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Water pumps can typically last several years, although I change mine every just to be sure. I would take a look at the poppet valve. If it's stuck shut you'll overheat since excess water can't be dumped fast enough through the thermostat. Installing a pressure gage is an easy way to monitor pump performance. Depending on the engine the tell-tale is not always a good indication of water pump performance. Water can be shooting out but if the poppet is failing the upper cylinders won't get water. Some tell-tales come right off the pump tube before water gets to the head. Even at low pressure the water stream will look good but the poppet is bypassing. 130deg is not hot. Mercs run a 143deg T-stat. If it's stuck open you can overheat because the water doesn't hang around the cylinders long enough to transfer heat. The springs that Merc uses for the poppet are junk and know for corroding. Poppets are the most frequently overlooked part, everyone blames problems on t-stats and water pump. Poppet parts are very cheap and easy to replace. It sounds like you run in heavy salt water. Try flushing with something like Salt-Away to remove salt deposits. This stuff makes the inside of water passages spotless.
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