Ok let’s look at this a few things at a time. First of all I assume the SmokerCraft is an aluminum boat right? If for chance it happens to be fiberglass, forget it with a 35hp motor. So assuming its aluminum, that’s a good thing. Easy to tow, easy to repair, light, lots of parts, pretty much an aluminum boat is an aluminum boat, they all leak in one spot or another, just keep it minimal.
Now the big part. Any hunter or fisherman knows that the boat is not the most expensive part of the equation, it’s the MOTOR! A new 35hp motor will set you back at least $3000-$4000 easy. So go over it with a fine tooth comb. Pull the cowl off and look for anything that looks strange or out of the ordinary, like lose or worn wires. See if you can get a “water down” compression test done at a local Marine repair shop. This will tell you if you have good compression. You are looking for at least 90% on each cylinder. If you are less than that, chances are you have a ring or two going bad. If you get good compression you can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Pulling off the heads and replacing rings and pistons is not a cheap date.
Ok so you get good compression and it seems to run good. Do yourself a favor and before you even think of putting the boat in the water, replace the impellor (water pump) and the lower unit oil, check for leaks, if the seals are bad, replace them. A lower unit is not a cheap fix either, even for a 35hp motor.