We extend to you a cordial "WELCOME ABOARD !" Come on in, make yourself at home, we are a friendly group of enthusiasts, and we also appreciate the classic Chris Craft Roamer, Corsair, and Lancer boats too , as they are all on the same family tree and share much in common ! Just start by posting a note introducing yourself to the group, that's all it takes here (we don't ask for or retain any personal information here, because our intention is to just "have fun and share information".
I agree with Greg, run it until it blows. Keep good oil in it and it will possibly run a long time. It really takes a LOT of running to wear one of these V8 motors out, and in reality, we don't put that many hours on them.
As for the reverse orientation of the motor, I wouldn't worry about that, it has nothing to do with reliability, and changing it would be a lot bigger job than you ever imagined. In the event the drivetrain and/or motor were totally exploded for some reason, then installing a totally new Crusader or Mercruiser motor and outdrive are always a possibility. The hull is going to outlive the motor on many of these vintage CC boats.