There are many reasons why people choose to repower a boat. Some desire improved performance and efficiency. Others are looking for the most economical way to get out on the water.
However, these common reasons barely scratch the surface of all the possibilities. At Land O’ Lakes Marine in Outing, Minnesota, sometimes the most interesting repower jobs are triggered by unique situations.
Smiles for the Aarestads
Getting closer with family members is a top reason people identify for buying a boat, and for many years, Ryan and Mary Aarestad enjoyed their 20-foot Sun Patio pontoon, particularly when their grandkids were in town. There was just one hitch: The undersized 25hp Evinrude outboard didn’t allow them to do more than “putt-putt around the lake,” as Ryan puts it, and the grandkids, 7 and 9 years old at the time, said they wanted to go tubing. Putt-putting wouldn’t cut it. They wanted to get towed around the lake fast – the faster the better.
“Mary and I really didn’t need a bigger motor for us,” Ryan said, “but the grandkids come from 600 miles away for a week here and a weekend there, and they really wanted to go faster. We knew that would make them happy and put smiles on their faces. So we had Land O’ Lakes put a Mercury 50hp FourStroke outboard on the boat. We enjoy fishing and buzzing around the lake, but what really makes the grandkids smile is when we pull them around on the tube. And yes, the faster we go, the better.”
Could there possibly be any better reason for repowering a boat than to make your kids or grandkids smile? The Aarestads don’t think so.
The Happy Holmans
Robert and Marne Holman have owned boats for more than 60 years. This being the case, it seems logical that they’d have gone through a slew of different models. That’s just not so. The Holmans know what they like, and they take care of their things. As a result, in those 60 years they’ve owned just three boats. When the 150hp two-stroke Evinrude on the 2000 Glastron runabout they currently own ceased functioning, they had no desire whatsoever to get a new boat.
“The boat’s in great shape, in absolutely beautiful condition,” said Robert. “We keep it under a canopy, on a lift. When the Evinrude stopped working, I just couldn’t see getting a new boat. We had purchased from Land O’ Lakes before, and we knew they had great service, so my feeling was that we should go right back to them. They went through the process with us, we dropped the boat off and when we picked it back up, the price was as they said, and the new Mercury 115hp FourStroke outboard was installed properly.”
Going from a two-stroke to a four-stroke engine naturally changed the boat quite a bit, and Robert says it’s all been for the better. He points out that noise and vibration levels went way down, and he doesn’t have to fiddle with two-stroke oil anymore. Plus, the old Evinrude was a bit difficult to get started, but starting the 115hp FourStroke engine is just as easy as starting his car.
“Now the boat performs flawlessly,” Robert said. “It has plenty of speed, the power to get a rider up out of the water and the economy is much better. I wouldn’t trade it – the boat or the FourStroke – for anything.”
Paul Volker was afraid his old Weeres pontoon boat could be headed for the scrap heap.
“The 50-horse Mariner struggled, and the boat needed a lot of work,” he said. “I needed somewhere to put it while I figured out what to do, so I took it to Land O’ Lakes for storage.”
That’s when Kirk Smith, the owner of Land O’ Lakes, saw the boat.
“He said they could fix everything if I wanted them to,” Volker added. “My son-in-law and I worked out our own deck plan, which was really quite fun, and they did exactly what we wanted. It was actually quite a facelift, and I’m not sure there’s much of the original boat left other than the pontoons.”
Part of the job was swapping that old 50hp Mariner for a new Mercury 75hp FourStroke outboard. Volker says that when he ran the boat with the new motor for the first time, he couldn’t believe the difference.
“With the 50 it couldn’t really plane, and now it does,” he noted. “The boat goes about twice as fast. My gosh, I’m so happy with it. It’s wonderful, and it’s like the entire boat has been resurrected.”
Volker also points out that he’ll keep doing everything through Land O’ Lakes, because it’s staffed with “handshake-deal kind of people” who left him feeling great.
“We’re blessed to be able to live in and serve this beautiful part of Minnesota,” added Smith. “It’s our privilege to repower our customers’ boats with Mercury outboards, and it’s an easy sell with an outstanding product we believe in. The reliability of the motors builds trust with our customers and keeps them coming back year after year. In a place where there are more than 100 lakes within a 10-mile radius, Mercury outboards are a major component of our business, and seeing the satisfaction our customers experience from a Mercury repower makes our jobs rewarding, indeed.”
Thinking about repowering your boat? Find your local Mercury Repower Center right now.