My vote is to have it checked by a tech. If low compression is why it's reluctant to start, it won't stand a chance in RI winters (it's 4F here in Detroit as I write this
) and it will live longer in the south
unless you spend $$$ replacing/rebuilding the engine. A good check by the tech is money well spent before you decide what to do, or transplant it without knowing and have it let you down when you most need it.
Besides, they might find something for fewer $$ and you can take your buddy with you!