Update: ( sorry for the delay)
The weekend before the "mini monsoon" season began :
I measured from the center of the prop shaft to the top of the pocket tunnel.
It was lower than I thought...and...Since it's a manual jackplate. ( this will be changed, I promise !), and a PITA to lift, I went UP to about 4 inches.
Took it down to Hackberry for the first time...eased out of Joe's cove and into the ship channel, right into a south wind and incoming tide. WITH the Bimini top up....but folded back. Full fishing load. Hole shot was even better than before.... and then I began trimming it. No more "wall". It seemed to have a bit of slip at 36 mph gps and about ....( I'm trying to remember, here..)...5000 or maybe 5200 RPMs. But it was fine. It will do 40 easily. And that will get me to safety in 75% of the cases.
I was happy....especially because of the stiff headwind and tide..as well as the top not being all the way down.
The next day, in West Cove and an east wind on my bow, creating some pretty nice little whitecaps, I reversed course in a tough and nailed it. Only for a second did I notice it lose the bite due to the rollers following...which is to be expected with it jacked up. Once I straightened up and was on plane...it was fine.
I think I can raise it a hair more...but it performed so well, I'm gonna leave it for now. ( water pressure was great the whole weekend..something I failed to mention.
Sorry it took so long to get back and report, but I want to thank you guys for the input. I'm also happy with the 4 blade prop that Powertech suggested.
Also made another new friend down there....who fishes 3 days a week. He put us on some fish in a place I'd never tried...so it was a great little trip. Your input just made it that much more enjoyable. I LOVE this boat now !
Pat, Steve...and all the others....I really appreciate it !