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Sounds like the fuel pump is leaking internally. Your fuel pump is crankcase pulse driven, which means it runs off of pressure from in the engine. If it leaks it will pump fuel into the engine, possibly flooding it and certainly doing what you describe.
The pump comes off with 2 screws, don't take all four off. Then put nuts on the two screws you took off. Once off but still connected to the fuel hoses, squeeze the primer bulb and see if you get any fuel out of the mounting side. If you do the pump is bad and needs rebuilding/
Post back what you find and we'll go from there.
A lawn mower fuel pump? You need to install the proper fuel pump. I know if no lawn mower pump that will work properly.
Yes there are reeds they are on the crankshaft and make up some of the crankshaft bearings.
No the jets should stay the same.
What you can do is to run the motor with a timing light on it. Do this for all the cylinders and see if you have good flashes on all the cylinders. Do this with the lower unit submerged but the boat still on the trailer.
Let me know your results.
If the engine is not firing properly, fuel pump leaking, leakage past rings, carb problems will all cause excessive fuel use.