Your truck is the F250 LD, but you probably knew that. They still produced an HD version in 1997 (old body style). They still produced your truck until 2003, it was just called F-150 7700 package. Same thing, just not called F250LD.
I have a heavy tow hauler / office trailer I have to move sometimes so I went with a bigger truck than I need everyday. My 2500HD pulls my 20' Bass Cat almost like its not even back there. Just the basic 6.0L gas motor for the truck.
Things I might have opted for instead. Crew instead of extended cab. 4X4 instead of 2wd.
And... yeah a heavy 1/2 w/ 4X4 would have been better for my regular towing than a 3/4. Overall though I am very happy with my truck.
I've been towing with my 1993 Chevy Suburban 4 X 4, but now, with higher fuel prices, I've ordered a 2006 Honda Ridgeline. I've pulled with my neighbors Ridgeline and don't even know the boat is hooked up. Looking forward to the adventure.
Don't laugh but I tow with a 03 Dakota 4.7L. This is my 3rd Dakota that I've towed my Astro F18 with. I always order them with the 3.92 LSD and have put the K&N and Magnaflow exhaust on them. The 03 has an Airaid CAI instead of the K&N. All it needs is the SuperChips programmer.
I still feel that the 5.2 pushrod engines had more torque. But the 4.7 is better on gas mileage. Average 16.5 MPH combo city drive to work and towing to the lake on the weekends. I have a very heavy right foot so I can't complain.
Some of you guys will laugh,but I tow with a base model 99' S-10 longbed.It's a 4 banger with optional 4,10 rear and a 5 speed manual.I tow a smaller boat now but towed my 19ft cajun with it a few times,and it actually did surprizingly well.With the manual you can always put it in the best gear and 5th(overdrive) is more like a taller 4th with the small tires and low rear gear,and 1st is like a full granny gear.I always run in the fast lane on the freeway(85 plus)with a light boat and gets over 20 to the gallon at that speed.Not bad for a truck that cost 12,400 brand new.I've had some really strong trucks in the past but for just getting the job done it does OK, with gas prices so high it sure is nice.This truck was ordered special for my work truck,and tows a 1000 work trailer all week,and now does weekend duty because of the gas savings.
I tow my 21' stroker with a 2003 GMC Envoy. I usually get around 15 mpg pulling the boat. I get about 20-24 highway. I had a 2003 GMC 2500HD Exd Cab truck. I was averaging 11-12 mpg without boat . with gas $3 gal i am glad i got rid of my truck.