high voltage merc 125

Im trying to diagnose what appears to be an overcharging situation on a 01 mercury 125 4cy. the voltage meter is reading about 16-18 volts at idle and can show little higher when running faster. So I used my digital voltmeter to check voltage at battery, but when my lead are close to the battery or engine the digital read out goes absolutely crazy. When I back it away or shut motor off its fine. Tried another meter same thing. Installed new voltage regulator and same thing. Would I be correct to assume the stator needs replacing??

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