Thanks for the link, Jim. Going to put that on my sons favorites as he sure asks a lot of questions.
One other thing I found out about the Mercury line of small outboards is that the 6 hp, 8 hp and the 9.9 hp are the same engine. The only difference is the carburetor and that can be changed to make the engine more powerful. Merc won't say that but I guess my fellow cruisers are doing it around the world. I'll stay where I'm at as our Avon hard bottom has a limit at 8 HP. But if someone had an older kicker for a trolling motor like a 6 hp it might be something to look into. I bet ya can get a rebuilt carb for a merc pretty cheap.
Thanks for all the advice.