Mast down is not a big deal and you can do basic hull check by taping with a screwdriver handle. As for the engine, it can be started by heating up the compartment with a lightbulb for a day or two. Just remember that it will chew up the impeller if it is not removed. Bought my boat on superbowl Sunday, with an engine check the week prior. It was a diesel and started right up in frigid Wisconsin. I have to say winter is a great time to deal.