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Repower Project: Triple Verado 400Rs to Breathe New Life Into 38-Foot Donzi

Mercury Racing’s Verado 400R outboard engines continues to gain popularity for re-power projects, this time at MDG Performance in Edgewater, Md., where company owner Dave Govatos is replacing triple 250-hp Verados on a Donzi 38 ZFX center console with a trio of the new 400-hp motors.

“We’re doing a lot of repowers,” said Govatos who also owns Londontowne Marina where MDG Performance is headquartered. “You look at a new Nor-Tech or Statement and it’s $300,000 or $400,000 and this is a viable option. You’re not going to make it like a new boat but if you put on the power, redo the interior and upgrade the stereo, it puts things in reach.”


When this Donzi 38 ZFX is repowered with triple 400-hp Verado outboard it should top out near 75 mph.

With the 250-hp motors, the boat ran 60 to 62 mph at top end, according to Govatos. With the Verado 400Rs, he hopes to hit 75 mph on the twin-stepped center console design that has an L-shape seating area and a small cabin in the bow. Dimensionally, he said the Verado 400R is the same size as the 250-hp Verado, so the rigging should be pretty straightforward.

Govatos said he hopes to have the new motors by early March. He’s basing the speed estimates on a re-power he did with three Mercury Racing Verado 350 SCis on a 35-foot Donzi center console that runs about 72 mph.

To improve the 38 ZFX’s appearance—the boat’s exterior still looks great—Govatos is sending the interior components down to Premier Performance Interiors in Sarasota, Fla., to be redone. Govatos is going to upgrade the boat’s seating by adding a second set of bolsters in the aft cockpit. For the entertainment side of things, he’s adding amplifiers and speakers to the boat’s stereo system.

Editor’s note: Eric Colby will provide an update on this project—including performance numbers—after the 38-footer’s first sea trial.

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