I've got an older 9.8 HP merc on a boat I picked up

Motor fires right up but no telltale of water........

I read in the manual that it takes 15 -45 seconds on this model for the thermostat to kick over and start shooting water

I ran it a few times for up to 45 seconds

I got a couple squirts of water on occaision but never a stream and each time when I shut it down there was steam shooting out where there should have been water

I don't think I ran it long enough to do any dammage

I blew back through the line and it seems clear all the way to the water intake so there's no blockage

does this sound like a pump??.........or the thermostat

or should I have let it run longer?????????????

guess it mostly sounds like a trip to the repair shot