Investing your time is one thing, and I enjoyed investing MINE during my refurb (which, by the way, looked like a new boat polishing compared to what you are looking at here), but parts and equipment is entirely another. I personally don't think I would spend $500 on it, as much as I love to see re-animation as much as the next guy on this forum!
Whatever you do, good luck and post. But I'm with the others who suggest saving, buying off mainland, and shipping something used out there...you would be way ahead and enjoying being ON it as opposed to UNDER it.
Now you have at least $0.04 worth of advice!
1996 Prostar 190, LT1
"5 out of 4 people have a problem with statistics..."