It’s exciting to see the great amount of interest in our new 4.6L V8 250R and 300R FourStroke outboards. What’s particularly exciting is the adaptation of the product by Allison Boats. Allison for years powered its lightweight, high-performance vee-bottom hulls with our legacy 2.5-liter Mercury Racing outboards (electronic fuel injected and OptiMax direct fuel injected two-strokes).
Allison sales representative Terry Wingo helped us locate 250R-powered Allison subject boats featured in our new R-Series outboard catalog. A new dealer who was instrumental making the catalog photo shoot happen was Tim Powell, owner of Fastbass Marine in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
Tim became an Allison dealer in October and signed on as an exclusive Mercury Marine dealer in December. He started out specializing in selling and servicing marine electronics out of his garage. It didn’t take long for that business to grow. With 16 boats stacked up he soon realized he needed to move into a larger 40-foot-by-60-foot building. It wasn’t long before he outgrew that facility and found himself moving once again, this time into his current 60-foot-by-100-foot building, which includes a 35-square-foot office/showroom.
Tim’s focus is providing tournament anglers the performance that comes with the race-proven Allison hull rigged for tournament fishing. His hull of choice is the XB-21 BasSport Pro. Allison also offers the XB-21 in a Prosport (large single-console) and 2+2 (Single/Dual Side Console with seating for four).
“The XB-21 is very stable – a great platform to fish from. Single-console and dual-console models are both popular,” said Tim. “The single consoles are popular with hardcore anglers who appreciate the room to move around.”
Longtime Allison dealer Glenn Reynolds of Reynolds Racing & Marine provided a bright yellow XB-21 BasSport Pro (Dual Console) for our photo mission. With the paintable accent panels on our new V8s, it was a no-brainer to color-match the accent panels and stripes with the boat. Deemed Bumble Bee, the boat was a magnet for photos. It jumps off the pages of our catalog and social media posts. Tim followed that up with his personal demo boat, an identical XB-21 BasSport Pro in electric lime green with color-matched 250R. That one made its debut at our Miami Boat Show media conference in January.
When asked what engines are favored Tim said, “I really push the 250R. I focus on that engine, as it is the power limit for most tournament fishing. After saying that, I may update the 250R for a 300R on my personal demo boat – just to see what it will do. However, with the color-matched engine graphics becoming as popular as they are, I think this one won’t be sticking around long.”
New Kid on the Block
At 36 years old, Tim is not only the newest Allison dealer, he is also one of the youngest. Tim said he has the upmost respect for veteran dealers Glenn Reynolds and Lee Sanderson of Sanderson Marine. I thought it would be interesting to get a perspective from the veteran’s point of view in terms of the resurgence in popularity of the performance outboard bass boat market.
“I have experienced a vast evolution of engine technology in my long career of powerboat racing and running my dealership,” said Glenn Reynolds, owner of Reynold’s Racing and Marine. “I started with Mercury ‘Tower of Power’ inline six cylinder two-stroke engines. My first race engine was a 1968 Mercury 1250 BP. I then moved up to the 150 J Block. We then moved into the era of the V6 two-strokes: 225, 260, 280 and 300hp engines. These evolved from carbureted to electronic fuel injected models.
“More recently we adapted to the low-emissions OptiMax engines. Mercury has always been way out front in terms of performance. The new 4.6-liter V8 250R and 300R FourStrokes have raised the bar. They produce more power and torque compared to the two-strokes along with improved fuel economy. The new engines have provided a whole new experience for 21-22-foot boats. The ride is better and more comfortable. It’s just a safer experience overall.”
“The torque the new Mercury V8 FourStrokes provide bring the big 21-foot Allison to life. The hole shot, acceleration, and top-end now rival that of the smaller 20-footers rigged with the 225 Pro Max engines of the day,” said recently retired Lee Sanderson. “The boat is up on plane in a boat length, and it sits you back in the seat throughout the bottom-end and mid-range. The engine is also much quieter and smoother compared to the two-strokes.”
A new Hemi Orange XB-21 BasSport Pro (single-console) made its public debut at an Allison factory open house Friday. We are looking forward to seeing this beauty on the water with its color matched 250R outboard.
The electric lime green and Bumble Bee yellow boats drew a steady stream of admirers in the Allison booth at the Bassmaster Classic over the weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee.