Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mercury and Evinrude Release New Outboards

At last week’s Miami Boat Show, I attended back-to-back press conferences for Mercury and Evinrude that both revealed new high-powered outboards. Mercury released its Verado series 350Sci, supported with a video-clip of a Fountain center-console breaking 80 mph with three 350s mounted across the back. Mercury Marine President and COO of the Brunswick Corporation Pat Mackey and President of Mercury Racing Fred Kiekhaefer introduced the high-octane video that highlights the hole-shot abilities of the new 350 series.

Evinrude’s press conference took a different tone with the release of its new E-Tec 300-hp outboard. Instead of focusing on this engine, Evinrude celebrated 100 years of innovation, apparently all started by Ole Evinrude’s quest for ice cream. As the story has it, in 1906 the store that sold ice cream was 2½ miles across the lake. On a hot summer day, Ole and his wife Bess tried to bring ice cream back and it melted, prompting Ole to go into his garage for three years and invent the outboard engine. It may not be exactly what happened, but since they served ice cream at the booth during the sweltering Miami boat show, you’ll get no complaints from me.

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