Got the new motor wet this morning! Calm canal and marsh, less than 5 mph wind, 65 degrees, amazing for south Florida in May! The motor starts right up and there is a very smooth power curve. Tubular, foam-filled frame is strong and hardly any vibration compared to my previous MB 27 HP LT. Idle was c. 1100 rpm (tiny tach 2A); smooth tracking and effortless steering up to 3000 rpm/16 mph, upon which the prop blew out. I used a supplied shim and this improved but still blew out; a second shim better but still prop kicked out. I was told you can break the shims in half and stack another but because only one of the supplied set of screw bolts that hold the tracer cavitation plate is long enough, I decided against this. A third shim should do the job, but will have to get longer screw bolts. My 1648 grizzly was carrying me (205#), ballast cooler and marine starting battery up front, along with a tool box. Motor came with a 9x7 prop; on my previous motor, a 27 MB LT, I found the 9x6 to run better 1-2 mph where I run; another new 26.5 owner also found that to be the case, time will tell. My last motor hit 19-20 mph with me and a full hunting load so if I can duplicate this I will be satisfied. The drive is a 59" SS swomp, unlike my previous longtails that were all 72"; since I used the versa mount suggested by Backwater, and installed this "inboard" style, another 4" was reduced. The turning radius is much, much better, and up until the blow out speed, driving was effortless, so my shoulder is happy! Despite the shimming setback, I am very happy, and if you are in the market for a new longtail or LT kit, Backwater is the ticket!