The boat was with the first owner in Holland for majority of its life on sea water, then the next owner, an Austrian got the boat to Austria on the Danube, then came down to the Black Sea along the Danube (sweet water), then the boat was on the marina right on the Black Sea, and me third owner, I moved it less than half a mile inland on a lake (sweet water) that overflows into the Black Sea.
There is a good point about the costs of possible repairs and new parts, if that costs even half of what a new engine would be, I might as well go for a new engine. Truth be told, this boat really deserves a new chance to some glory days, like reviving her in every way I can. Hull intact, no mold nor rust anywhere on her inside or outside, perfect rigging. And because the Austrian owner was planning a long Med sailing she is fully equipped with a lot of things for long time/distance cruising, and with spare parts of pretty much everything, so plenty of things for me to learn about and practice. She just needs a really good cleaning and refurbishing all her wood, and removing a heater thats linked directly to the diesel tank, that one for some reason freaks me out. And oh yes, the chain of her anchor sits on a box tied down to the bow, weird, I need to rethink that.
I am getting the boat ready now to move aboard for the summer, and for me that means sailing that boat a lot and not just for leisure (ie, only when the weather is good), which means often taking her in and out of her slip. So the engine worries me. But a good mechanic is coming soon and I will know more, you gave me a good overview on what to look for.
Working with a lazy engine must be a learning curve in itself, that must have gotten you quite experienced to maneouvre your boat.