I made no mention about running at WOT in areas you weren't sure about potential reefs, you use your best judgement if you are in a stretch where you suspect that there are uncharted reefs. Again, running in forward with the outboard locked down is just inviting all sorts of problems. The zapcat/thundercat racers use a bungee cord to apply some force to having the outboard stay in the down position, yet also allow some give. That way if a sandbar is struck at extremely high speed or the boat takes huge air and lands very hard, the outboard won't max out on it's up travel and wreck the bracket. My boat with my gear load will never approach the sort of speeds that the zap/thundercat racers run at. It is unlikely that I would max out the full up travel of my OB even if I did smack a rock at WOT. Having spare props on board is a must, and a good a skeg protector is also very important. I have a skeg protector but it is a very inefficient design, I'm planning on replacing it with something more sleek and hopefully just as effective.
As far as outings go, if I am on an outing with my GF and her 2 kids, our 1-3 day outings have been limited to 60 mile round trips so far. If on my own or with another experienced boater, 1-3 day outings are usually about 80-120 miles. The longest round trip that I remember was about 210 miles over 2 days (including a refuelling stop). I have a range of about 140 miles with 5 jerry cans aboard. I do carry tools extra fuel lines & fittings, handheld GPS & VHF, and most importantly a Spotme satellite signalling device, in addition to whatever basic outdoor gear that is suited to the conditions. I've posted reports of some trips on rib.net, many others I haven't.