not sure of the weight of your boat, but my Pearson 26 has a Merc 15hp 2-stroke. Pearson recommends 10hp max in the docs but my friend the prev. owner went with the 15hp for when extra power is helpful to punch through. It is useful now & then.
Definitely go with a long shaft, ours is a transom mount 20" shaft and I was stopped by cavitation last year in choppy 4' waves into a 25mph breeze, couldn't keep the prop in the water. I may look for a 25" shaft next time if I can find one.
Next time I might go with a 9.9hp 4-stroke, though it weighs the same as our 15hp two-stroke.
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Pearson 26 #1200