Older 2 strokes are great. Very simple to operate and maintain. Once you get the basics down, they are all pretty much the same. They will last forever if you maintain it. When troubleshooting, basically look for compression, fuel, and spark. That's all they need to run.
A good list of stuff to change out is:
Waterpump every year, spark plugs every season or every 100 hrs, lower unit oil every 50 hours or so, and seafoam or decarb every 50 hours.
If it sits for a while, you might have to take the carb off and clean it out.
That's basically it.
Don't overdo it with the starter fluid. If it runs with a couple second burst from the starter fluid, it's probably fine and just needs the carb cleaned out.