Boyne City Marina was transformed to Thunder Boat Row June 12-13!
A lull in activity at the Mercury truck Friday evening.
Kevin Skiba and I just returned from the 10th annual Boyne Thunder poker run. It is rare to come off of any travel feeling refreshed. But this event was refreshing – in many ways. As I had mentioned in my previous post, Boyne City is very close to my home town of Sault Ste. Marie. Driving across Michigan’s Upper Penninsula and over the mighty Mackinac bridge brought back many memories as we made our trek to paradise. I had forgotten how beautiful the area truly is.
All hands on deck for the drivers meeting Saturday morning.
OptiMax 250XS and 300XS powered cats were part of the mix.
We were impressed by the amount of people roaming about the waterfront upon our arrival Friday afternoon. Tad Whitten said our display truck was busy from the moment he arrived. Main street was jammed with people checking out the classic cars and performance boats. It was great to see the community support an event in such a grand way. The incredible weather didn’t hurt either. Read the rest of this entry »
Mercury Racing was recognized for our title sponsorship at the Friday Night sponsor party.
Whew! I’m just getting back to a “normal” schedule after last week’s Key West Poker Run. It was a great event. We had people at the Mercury Racing truck from the moment we unloaded our 1350 and 565 display engines through the 10:00 p.m. closing time. It was non-stop action Thursday through Saturday. It’s always fun to meet and greet folks who enjoy our products. It is equally enjoyable to establish new relationships with future customers.
This year was the 20th anniversary of the event. Stu Jones and the Florida Powerboat Club staff didn’t disappoint. This has to be the largest gathering of performance boats on earth. It is also the largest gathering of performance boat builders and dealers. Industry movers and shakers included Reggie Fountain, Randy Scism (MTI), Peter Hledin (Skater), Chad Braver (Cigarette), Todd Warner (Statement), Nils Johnson and Trond Schou (Nor-Tech), Paul Loguidice (Hustler), David Woods and Scott Shogren (Pier 57). Read the rest of this entry »
Another year is quickly approaching the finish line. It’s hard to believe two years have passed since we launched this blog and our Facebook,Twitter pages and YouTube channel. Thank you for your participation, “friend”ship, tweetness, videos and feedback.
Watermarks: The Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show marks the start of 2013 boat show season in the USA. The Performance Dock will be stocked with a variety of go-fast gems. Cigarette Racing will again be the epicenter, with Nor-Tech, Formula and Statement Marine among the performance builders featuring their latest wares. Douglas Marine is displaying in Ft. Lauderdale for the first time. They will be showing their beautiful 412 catamaran with twin 1100s. The show will also feature the return of Baja with their debut of the all-new 30 Outlaw GT. Stu Jones and the Florida Powerboat Club (FPC) will ensure all are entertained and catered to Friday eventing in their annual Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show Bash.
Speaking of FPC, We are busing preparing for the 20th Annual Key West Poker Run. We are again title sponsor and look forward to being on-site at the Poker Run Village with our mobile marketing truck and crew. Mercury Racing sportswear will be available for folks wanting to get a jump start on their Christmas shopping for both naughty… and nice :). Mercury Racing engines will again be the power to beat at the Key West Offshore World Championships, happening at the same time as the poker run. And, before you know it, the Miami International Boat Show will be upon us; seems we always have something exciting there! Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been a few months since the Miami introduction of Mercury Racing’s 565 horsepower, 8.7 liter engine. I thought I’d check in with the “early adopters” for their impressions. I suspected I would be pleased; I was right.
The universal highlights:
Hustler 344 Cheetah "burns nothin!" with 565's. Photo courtesy of Hustler Powerboats.
Mercury Racing ZeroEffort Digital controls perfectly compliment this very tasteful helm. Photo courtesy of Cigarette Racing.
1) exceptional top end performance,
2) unexpectedly good fuel economy!
3) seductively smooth shift and throttle and
4) amazing time-to-plane and mid-range acceleration!
Nordic's 24SX catamaran tops 100 mph with a single Mercury Racing 565. Photo by Robert Brown, courtesy of Sportboat Magazine.
Top End. Nordic’s new 24SX catamaran, with a single 565, is routinely “over the 100 mph mark,” according to Nordic GM, Kevin Doane. Cigarette’s 38 Top Gun 90+ MPH runs, well… 90+! “Really, it’s 90++!” says Skip Braver. “It shifts like it has 1350′s,” he continued. Nor-Tech’s 420 Monte Carlo “tops 86 mph” in the words of Scott Conrad. Formula’s Miami show boat, 400 FX Super Sport, is running 63 mph for its owner (2 people, full of fuel and water). Whatever your boating preference, that is excellent performance from these engines in a wide range of boat types.
Gary Williams’ M31 DCB challenges the “big power” and full race boats. Dave Hemmingson enjoys being the first boat brand to the card stop.
I had a blast at Desert Storm this year. (Or should I say “once again this year!”?) The first West Coast showing of our new 565 was at the Havasu Boat Show just last week — and we had one on display at Desert Storm’s street party and another in a 24 Nordic! And in even greater numbers than last year, Mercury Racing QC4v engines were back.
Frisini 43 Catania, with Dr. Jasper at the helm, running Lake Havasu.
Dave’s Custom Boats (DCB) had four customers’ boats with QC4v power. Marine Technology Inc‘s (MTI) 1350 powered “Phantom” 48 was pounding out tunes as well as boat speed — its twin 1350s performing dual roles of power and musical accompaniment. (I tagged along with owner, Ken Armstrong, and his crew for the poker run — and the party that seems to spring up wherever he goes. Wow! I think “Phantom” could idle on its sub-woofers alone.) And there’s more! Dr. Gabe Jasper’s brand new, bright red and silver Frisini 43 Catania catamaran with 1350′s made its desert debut as well.
Ken Armstrong’s Phantom themed MTI is a real crowd pleaser — unless you’re among the crowd left in his wake.
Dave Hemmingson enjoys turning heads with Mercury Racing QC4v’s. At Desert Storm last year, DCB was ripping up Lake Havasu with Mike Stevenson’s stunning orange and black, 2,700 horsepower M35 Wide Body. In 2010, Gary Williams’ 1350 powered M31 recorded 176.4 mph. This year, with the same 1350s coupled to a new pair of Mercury Racing Pro-Finish CNC props, the metallic green rocket ship ran over 180 mph – on pump gas!The official speed record for a single engine boat this year? Troy Rapp’s DCB F29. Sporting a single Mercury 1350, the 29-foot cat clocked an astounding 129 mph in Saturday’s shootout! Read the rest of this entry »
Pre-run inspection of a 700 SCi powered DCB catamaran. Photo credit: Tres Martin's Performance Boat School.
Twin OptiMax 300XS outboards rigged on a 30-foot Spectre catamaran.
In my previous post (Part 2) regarding high performance boat operation, I reviewed basic information on rigging fit and function. Now its time to head to the ramp.
While the boat is still on the trailer, walk around for a visual inspection of the hull. Next, climb aboard for a visual inspection of the interior and engine compartment (motor well for outboards): ensure everything is in place and secure. Don’t forget the drain plug(s)! Check your other safety accessories: aboard? In secure locations?
Helm of a DCB M35 catamaran powered by twin 700 SCi sterndrives.
Helm of 50-foot Cigarette Marauder with twin 1350 sterndrives.
Once your boat is launched, review the helm to familiarize yourself with the location and function of all instruments and controls. Make sure the steering wheel, throttle and shift controls are well within your reach and that you are comfortable with their operation.
If your boat is fitted with K-Plane trim tabs, be comfortable with the location and operation of the tab trim switches. The driver needs to know the location and function of accessory switches such as bilge blower, bilge pump, running lights, horn, courtesy lights and related fuses, or circuit breakers. Read the rest of this entry »
A Nor-Tech catamaran boat powered by twin 850 SCi sterndrives. Photo credit. Florida Powerboat Club.
The boys from Sunsation enjoy their time on the water. Photo credit: Naplesimage.
With Spring in the air, the timing is right to review the basics of high performance boat operation to ensure you and your passengers have a safe and enjoyable Summer on the water. We include a Guide to Hi-Performance Boat Operation with every engine we ship. We encourage new and current owners to review the book and then get some in-boat driving lessons from your local high performance dealer. Those who do not have a qualified driving instructor in their area may want to consider Tres Martin’s Performance Boat School.
Our operation guide is packed with general performance boating information including a list of descriptive terms relating to propellers, hull types and overall boat performance. Let’s first review the various performance boat hull configurations.
Florida Powerboat Club’s (FPC) Miami to Islamorada poker run follows the world’s best boat show. It’s unusually interesting because of that timing: Many of the Miami Show boats make their first outings with Stu Jones’ club. I counted eight show boats on Thursday’s wave.
OK, poker runs are about the fun, relationships and a common interest in performance boating. But my focus is mostly on our customers and their hardware (my job!)…
This year, I hitched a ride on Thursday with Derek Wachob, his family and friends. Their new 42 Cigarette Huntress is powered with five of the Mercury Racing designed 350SCi Verados! What a ride! And the sound system: young Madison sure can “shake that groove thing”! (So can Abby – and probably anyone else within about two miles.) Derek reloaded and made the trek again on Friday in his sinister black ZR 48 MTI.
Cigarette 38 Top Gun 90+ MPH: Update of a classic and first installation of 565's.
Demonstrating the 565 in Nor-Tech's 420 Monte Carlo, the author with a prospect -- my personal friend, Rex.
What a couple of weeks! For me, the Miami Show is about the best activity one can still call work. We rolled out Racing’s new, 8.7 liter, digital throttle and shift, 565 hp propulsion package. That gave me plenty of excuses to hang out with customers of Mercury, Cigarette, Dave’s Custom Boats, Formula and Nor-Tech.
Fred with the all-new 565 sterndrive. Photo courtesy of Charles Plueddeman - Boats.com.
Even competitors came by to check out our new products.
My first indication this was going to be a breakout Miami show was first thing Thursday. We had a huge gathering of media and trade professionals for our 10:05 a.m. press conference.
Kevin Grodzki was first up to unveil the Mercury 150 Fourstroke outboard for its debut appearance at the world’s largest boat show. Fred Kiekhaefer followed with his unveiling of our all-new 565 sterndrive. Both engine’s were very well received. From that point on – the show was a non-stop-go.
We had two free-standing static 565 engine displays at the show – one in the Mercury booth and one in Dave’s Custom Boats (DCB) booth.