Thanks all for the quick reply.
I think that if I could reap the benefits of an alternator
AND 7 extra horses working for me, I would do what it took to shoehorn a bigger motor into the well.
Only once have I had to pull the existing motor from the well while under way and that was to unwrap an errant jib
sheet from the prop (100% my bad). I can imagine that if I were to put in anything larger, say a 9.9 or 15, that it would require a trip over the side to untangle, since pulling it sounds like a three-person job.
Again, thanks for sharing what you know.