I have a 1970 25hp Johnson outboard, which is wired up to an ignition switch up from, pretty basic but the key ignition sprang work when its cold.
I rewired the whole thing using the same size and type of boat wiring, no improvement…so I talked with a friend of mine and he stated that the wiring should be set up differently with the power from the battery being directly run to the starter in a way I don’t really understand.
Do you have a schematic in electronic form that I could view?
Unless somebody has completely rewired your ignition system, I am sure it is already wired with a solenoid at the starter.
First I would have the battery checked. Second, I would check the boat battery cables that lead from the battery to the engine. Low voltage at the starter is causing your problem. If the battery cables have bad connections or the battery has a bad cell, the engine will be hard starting.
Hope this helps,
It’s a brand new large deep cycle battery, but I will check the cables ASAP. They look ok but will check with meter.
Check the voltage at the starter when you are trying to start the engine.
If the cables are junk, they may still read good when no current is flowing. The true test will be when you are trying to start up.