just to get float the boat off the rear of the trailer. Learned a valuable lesson about having a helper hold a line attached to a stern cleat while winching on, that's for sure! The rear end wanted to spin around in all the wind. It was good practice for windy conditions.

Kids had fun. Older one (almost 10) had no trouble hanging on to the tube. The younger one (just turned 8) had some trouble with submarine on the tube starts, probably my own fault for not regulating speed properly. She let go the first time without issue, but the 2nd time she held on tighter and got dunked. That was it for her, she was all done. We all learned a bit more about towing people and how the boat drives with someone in tow. Turning is certainly different!

I did some more trailer inspection/maintenance this weekend. I had noticed that the tongue was bouncing around too much while towing - there wasn't enough weight. So I loosened the winch tower and moved it forward 3 inches. That allowed me to move the boat forward on the trailer 3 inches, and that made all the difference. Now there's about 50 pounds of weight on the tongue, and she's nice and stable now. Now more thunking in the truck from the boat lifting on bumps.

I also examined the rollers for the keel. It looks like all 3 of them will need to be replaced. They're breaking down and really marking up the keel. Put that on the list.

The tag for the trailer shows a manufacture date of 1973, so I'm pretty sure this Sea Lion trailer is the original trailer that was outfitted with the boat. I'm going to repaint it this winter, I just need to decide on a color. I'm thinking black, but not sure.

All in all a good weekend with the boat, engine ran pretty good, although the key switch isn't always turning off the motor every time. Probably a loose ground on the kill wire. I'll track it down and fix it.

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Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113487

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Windy conditions present a whole new set of issues don't they, especially launching and loading! Sounds like you're well on your way to learning the little tips and tricks with the new boat, good for you.

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Mark

Re:40th bday gift to me: mint 73 Crestliner Muskie 15 2 years 8 months ago #113508

Hi Brad;

I purchase a used two person tube (DBX I think) after a regular tube dunked my wife and on a separate attempt my daughter.

I did not like how super-high my bow lifted (especially when towing), so I put on a Stingray Hydrofoil - an old-timer saw me in a parking lot and said he use to have an early 70's Crestliner, and the foil made all the difference... si I spent the $49.00 and tried it. Totally changed how the boat handles (instantly up on plane, much more stable both straight and in turns), but it took off 1 MPH from top end speed. Took only 20 minutes to install (drilling the 4 holes was a bit scary), but well worth it. Front end doesn't come up more than 6" now.

Here are pics of it on my motor:











I am thinking about adding guide posts to the back of my trailer to make loading easier.

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