Hi there Shannon! Congratulations on your new boat.
Happens that I know a bit about the Midships 25 version and it's associated Baldwin saildrive. My buddy Stagg bought a Mid 25 and we have been working on it over the last year or so.
You can find our flickr album on the Midships 25 here:
Additional pictures and such of my Dawson here:
More pics of the Apostles trip here:
The saildrive on these is not that common but the good news is it's a pretty simple arraignment unlike the later OMC ones and although an odd bird it does mostly use fairly easy to source parts. The Midships was fitted with a 9.5 HP Evinrude power head set up with a delco starter generator. We have the engine running just ducky on Staggs now but unfortunately are now plauged by an issue with the shaft between the motor and the lower unit. Stagg is up in there air on whether to fix it or to succumb to the temptation to yoink it out, glass over the hole, and refit a BMW diesel we happen to have sitting around over here.
Where you are currently sitting I recommend starting to think along those same lines:
As fitted saildrive advantages:
VERY light weight. Stagg is not a particularly burly fellow and he can pull the motor out of this thing by himself and carry it up and down the ladder without resorting to using lifting gear.
Engine is fairly reliable. The 9.5 Evinrude power head is well regarded by all the outboard mechanics we talk to. Parts are common and cheap and honestly we have had nearly no issues with the engine itself.
Starter generator spins the bejesus out of that thing. Literally faster than the engine idles so in a pinch you could bump in and out on it alone.
Multiple starting options. Starter generator fails? Pull start it, starter generator AND pull starter fail? Rope start off the flywheel.
As fitted saildrive disadvantages:
Saildrive unit sits lower than the keel when the keel is wound all the way up. That means that if you are slinking into a shallow spot and get it wrong, it's your saildrive that will hit first.
Engine does not make much power. Technically, the starter generator will make 15 amps. We have not got it to make any yet in spite of new generator and new regulator, I am sure we will get it worked out. Either way, that's not a lot of electricity which makes catching up the battery charge situation with the engine take a bit longer. Compared to the 35 amp alternator on my YSE-8 Yanmar at least.
Slow acceleration. It will eventually catch up to hull speed but does not get there in much of a hurry. It really does not make much way when confronted with headwinds and waves. By comparison, my YSE-8 8HP diesel is a rocket. We suspect that a prop change may improve this but need to do additional testing to know for sure.
Can only effectively service sail drive unit with it out of the water. Lower unit oil changes etc require the boat be out.