I have a 1977 Johnson 15 and it still runs perfectly. Parts are readily available because there are so many out there. The 15 Johnson is one of the best all-around motors ever made in my book.
In contrast, I also have a 9.9 Mercury 4 stroke
start that I got about five years ago that cost over $2,000. It has spent more time in the shop than in the water
, and I am not kidding. Bad linkage in the throttle, oil leaks
, you name it. To be fair, when the Mercury
runs, it runs good and is very quiet, but I still would never recommend buying
Also, if I remember correctly, the 9.9 Johnson is the same motor
as the 15. The only difference being the carb. So, if you run across a good deal on a 9.9 with a bad carb, that might be an option for you. Check with your mechanic
on this, don't take my word for it because I was wrong once.