Brad Halpin and I recently returned from the Los Angeles Boat Show. (Brad is one of Mercury Racing’s technical experts who is responsible for helping boat builders learn to properly install Mercury Racing propulsion; I’m a sales guy.) Mercury Racing products, including the all new 1100 sterndrive, were on display in Mercury’s booth. Boat builders featured Mercury Racing outboards and sterndrives, including the 1350, in their booths as well.
For years, the LA show ran through two weekends for a total of nine days! Furthermore, the LA show was scheduled at the same time as the Miami International Boat Show. Exhibitors such as ourselves were challenged to support two shows simultaneously.
The recession then changed everything. Now, the LA show is about two thirds of its original size. This year, it ran March 17-20, one month after the Miami show. Boat builders and suppliers were upbeat and anxious to show their latest creations to the West Coast market.
We used the LA show as our West Coast debut of the 1100 sterndrive. Fred Kiekhaefer had officially unveiled the engine to the world a month earlier in Miami (see Racing’s Miami Experience).
A total of six 1350s were displayed in boats at the show. Dave’s Custom Boats featured twin 1350s in their M35 and M31 Wide Body catamaran hulls. The show stopper for Nordic was their 1350 powered 43 Enforcer. Builders also featured a wide range of Mercury Racing outboard and sterndrive product as well as production Mercury MerCruiser propulsion.
The Los Angeles Boat Show is the beginning of the boating season for the Western half of the U.S. I will be off to Lake Havasu City, Arizona next week to represent Mercury Racing at the Lake Havasu Boat Show, April 8-10. Our poker run support truck will be on-site for the boat show and remain in Lake Havasu City for the Desert Storm Poker Run, April 27-30.
Desert Storm promises to be the largest gathering of 1350 powered boats to date. We anticipate the event to draw over 40,000 horsepower of Mercury Racing powered boats. It will also be the largest gathering of Mercury Racing people (significantly less than 40,000 horsepower) outside of the Miami Boat Show and the home office. Fred Kiekhaefer will attend, as will Erik Christiansen (Director of Engineering), Jeff Krueger (Director of Sales, Marketing and Service), Scott Reichow (props), Brad Halpin and Mike Griffiths (Technical Support), Rick Mackie (Marketing) and me (Sales). We hope you can make it! Be Sure to stop by the Mercury Racing truck and say hello!