The new (to us) boat is back out and in the driveway, ready for some tlc and our list has grown fairly long.
Granted I'm still pretty green with this boat, but my gut feeling for a nice casual cruising speed on plane is around 12mph/2300rpm. The minimum plane speed seemed to depend on the seas. In calm and flat weather it could be backed down pretty far, roughly around 10-12 mph but in rougher seas it required a quicker pace to keep up. Since we got it in the water so late we were dealing mostly with rougher seas but a few hot and flat days mixed in to keep us all happy.
The prop that is on the boat is shown below. Not sure what the size is, any way to tell? Since it has some nicks etc it'll probably go in for a refurb. I definitely need to replace the cutlass bearing, I'm guessing that it has at least .020-.030" slop (based on a hasty grab and lift). I'm thinking I should pull the shaft and check it for straightness while I'm at it. Then I can get it all back together and do the alignment as you have suggested. I think that should get us a much smoother and quieter ride next season. Between this and the cooling conversion I think I'll keep busy this winter.