A New Era for High-Performance Bass Boats

Launched at the 2019 Miami International Boat Show, the Mercury Racing MAX5 ST the hottest new propeller for lightweight, single-engine bass boat capable of exceeding 85 mph.

The recent design evolution by leading builders of high-performance bass boats will leverage the performance of new four-stroke outboard motors offered by Mercury Marine and Mercury Racing. These boats are faster than ever, easier to fish, and better for the environment.

For anglers seeking more velocity on their way to the perfect fishing spot, the 4.6-liter V8 Mercury Racing 300R outboard and new propeller offerings from Mercury Racing have been a game-changer during the 2019 season. The all-new five-blade Mercury Racing MAX5 ST propeller paired with the Mercury Racing 300R has proven to be the perfect match for many high-performance bass boats. The five-blade MAX5 ST offers great hole shot and low slip percentages throughout the RPM range to deliver optimal fuel economy and top end speed on many bass boat models. Here are a few examples.


Allison Boats

The company perhaps most-synonymous with ultra-fast fishing rigs is Allison Boats of Louisville, Tenn., and its XB-21 BasSport models are a great platform for both the Mercury Racing 250R and Mercury Racing 300R outboard models. The highly efficient XB-21 hull is packed with high end fishing technology and Mercury Marine’s advanced range of controls. After extensive propeller testing, we’ve determined that both the four-blade Mercury Racing Pro Max and 15-inch diameter Mercury Racing MAX5 are great propeller options for this setup. The 15.25-inch Mercury Racing MAX5 ST is a great match for the Allison XB-21 BasSport 2+2 models rigged with Mercury Racing 300R power.

Bullet Boats

Bullet Boats offers several models of 20-foot to 21-foot 10-inch length that may be equipped with a Mercury Racing 250R or Mercury Racing 300R outboard. In our testing with this Knoxville-based builder the Mercury Racing Bravo I FS propeller is a great choice, but to squeeze the most performance from either outboard model on a Bullet bass boat there really is no comparison to the MAX5 ST. The MAX5 ST provides lightning-fast hole shot and less than 10 percent slip, which improves fuel economy and top-end speed. Both the Mercury Racing Bravo I FS and MAX5 ST props feature tuned, shortened barrels for reduced stern lift and have pushed lightly loaded Bullet Boat models rigged with a Mercury Racing 300R outboard beyond 100 mph.

Ballistic Boats

Ballistic Boats of Fruitland, Idaho, is a relatively new entrant into the high-performance bass category. Its single model, the 22-foot 3-inch Ballistic .223, features an all-glass helm display and vacuum-infused construction, and has topped 90 mph with a legitimate tournament load and a single person aboard when running the Mercury Racing 300R and MAX5 ST prop. According to Ballistic owner Jim Wells, some owners prefer the Mercury Racing Bravo I FS for its outstanding hole shot and mid-range performance, and top speeds in the mid-80 mph range. We look forward to seeing more Ballistics on the water with Mercury Racing 250R and Mercury Racing 300R outboard power!

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Rick Mackie Retires

It will be 30 and out for Rick Mackie. In a three-decade career that spanned corporate change and the transformation of the high-performance marine market, Mackie has been a constant presence at Mercury Racing, the point of contact for customers, the public and the media. That era will end on Aug. 16 when Mackie retires from his position as Mercury Racing Senior Marketing Manager.

It has been a long journey for Mackie, who started writing letters to Mercury Hi-Performance as a teenager and noted his 30th anniversary with the company in September, 2018.

“I’ve been near the water all of my life,” said Mackie, who grew up near Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., “and I’ve always been around Mercury. We had Mercury power on our family boats and my brother was a Mercury tech during the summer. As kids he and I built race boats together that were always Mercury-powered. It was almost my destiny to work at Mercury, and for 30 years my dream came true.”

Mackie’s tenure at Mercury Racing even pre-dates the name of the company. Mackie joined the staff at Mercury Hi-Performance at age 26 in 1988. As a product support specialist Mackie drove a van loaded with T-shirts and other merchandise to races across the U.S. and Canada. He later drove the Mercury semi loaded with spare parts to races, or towed a two-seater tunnel boat to events. That role led Mackie to begin working with the media, who often got a thrilling ride in the two-seater, and he began to transition to a marketing communications role. Mercury Hi-Performance became Mercury Racing in 1999 and a stand-alone business within Brunswick Corporation, and Mackie was part of the team that transitioned from supporting racers to creating high-performance sterndrive, outboard, propeller and accessory products for consumers.

“Rick is one of the best-known and respected people in the world of high-performance powerboating and boat racing, and has been for more than 30 years,” said Steve Miller, Mercury Racing director of marketing, sales and service. “Rick has always represented Mercury Racing with the perfect blend of personable humor, product knowledge, and professionalism. He has had a life-long passion for our brand that is simply unparalleled. We are all going to miss Rick tremendously, and we wish him nothing but the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

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