Ok, I have a 454, no idea what compression ratio. I use a car starter, and the thing barely cranks. It is a bottom mount and occasionally does get a little wet, but it barely cranked even when it was new. When you remove it from the engine and hot wire it with no load it spins freely and fast. My power to the boat is ran through the starter relay. Is that normal? Or should I run another wire to the battery for the boat power? Also what is everyone's opinion on the Hi-Torque Hitachi style starters? I saw some on ebay for $80. My buddy has one, not in a boat, and it works well.
Oh and I am way to poor to buy a new housing to run a top mount starter.