Originally Posted by jrsick
I'd recommend against upgrading the engine at this point.
Agreed. This is a boat about to turn 18. Make two lists; Wants and Needs. What you're describing is a Want. If you haven't even splashed the boat, I would wait until next season. Run the boat. You will quickly have a list of Needs. When the Needs list is exhausted start looking at the Wants list.
In the first year of owning an 18 year old boat, you'll be chasing the Needs list all season. I wouldn't complicate things unnecessarily.
Has it been repowered? Marine (saltwater) gas engines start to go around 10 years/500 hours. Many last much longer. However, that is when they start
to pop. This tends to peak around 15-18 years/1,000 hours. Yes, some go longer, but that is roughly what your curve is going to look like.
Freshwater runabouts tend to last longer than saltwater cruisers.