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I can't go do that until this weekend. I did an estimate of the weight of passengers and came up with 1,105 pounds. Plus we had a cooler, probably 50 pounds and food and a few personal items, probably 25 more pounds so total load was 1,180 pounds and we were full on gas (not sure how many gallons). The boat is placarded for 900 pounds. So, I was overloaded.
I will try all your recommendations this weekend.