Re: Soliciting thoughts on a new outboard
You don't need an independent starting battery. All of the electric start outboards in this size can be started manually should the starting battery fail.
My Catalina 25 had a single battery running both house loads and the starter. When I first bought the boat the motor wasn't even connected to the battery, it only was used with manual start.
boats that I sail on regularly: Pearson 28-2, Rondar 505, Yankee 30, Blanchard Junior