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Mercruiser Engines: Weathering the Years

Jun 4, 2008
When you do business with a company that has a long history, you can rest assured that they are doing something right. A company that has ridden out a world war and the various economic recessions of the past seven decades has to be on top of their game. In the marine engine industry, that company is Mercury Marine, and they have been creating great engines since 1939 when America was just beginning to recover from the Great Depression and Hitler was running amuck in Europe.

The company, having been founded in Wisconsin, was originally supposed to serve dairy farmers. When Carl Kiekhaufer bought an outboard motor company, he was intending to make magnetic milk separators. However, the three hundred inoperable outboard motors that were thrown in with the deal changed his direction. His repaired and mail-order marketed engines were so well built that they quickly became a hot item among boaters. In 1940, he took orders for 16,000 engines at the New York Boat Show alone. Immediately, the dairy farmers were on their own!

The company, which Mr. Kiekhaufer named Mercury, changed over to making hard-used chain saws for the US government during World War II. In the late 1940s, though, it was right back to boat engines. In the 1950s, they performed an astonishing feat on a lake in Florida, setting an endurance record with two of their Mark 75 engines. Over the course of 68 3/4 days, they ran 50,000 miles nonstop, refueling with the engines still running.

In 1961, the first Mercruiser engines debuted at the Chicago boat show. This is the engine that would come to claim 80% of the pleasure boat market worldwide. Mercury continues to enjoy its fine reputation, ever improving on their products. In 2007, in fact, the state of the art Zeus drive system came out. Boasting dual engine pod drive, it offers solid helm control and will hold a steady heading even in strong currents.

When a company has been around as long as Mercury, they generally have a reputation for excellent products. Withstanding the challenges of time is no small feat, and they have met every obstacle and thrived.
About the Author
If you're in the market for rugged Mercruiser engines, be sure you purchase your Mercruiser engine from a reputable dealer.
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