Crownline feels like stuck in neutral but eventually catches gear, then lurches forward but goes fine until you stop again.

by Bob
(Kansas City)

just bought a 2002 Crownline 180 BR. First weekend out, went well. 2nd weekend out, hit the neutral button on the shifter. Thought hitting it again would take it out of neutral but feels like maybe gears are somehow stuck in neutral? When you go to start up the boat, it revs up and stalls for a while. It eventual catches into gear and lurches forward at a pretty high rate of speed(dangerous). Once going, all seems fine but you have to go through this process each time you stop the boat. New to boating so any advice would be appreciated. I did notice tow arrows on the Tachometer that were flashing so not sure if that means normal operation or if that is a code for something?

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