LOL, I'll stick to the tissue paper idea! I noticed just Sunday that the turnbuckles looked like bronze. Of course most of the chrome is gone. The are, apparently, a heavy cast, open barrel, type.
That's what mine were - I sanded off the remaining chrome and then polished them up with a buffing wheel and some sticks of abrasive polish. They came out looking like gold (for a while anyway.
This is good advice and I had wondered if an interior paint would do. Then, I started to think about either trying to cover the whole thing in some sort of a weave type fabric or covering. Then thought, that sounds like a lot of work. So, I was beginning to lead toward a 2 part epoxy paint. However, I do hate to waste money but, I hate wasting time even more. I was thinking about durability. Something i could do once and then only need to clean from then on. I'll have to put more thought into this.
The cabintops of those boats are so "roundy" that putting up any kind of fabric would be like trying to upholster a football. I'd stick with paint, at least for the overhead. As for the paint, I followed my own advice
on my last boat and it lasted just fine for nine years. Gave it a good scrubbing before listing it and the broker was very complimentary about its appearance.
Hell it seems a brand new moyer with all those upgrades would easily be 1/2 the cost of a diesel conversion. I guess if I do upgrade all that stuff I could always do a short block upgrade and reuse it all in future if necessary. If I do get a look up into the block, how am I to tell it's condition. I read somewhere to fill it with a vinegar solution to help remove scale. The whole thing does work right now as we started the engine during the survey and used a bucket of water for cooling water and it pumped it through.
I guess the thing works now and if I do the fresh water cooling upgrade it will prolong the life of the engine no matter what its condition, right? As long as it isn't leaking the conversion could essentially stop any further corrosion I would imagine. I wonder if I can get a discount if I buy all the upgrades in one shot...
I think dumping a grand into the engine to gain some peace of mind is well worth it. I bought a brand new 9.8hp outboard for the O'day 22 for that very reason. that was $2,000...
I think you see the logic of the A4. As to checking its internal condition, you can't really tell if it's getting thin in places without doing some kind of sonic testing. What you can tell is if it is crudded up with scale and deposits in the water jackets. Looking at the state of the thermostat housing etc. will give you some idea of the state of any corrosion. Hardly a guaranteed test but should show up any serious problems. Also, don't forget to include the overall state of the exterior of the engine - that will tell you if it was neglected or cared for as well. If you want to get into it a bit more before making an expensive decision, pull the cylinder head. It's an extremely simple thing to do on a flathead and will only cost a head gasket and some time.