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Author Topic:   Outrage 21 repower: Verado vs. Yamaha 225
Frank O posted 11-15-2010 03:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for Frank O   Send Email to Frank O  
I'm thinking increasingly seriously about repowering the 1995 Outrage 21 that I've owned for four years. It currently has its original engine, a 1994 Mercury 3.0L offshore 225hp carbureted 2-stroke.

The highest priorities in repowering are to reduce the noise and increase the fuel economy. I'd be willing to accept a performance hit in terms of top-end speed.

There are a number of fine brands out there, but I'm inclined to focus on Mercury (due to my existing experience with them) or Yamaha (popular on similar boats in my area).

On the Mercury front, since noise reduction is such a high priority, the Optimax wouldn't seem to be a great option; I thus have chiefly looked at Verado. The local dealer is quoting me $19,470 for a Verado 225, plus rigging (they say they'd want to see the boat to estimate that). They hint there may be some flex in the price.

For Yamaha, the local dealer says a standard 225 runs $17,600, whereas the engine with the digital package is $18,500 (but, interestingly, the digital version is 30 pounds lighter). With rigging, the digital package comes to $22,372.

I've looked a fair amount through archived messages here, but am curious if anyone has any thoughts to throw into the decision process if the choice is between these two engines, given my boat.

SJUAE posted 11-15-2010 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
4k seems a lot for rigging. what's the weight penalty over your old engine ?

I would Photoshop the 2 outboards on to your boat to check out the aesthetics also is NMEA 2000 a future consideration as the Verado will need an additional part for this functionality.

Else go with the dealer you trust the most and will spend time on setting it up right


tedious posted 11-15-2010 05:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Frank, something's a bit fishy about those Yamaha quotes. Remember that Yamaha changed over from the 3.3L V6 to the 4.2L this past year. The 4.2 is lighter. I suspect the difference between the "digital" and the "standard" versions is that the standard is in fact a leftover 3.3L. Doesn't mean the 3.3 is a bad motor, at all, but the dealer should be up front about it.

Both motors should have digital interconnects, although I don't know if the old one supports Yamaha's Command-Link Plus.

From installing an F70 this past summer, I can tell you that $4K for rigging is totally insane. Perhaps the Command Link Plus components are more, but you can go with Command Link. Gauges should cost you around $800 for both tach and speedo / fuel management ( and controls and cables maybe another $400 tops ( It's all very easily installed by the average handy person, too. I think that dealer is looking to retire on your nickel.

Note also that the weight is the same for the 4.2L no matter whether it's a 225 or a 300, so if you need more oomph, get it!


L H G posted 11-15-2010 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
The price on that Verado 225 is about 4 grand high. It ought to be 15K + 3K rigging expense, which includes the power steering pump.
Jefecinco posted 11-15-2010 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

Will that Verado include DTS and SmartCraft in the base price?


tmann45 posted 11-15-2010 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
I have the same boat and have been researching the repower for a couple of years.

My thinking:

The Mercury will be close to 100 pounds heavier.
The Mercury requires power steering. You will have to install the pump either in the console or bilge.
Console mounting negatives; takes up good bit of room, creates heat and noise, will need additional length hose between pump and helm for cooling the hydraulic fluid. Benefits - close to batteries, pump can draw up to 75 amps.
Bilge mounting negatives; long run for big wires needed to run pump, wet location, more weight in stern. Benefits - hoses long enough for cooling, less noise.
If you did not need power steering on a single Verado, I would be more inclined to consider them.

The Yamaha will be close to 100 pounds lighter. Your current hydraulic steering will work. Performance should be close to the Verado without the Formula 1 engine design and supercharger (however I think the Verado is reliable).

The differences in the Yamaha engines are 3.3L F225 (older model still made, not a leftover) and the new 4.2L F225 as tedious stated. The 3.3L will have cable controls and will support Command Link gauges. The 4.2L will have fly by wire electronic throttle/shift and will support Command Link and Command Link Plus gauges. And yes, the fly by wire is expensive, $4,000 sounds about right with the Plus gauge ($1200?).

I have decided to go with the new Yamaha 4.2L Offshore series F250X with the old Command Link gauges, not the Plus (at least that is my choice today). Certified Verado shops and mechanics are not real common where I live.

jimh posted 11-15-2010 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
That price on the Yamaha motor is several thousand dollars too high. Shop around. There are some dealers in the deep South and in the hills of Tennessee that can beat those inflated Yamaha prices. Especially if you are not trading in an old pick-up truck and it is a cash deal. We can't possibly go by your local prices when comparing potential purchases of motors. We go by the absolute rock-bottom whacky internet seller price.
jimh posted 11-15-2010 10:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For the VERADO, you will have to go with the bigger six-cylinder motor. The puny four-cylinder 1.7-liter small VERADO motor will never cut it. With the six-cylinder VERADO you'll get a smoother motor and a much quieter motor than the four-cylinder VERADO.

With any VERADO you have about $3,500 in added rigging costs. That pays for the mandatory electronic throttle and shift. I know it seems kind of crazy on a single station and single engine boat where the helm is only eight feet from the motor that you have to install a rather complicated electronic throttle and shift, but it is mandatory with all VERADO motors, so no option there. Don't misunderstand me--there is nothing wrong with electronic throttle and shift, but it just does not seem like something you absolutely need on a single control station boat with a single engine and the helm practically next to the motor. But the DTS is nice hardware.

The big VERADO motor also require a mandatory electric power steering system. The problem with electric power steering is finding a home for the electro-hydraulic boost pump. Generally you would want the boost pump in the stern of the boat and close to the engine. This cuts down the length of the high pressure hoses running from the boost pump to the engine. I think the steering system on the big VERADO motors uses a rather small built-in actuator, so the system needs a lot of pressure to move the motor. The electro-hydraulic boost pump has to located someplace out of the weather. It is also nice to put it someplace where its noise can be masked. Usually they get buried under the deck somewhere in the stern. I am not familiar with your OUTRAGE 21. Look to see if there is someplace in the stern where the boost pump can be mounted. Another consideration--the pump should be near the batteries. The pump can draw over 50-amperes of current, and if it is not installed near the batteries the power conductors feeding current to the motor may have to be increased in size to prevent too much voltage drop. (Also, this high current is why you want to mitigate the noise. Any electrical motor drawing 50-amperes will make some noise, as will the hydraulic pump it is driving.)

All of these considerations are part of the reason why there are so very few accounts of the six-cylinder VERADO being re-fitted on older boats. When Mercury puts the VERADO on a new boat they can engineer and design all of the elements of the rigging and installation to meet their specifications. Some older boats just do not have good set-ups for the VERADO. Remember, the OEM new boat installations are all carefully engineered and approved by Mercury. If you select a VERADO be certain the dealer selling and installing it really knows what he is doing. Ask the dealer to show you some other boats he re-powered with VERADO six-cylinder engines. They will give you an ideal of the dealer's skill.

If you want the VERADO engine data to show up on NMEA-2000 displays, you will have to add another $600 for the Mercury gateway product. This product is sold in tiers of capabilities. If you go VERADO be certain you buy the gateway product at the right tier level so you will get all the data you want.

All of the rigging and electronics for the VERADO will have to be set up by the dealer. I don't think you can do much of anything as an owner in terms of self-installation. Bringing up one of these DTS systems has been reported to be a bit tricky. Mercury offers their OEM boat partners special software tools so they can flash the non-volatile memory of new boat systems with a standard set up in order to avoid the man-hours of individually tweaking all the electronic components to work together. Again, having a dealer who knows what he is doing will be crucial.

To be totally honest, I would like to see you go with the VERADO, as it would be the first ever six-cylinder VERADO re-power of a non-current Boston Whaler. I think a few guys have already replaced VERADO motors on Boston Whaler boats that originally came with them, but I cannot recall anyone re-powering an older Boston Whaler with a six-cylinder VERADO. So I am naturally curious to hear about. And I know it would make some readers extremely happy to finally have it happen and be able to read and see pictures of the installation.

As for Yamaha, I cannot offer any advice, other than be sure the dealer knows his stuff. The newer Yamaha motors are becoming more complex, too.

Frank O posted 11-16-2010 12:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
Thanks for all the comments -- very interesting information to chew on.

It brings up a number of questions I'll want to research. In the meantime, here are responses on a few points:

I know this Mercury dealer fairly well, having brought my boat and 2-stroke there for the past couple of years. I'd tried a couple of other shops including another Merc dealer previously. The service manager at this one has been with the shop for decades and has a considerable reputation as a real expert in our region. While I got the price quote from their sales staff, I'd want to have a good talk with the service manager himself regarding what would be involved in putting a Verado on my boat. I was aware that they come with power steering, but the information about needing to find a place for the pump is good to know. I'd be reluctant to give up any space under the console. The bilge might be an option, or I wonder if it could fit under one of the gunwales (the oil-water separator filter for example is currently under the aft end of the starboard gunwale).

I do have some NMEA-2000 components already installed with my sonar/GPS/radar/radio, so it might be best to bite the bullet and get whatever's necessary to support that.

It's interesting to hear that there are no reports of repowers of boats of my Outrage's vintage with a six-cylinder Verado. Surely many (if not most) boats of that era have been repowered. I gather most owners have gone with engines such as Optimax, Yamaha or perhaps E-Tec?

Regarding the Yamaha quote, I've never previously dealt with that dealer. However, they are the main Yamaha dealer in my area, and there is a pretty substantial user base around here. As I think I mentioned, there's a boat generally similar to mine (21' deep-V, but not a Whaler) down the dock that has a Yamaha outboard -- I can probably pick the owner's brain a bit on the dealer's reputation, etc. As for the amount of the quote, the dealer did say something about the digital instruments by themselves coming to something like $1,500. But I may have glossed over some details. Based on the comments here, I'm sure the Yamaha quote was for a 4.2L 225 with the Command Link Plus setup.

As mentioned, I do see quite a few boats in the size range of mine around with Yamaha engines, but I don't think I've ever yet seen a Verado in person on an operating boat. Interesting idea about Photoshopping the engines onto a picture of my boat. Actually I can easily imagine a Yamaha on it. Not sure how the Verado would compare. Wouldn't want it to be so big as to get in the way of fishing and/or diving. Weight sounds like it might be a concern, particularly with the Verado, but I see in past posts here that people say the mid-1990s Outrage 21 was designed to accommodate twins and can easily handle a heavy single four-stroke.

In any event, I probably won't be ready to [make a decision] until after the holidays, so I have a few weeks to dig in and do more homework.

SJUAE posted 11-16-2010 01:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
As the others have noted electronic shift/control and power steering are really nice to haves and so to are digital gauges You could cut down your rigging cost substantially with the Yamaha but not with the Verado as it's mandatory and digital readout from the engine via NMEA2000 is already included on the Yamaha

I don,t know if there is a difference between min starting amps required between the Mercury Varado and the Yamaha but you may also need to swap out your batteries, so make sure this is factored in as these 4 strokes require more to get them going than your old engine.

Shame you have already discounted the ETEC as an alternative, 20K is a large outlay to be possibly first in the class with a Verado.


L H G posted 11-16-2010 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Frank - I don't why you have eliminated the 2-star 225 Optimax around 13.5K, or 3-star 225 ProXS Optimax for around 14K and a 5 year factory warranty. A great deal and close to 250HP. I think you are mistaken about high running sound. Although NOTHING compares to the quiet sound of the Verado, Optimax 225's are actually quieter at speed than the noisy old 225 Yamaha 4-stroke. Ten years later, Mercury has done a good job of reducing sound on these since the early ones were first built. And their fuel economy is the best in the business, period. The big Opti's are VERY strong performers, and not noisy even at idle. It is just an unusual sound some compare to a sewing machine. They are much quieter than those throaty 225 EFI's. Test drive a boat with a new, big Optimax, and you will be surprised.

This is a simple hook-up to your existing Mercury rigging. I can't imagine that installation would be more than $250. at labor costs of $100/hour. Unbolt the old engine, clean up the transom, bolt up the new one and make the connections. You can upgrade to a complete Smartcraft instrument system for about 1K if you want, but it's not mandatory.
SJUAE posted 11-16-2010 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

Well said there's an over emphasis on 4 stroke and a lot still to be said for 2 stroke new ETEc, s or Optimax,s or others on re-power.

Considering some 80% of your engine hours are around 2000 rpm the noise level is overrated IMO


bluewaterpirate posted 11-17-2010 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Here's a video of my 225 Opti running at 4500 rpms coming back from offshore. The Opti portion starts around thre 40 second mark.


bluewaterpirate posted 11-17-2010 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Trolling .....

L H G posted 11-17-2010 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Finally, one last engine to be checked out is the newer 200 ProXS Optimax, putting out 220HP at the prop shaft, 3-star and only costing 12K.
Frank O posted 11-17-2010 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
LHG, you make a valid point. As mentioned I don't have much opportunity to see all these engines in use, so I'm mostly going by what I read. It would be great to have the low noise level of a Verado, but there are enough downsides (cost, complexity, weight) to make that not ideal. With the warranty and the emission rating, the ProXS Optimax sounds very interesting. I'll have to check that out further.

Re the 225 vs. the 200, as mentioned I don't mind a mild performance hit. I can get up to 40+ mph with the existing Merc 2-stroke, but we rarely cruise at over 30. Any idea of how much of a performance difference I'd be likely to see between these two sizes?

I guess I also need to look into instrumentation and how that would work with the cutouts in my console. I gather the Optimax can be paired with either digital or analog gauges? Would you ever mix them, or if you go digital do you go solely digital?

jimh posted 11-18-2010 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have never seen any reliable test data about the noise level of the OptiMax 225-HP engine compared to the noise level of the Yamaha four-cycle 225-HP engine. I am thus extremely curious to know how L H G came to his conclusion that the OptiMax runs at a lower noise level than the Yamaha. Perhaps Larry undertook his own tests and could share the measurements of sound pressure level that he made and describe his methodology.

I bring this up because there is practically universal agreement that among all modern engines the Mercury OptiMax is the loudest. It takes 64 Verado engines operating at idle speed to produce as much noise as one OptiMax.

Mercury did try to emphasize that in their redesign of the OptiMax, which they called every so briefly OptiMax The Next Generation (OTNG), that among certain engines--mainly the V6 models--there could be as much as a 6-dB (that is, just noticeable) reduction in sound at idle speeds.

Among the sort of boating enthusiasts who seem keen to get the fancy graphics and supposedly higher power of these "Pro" OptiMax engines there also seems to be enthusiasm for the loud growl and note of their exhaust. This also makes me somewhat curious to know how one could reasonably say that the OptiMax (or the OTNG) engines could now be proclaimed to run quieter than the Yamaha four-cycle engine. Again, before I could attempt to swallow that statement I would have to see some test data, and preferably not some of the generally vague and untrustworthy cooked-up data from Mercury but data from an independent tester.

It just seemed to me that when the modern high-horsepower four-cycle engine arrived in the form of the Yamaha 225-HP, everyone's reaction to them was along the lines of, "Wow, these things are really quiet," and, conversely, when the OptiMax came along the reaction was generally, "They're nice but they sure do make a lot of noise." Now perhaps I slept through the decade when this popular perception was completely reversed and the OptiMax came to be known as being quieter than four-cycle engines--except of course its Mercury cousin the Verado. If I did, then thanks to L H G for this awakening. I feel like Rip Van Winkle.

jimh posted 11-18-2010 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have heard the OptiMax engine running. L H G says its sound signature is thus:

"It is just an unusual sound some compare to a sewing machine."

If it is a sewing machine sound, it is from a large industrial sewing machine.

L H G posted 11-20-2010 02:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Frank - For more information from owners of 3.0 liter Optimax engines on their running sound signature and great fuel economy:

I see that Jim has evidently edited out some of his earlier attacks on the Optimax, something about coffee and ball bearings. Mercury is claiming that the Optimax line is the largest selling two-stroke DFI on the market.

SJUAE posted 11-20-2010 04:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

~10K saving with the optimax vs the 4 strokes is a big delta and an a lot of fill ups at the pumps. So unless increasing your range is the top priority the economy like the sound is a minor issue IMO

Electronic shift and throttle are nice to haves so too is digital gauges. I have both analogue and digital readout via NMEA2000 but unless you have a 8" screen or bigger the old 3" dials are hard to beat at speed for easy reference.

Weight at the stern is a cause for concern so too will be placement of additional pumps and probably larger batteries.

As a technnofile the urge towards modern technology is a hard one to resist and cannot always be rationalised based on cost it just nice to have.

There certainly seems some evidence that newer 4 stokes are seldom fitted to older hulls but Yamaha new lighter engines may reverse some of this trend

It's a tough call personally I would go with newer engines but ETEC or Yamaha as you do not have to opt for the digital controls which will cut riggings cost down significantly, less weight, NMEA2000 is included, good economy and noise levels as per your original requirement.


Ps I liked Jim's comment on coffee grinder and a couple of ball bearings even if it was a bit of an exaggeration. My little Yam 9.9 is more like a sewing machine :)

jimh posted 11-20-2010 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Yes, I decided that perhaps I was being too harsh on the OptiMax and redacted my own article.

I have had the experience of hearing the sound of several of the newest models of OptiMax starting and running. We spent a long weekend staying at Irish Boat Shop's Ferry Street docks a year or two ago. Each morning while there I was awakened earlier than I wished by this very strange noise. It was not recognizable as anything I knew. I kept thinking, "Who is running a coffee grinder with walnut shells stuck in the works?"

Finally, on the third morning, I arose quickly to learn the source: it was a fellow Boston Whaler owner who had started his Mercury OptiMax-The-Next-Generation outboard at his slip on the adjacent dock. An avid fisherman, he was setting out at first light in pursuit of his angling.

jimh posted 11-21-2010 12:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I hope you don't put an OptiMax on your boat, however, and, as I said before, I hope you put the VERADO on the transom. You should boldly go where no man has gone before. Explore a strange new world.
makoman310 posted 11-27-2010 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for makoman310  Send Email to makoman310     
[I] [re-powered] my 1988 [OUTRAGE 22 Whaler Drive] two years ago with a 250 [VERADO][.] [I] don[']t miss my [Ocean Pro motor's] noise or its gas guzzling. [The VERADO is] imply the best motor [I] have ever owned[,] and [I] had a lot of [Evinrude motors] and still do[.]
jimh posted 11-28-2010 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have already expressed--many many times--that the noise signature of the VERADO at idle is the best of all outboard motors. On this topic there is no dispute. It takes 64 Verado motors to make as much noise at idle as one OptiMax. This is a very clear expression of the low noise of the VERADO.

I have already expressed--several times as I recall--that a Boston Whaler boat with a Whaler Drive is precisely the best match among Boston Whaler boats for re-powering with a Mercury VERADO. The enclosed aft deck of a Boston Whaler boat with Whaler Drive affords the perfect place to hide the electro-hydraulic steering boost pump, the two large batteries, and all the various electronic modules needed for the VERADO. In an open transom outboard boat all of those components will be exposed to weather and splash, which will not be good for them. However, the boat in question here is not a Boston Whaler boat with a Whaler Drive, so this advice may not be particularly cogent.

I have also expressed--again, several times--that the VERADO motor, at its current selling price, is a marvelous bargain. The motor is much more complex and much more expensive to manufacture than competitor outboard motors, but, due to the limited pricing flexibility in the current recreational boating market, the VERADO is selling at a substantially discounted price in order to remain price competitive. While these very low margins of profit on the VERADO are a source of disappointment for Mercury Marine and investors in Brunswick, the low selling price of the VERADO makes it a very good bargain for the boater.

I don't know how I could be more positive in my endorsement here. I have asked Frank to please buy a Mercury VERADO and install it on this boat. What else do you want me to say?

SJUAE posted 11-29-2010 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

I thought in another thread some accused Suzuki of actually selling well under price so maybe these are even better deal than the Verado without the complications of the extra rigging that's compulsory with the Verado

Perhaps Makoman310 noticed a slight sarcasm in your recommendation :)


jimh posted 11-29-2010 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Steve--Please believe me when I make my plea with Frank to consider the VERADO, and especially so as an alternative to the Mercury OptiMax The Next Generation or OptiMax Globe motors that Larry, L H G, keeps trying to push on anyone who mentions they are re-powering a boat.

I have no knowledge of this fellow Makoman310 and his activity with the Verado on his completely different boat than the one we are discussing. I do not recall seeing a single picture of his boat, or a single piece of data about the performance of his boat, before and after the re-power.

I fully realize that there are many problems to be overcome by Frank in adapting the Mercury VERADO to his existing boat. I think I outlined most of the problems in my prior remarks.

Frank says explicitly that his priorities in the new engine are to:

--reduce noise

--improve fuel economy

The Mercury VERADO six-cylinder engine will certainly reduce the noise. To repeat myself to the point of being absurd, I will again say the Verado six-cylinder produces the least noise at idle and low speed operation of any outboard motor I have ever heard.

The Mercury VERADO six-cylinder will certainly improve the fuel economy of Frank's boat compared to his existing engine, a classic two-cycle carburetor motor. However, the VERADO is known to be a heavy fuel burner when operated at high throttle. This is an inevitable by-product of its use of a supercharger to increase power output. The VERADO uses a relatively small displacement engine block and achieves significantly higher than normal power output through the use of supercharging. It is well known that use of a supercharger requires about 15-percent of the engine power output to drive the supercharger. This means that when the engine produces a useful power output at the propeller shaft, the actual power output was considerably more because at least 15-percent was used to spin the supercharger. It is also well-known that when operating at high boost pressure the fuel mixture is run rich to keep the engine from blowing up. These two factors tend to make the fuel consumption at high throttle settings (where the supercharger comes into play) much worse than in a normal engine at the same power level. Whether or not Frank will find the fuel economy improvement from the VERADO be enough is difficult for me to predict. I am certain, however, that the VERADO will improve his fuel economy compared to his conventional two-cycle engine if weighed over the overall typical boat operation cycle of idle, low speed, cruise, and full-throttle. I cannot predict the improvement, but I am willing to bet there will be some.

With the Yamaha conventional four-cycle, the noise reduction will also be impressive, and perhaps within a few decibels of the low noise of the VERADO. The fuel economy may very well be better with the Yamaha. It is impossible for me to predict how much the difference might be between the VERADO and the Yamaha. My speculation is the Yamaha would produce better overall fuel economy, based on the conventional nature of its design. I draw this from the practice of the automobile industry, where supercharing is used only in a few high performance (and very high cost) vehicles, and four-cycle engines of conventional design just like the Yamaha outboard are the leaders when fuel economy is the emphasis.

Robert V posted 11-30-2010 08:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
Any consideration given to the 200 HP Verado? The advantages of this motor vs. the 225 are lower weight (510 vs. 635) and traditional hydraulic steering vs. power steering. I am not sure whether the power steering pump has been included in the motor weight, since it is independent of the motor. If not, there is additional weight savings in favor of the 200 HP motor. The trade off, apart from the obvious HP difference, would be displacement of 1.7 liters for the 200 and 2.6 liters for the 225 (and 4 cyclinders vs. 6). It would be interesting to see the performance difference between these two motors, especially for your boat. Good luck on your re-power project.


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