Since the beginning of my career, Mercury Marine has been my outboard of choice. I couldn’t imagine running anything else.
I started with a 150 Black Max. Then, as B.A.S.S. rules allowed for higher horsepower, I progressed to 200 and 225 EFIs, then the 250 Optimax. And now I’m running their latest creation — the V8 250hp Pro XS four-stroke.
For more than 30 years, Mercury outboards have propelled my Ranger boats — both in fresh and saltwater. And because of that loyalty, I was recently presented with a unique opportunity.
A trip to Fond du Lac
I was invited to the first-ever Mercury Marine Influencer Summit — a pro staff gathering held at company headquarters in Fond Du Lac, Wisc.
Other invitees included TV personalities Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston, Mark Zona, George Poveromo, Carter Andrews and Peter Miller. Among the Bassmaster Elite Series pros were Drew Benton, Jake Whitaker, Bill Weidler, Brock Mosely and Todd Auten. Also in attendance was reigning Bassmaster Classic champion Ott DeFoe,
The purpose of the gathering was multifaceted. It started with a boardroom presentation by Mercury’s marketing team recognizing the efforts of the pro staff, then moved to a discussion of Mercury’s future marketing and promotional strategies. After that, various department heads shared some logistics on how Mercury and Quicksilver products are engineered and produced.
Then came the plant tour.
Talk about big! The first building we entered measured more than a million square feet. And after walking aisle after aisle for hours, I believe that number is accurate.
I’ve toured numerous production facilities throughout my career, but none as massive or impressive as that of Mercury Marine’s. From futuristic robotics to a science-based sound room and on-the-water performance testing, the scope of Mercury’s production is truly overwhelming.