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Boat automatically shuts off

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So yesterday we were on the water for 3-4 hours.  I had one of my rider fall, so I throttled back to turn around to pick them up.  As soon as I throttled back, the boat started sputtering, and my immediate action was to turn the boat off.  After turning it off, I couldn't get it to start back up, and after 3 attempts, I realized my temp gauge was reading just below 220, so I made a call to get towed home.  Today I went down to check the impeller thinking it was the likely culprit, even though it was just replaced a few months ago.  The impeller was fine, so I checked the transmission cooler, and both the inlet and outlet appear to be fine - no visible blockages, and when I pulled the hose, a lot of water came out of the transmission cooler.  I've checked to ensure that the water intake grate was clear, and everything looks good there too.  So after checking all of these things, I boat the boat in and attempted to start it up.  It started right up, but only ran maybe 2-3 minutes before it shut itself off, but according to the gauge, it never got up to running temperature.  The only thing I can think to check/replace is the thermostat, but I didn't even crack that open as I didn't have a spare gasket on hand, so I'll be order both a gasket and thermostat today.  Any other thoughts on things to check before I haul it in to a mechanic?  It's an 02 VLX for reference.  And I tried searching for other posts related to overheating and shut down, but that applied or that I hadn't already checked.

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