To all who have posted, thank you for providing honest opinions. Apologies that it got a little heated, but I do know that Checkmate owners are very passionate (I know, I was one). Truth is, I do miss my Checkmate, that boat turned heads, even at 17 ft. The colors were beige with bronze marigold mist trim. The boat sparkled like gold in the sun, and I babied it like no one's business. I definitely miss my straight 6 merc, too (although at speeds above 60, she did get a little loose around the edges!). Anyway, thanks again, all these responses provided me with the info I wanted to know, and all are greatly appreciated.