Firstly I'm having to make up a xx years break in the market & tech side of this, very fast learning curve a catching up quick
Talking to various people , experts, whatever I would have to sum it up as follows
300 turns out about 275Hp
300X about 327 + depending if you have a good one
Time between pulldows never got any answers but it much less than a 2.5 because it's not so highly stressed for want of a better term. Gasket set costs about as much as my car.
Burns about 17 gall us at 4700RPM where a lot cruise with em varies between 30 us gall & 38 Gall us an hour depending who you ask @ WOT
I was trying to get some info on the 2 saddle/swivel options but nobody seems to have had any problems with either one. Only one breakage on the non offshore one that I found out about.
I think it's a great motor but if you look at the hard fact the new 250XS will really give you @275 HP with a decent fuel return, still in production and deals available.
Are the extra ponies really required is the question you must ask ya'self
mmmhhhhhhhhhhhh I think so but I'm a bit of an
Edit: 250XS with a 20" section, 25" is tooooooooo long & lower reving as matt quite rightly states.