If i am out by myself I'll at least wear an inflatable pfd, I have looked into the kill device, so far all I have found were ones for outboards. I do have a full teak swim platform going on, I am having a custom wraparound bracket made out of stainless steel tubing. With out it, getting on the boat if I fall off will be next to impossible, especially if I am injured. I need to get an decent epirb and a life raft before I venture too far out, I plan on making offshore trips( probably 40 miles tops ), weather permitting that is. I have eliminated every possible scenario from stainless steel fuel lines, transmission lines, all new wiring, all new hoses, and one new seacock. I discovered all that was holding it on was 5200, the bottom corroded off and was hidden by the intake cover on the bottom of the boat! Everything that could leak or burst has been replaced, I went overkill with the fuel & trans lines but I had a reputable hydraulic shop make them for me and I'd rather be safe than sorry. The gulf of mexico can turn up pretty fast, and your read stories about boats getting swamped in a following sea because of the low open transom. That was one of the deciding factors for me in finding a boat: closed transom, big beam & twin inboards that are direct drive. You can't get that anymore, not with quality and without breaking the bank. I was looking at the Luhrs 25 Tournament, too much wood and corners cut to save weight in the 80's & 90's. Fishing is what I will be doing the most of, some trolling too so V'8s aren't really practical for that, I probably would not of bought the boat if it had 8's.
Sorry Sam, I didn't mean to hijack your thread, were all waiting for your pictures! Photo's of the progress: