For starters, insist on taking a test ride. It’s best if you do so with a few different HP engines within the recommended range for the same boat. I know, that’s hard when you’re cornered by a salesman at a winter boat show, but your motivation should be to know that it downright sucks to be stuck with an under-performing rig. I’ll be the first to let you know you don’t need to push it to the max HP rating to get great performance, but you do need to put the “fat” and “skinny” version of your boat to the test. The fat version includes batteries, full gas, full tackle compartments, full livewells and 2 passengers. If that fat version is huff’n and puff’n, then it’s not the setup for you. Various props and jackplates could slightly tweak the performance, but they’re just minor tweaks. The guts of your good decision should be a byproduct of the elbow grease it took to load the boat down before the test. It’s used boat salesman tactic #1 to impress the potential buyer with the top speed of an unloaded boat, so don’t fall for it. Most never feel the choked-out slow version until it’s too late.