Join Date: Feb 2001
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Navigating the locks is a very enjoyable non-event. If you are heading south, go to the left side of the lock, and the polite & helpful attendants will take your lines, pass them around bollards, and hand them back to you. Hold the lines while the boat goes up-down 2'-3'. When the gates open, slip your lines and leave.
As far as your "blender 9.9", I have a Yamaha 9.9 4-stroke that has done 3 round trips to FL and is still going strong with 1800 hrs.