Me and my Mercury’s. What makes me so passionate about my outboards?
Everyone seems to have a favorite team for sports such as hockey, baseball and football. I never was a sports fan for whatever reason, be it me being not athletically talented or the fact I just can’t see the point in stressing out over the outcome of a game i have no control over. But I sure love boats. Anything to do with boats especially the things that make them go Namely Mercury Marine. I like many different brand of boats for different reasons but there is only one Outboard for me.
My first Mercury Outboard was when I was a little guy. I had a canoe my father made a mount for on the side in the back. There I had a 2 hp Mercury 2 stroke. Pull start it always ran even after many dunking in the saltwater from some dumb move or another. Always dreaming of racing for Mercury I was enamored with all the drivers and throttle-men that were racing as I grew up. I wanted to be a tunnel boat driver but blamed it on my size for never pursuing (it just was not my path). Dreaming of someday taking on a challenge such as the assault on the Mississippi or the Miami to New York run. Those guys were all my heroes. Racing boats of any kind on the water had most of my attention as I grew up.
My father always had boats we were always diving and boating somewhere. They were not always Mercury powered but in 1976 I think is where my outboard obsession started when my dad bought a 28 Rabco with the brand new Mercury Black Max V-6 200’s. The first V-6 ever in the industry and we had a pair on our 28. Carborated and pissy a 2.4 liter platform. I fell in love with the sound, the smell of 2 stroke exhaust and the punch of the power. The way those motors just sat there and idled in Mercury Outboard fashion was enough to mesmerize me. I was hooked, from there on, if it was not black it did not belong on the back…
At age 14 my dad bought me a little Donzi that he and I did a project on to rebuild and make an outboard out of it. We bolted on a brand new 1984 150 2.0 liter Mercury on it. That was my first motor to rebuild completely and it carried me all over hell and back for almost 10 years. As a grew up there were boats here and boats there that came and left my life without much meaning – All Mercury powered. My obsession was apparent before I ever graduated high school.
In 1994 I started with Mercury Marine as a professional on the water as an independent fishing guide. Thats when things went from being an obsession to being a passion for a product.
Since I first started with Mercury in 1994 I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people that were behind this product. People that I knew were obsessed with boating, water and making the best product out there. The team feel is amazing, I have always felt like as a professional I am a part of making things better for boating. Lately in my career I have had the opportunity to hear people talk about an innovation that happened a few years ago, knowing I had helped in developing that really made me smile.
Working with engineers using my feedback and the feedback of many other professionals just like myself in the industry to tweak and improve the Mercury Outboard products is one of the coolest things. I know first hand the painstaking effort that these guys go through in development, testing, validating and correcting long before the public ever gets to buy the first outboard.Imagine doing all of this and trying to stay in so many perimeters of cost, performance, reliability and esthetics.
I have seen it take years before they stamp a product ready. Sometimes if I am lucky I get to be a part of the testing. As a kid I always wanted to be a test driver for Mercury. Here I am only its even better, Its done on my boats.
When I was younger I chose Mercury Outboards as my favorite thing on the water because of the way they sounded, the way they smelled, they went fast (all the race boats had them), and they were just plain sexy. Today I chose Mercury Outboards because I know they are the best product on the water. They are always pioneering new technology to make my boating better. They care about what they put out there. I know these things first hand, I know the people behind the product. From the highest executive to some of the assembly workers at the plant there is pride in what they are putting out.
Today, personally and professionally my love for boating and Mercury Marine I have 7 Verados, 2 Opti maxs, 90 hp 4 stroke, 40 hp 4 stroke. Use nothing but Mercury parts and fluids with the best in Mercury rigging. I am pretty sure I have more hours on Mercury outboards than most anyone around. My company and its clients depend on the reliability and that makes us the number one charter service in Key West. We have gone as long as 5 years and over 13,500 hours accumulated run time without a single issue with ALL of our fleet or Mercury Outboards.
There may be other manufacturers of outboards out there but for me it is, always has been and always will be. Mercury Marine.