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TOPIC: Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac

Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128202

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I was passing through to see friends and could not resist the opportunity to get this picture (thanks to my wife putting up with me and snapping the picture)...their new sign was right there near the intersection so I parked the Jeep next to an excavator for a quick few seconds off the road with flashers on of course. I have motors from '65, '78, and '87 that are all still on the water.
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Re:Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128221

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You should have stopped. They give tours. Back in 84-89 I was project officer on several research projects the Coast Guard was doing at Mercury Marines' research facility in Osh Kosh. I went there several times. On my first visit they gave me a complete tour of the place. Talk about being in heaven. All those engines are lined up along the waterfront and run until they die. It's amazing to watch. I didn't get a chance to go to Fond Du Lac but I wish I had.

Next time stop and take a tour.

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Peter D. Eikenberry
newboatbuilders.com
newboatbuilders.blogspot.com
"Don't tell me that I can't. tell me how I can."

Re:Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128223

OMG!!!!
Wouldn't that be a dream come true!
SIGH
d-f

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Re:Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128229

Well Mark if the museum is still open that is worth the time to go see if you are alone. Wives don't care much for boat museums lol. Lots of guys would bring their families to come check out our museum. The kids would hang at the glass cases wanting to play with the toy boats or get dad to buy one until mom found out how much there worth. Then about 30min in they are back in the suburban playing video games, about 45min in mom is back in the truck too. About a hour in mom is texting dad come on lets go were hungry. Now this is were it gets funny. Dad is in outboard heaven right? He doesn't want to leave yet so he pushes it 15 more minutes. Another text from mom and he is like a kid. "COme on do I have to" SO boat museums are a guy thing for the most part. That is if you want to make a few hours of it. I will post some of the best articles on the web today about the museum Mercury opened a few years back. Its located in downtown and could have easily been much larger.

He Doc, I sent you a email from here 2 weeks ago so we could talk but I would bet you didn't get it. Please write me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and send me your number. I have a odd 77 merc. Oh and guess what the guys first name was that was in charge of hiding all Carls cool stuff. Thom!

Here are some articles with videos of the mercury museum. I spend a lot of time on this website do to my Polaris addiction lol. Also I have a buddy that is rebuilding Carls test 700cc triple test sled that used a polaris chassis. Wicked motor to say the least. Another cool thing is one of my boats. 1960 Magnolia Siamese cat was owned by a friend of mine that engineered and built the first snowmobile for Carl K. So all my buddies are in shock all the time because I have so many Mercs and not one Merc sled.
vintagesleds.com/mercury-marine-opens-museum/

www.tradeonlytoday.com/2014/06/video-mercury-marine-museum/

www.boats.com/reviews/mercury-marine-museum-opens/

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Re:Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128232

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Ike - back in the day I had passed the "running mercs on the bulkhead" and the stacks of yellow test boats in Oshkosh. There was also a Merc thing I attended over that way like over 20 years ago where they temporarily set up a collection for fine mercs from the Merc collection. Had the speed record hydro, etc...wonder if all of that stuff is what also went into that museum? I have not made the factory tour and have not looked into whether the museum thing was temporary or permanent. I lost track of friend I met camping who works at Merc.

Toy Box - My brother and I co-owned a '76 merc factory modified 440 sno twister oval race sled. Crazy small and fast for a big goon like me to ride (looked like a little toy with 6'4" on it). We sold it in the mid 80's and sadly that guy had it stolen along with his tools and a trailer. I remember going through our manual (which was for the sled being stock), and it had lots of stuff crossed out and hand written new information. The one that stands out said "122 octane minimum for racing". I do not know who owned or raced the sled before we got it, but the clutch engaged at 8,000rpm, and ran at 11,500rpm. It had those stinger exhaust chambers that would make you deaf if you forgot earplugs. Had 44mm carbs on a 440 kohler engine. If I would have grown up closer to the factory, I likely would have worked for next to nothing if I could have been a test driver for Merc on Lake Winnebago. I was already half crazy...imagine getting paid for it :). Oh - and I am the lucky one - my wife loves museums and is a gear head herself...I am one luck man! She would stay and read everything with me until the lights were shutting off.

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Re:Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128314

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My best trip to Oshkosh was for a research project on determining safe HP for little boats commonly called "thrill craft" such as the Cougar cat. We actually got to take them out and run them around a course. With 35 or 40 hp on a boat less than 13 feet long it was quite a "thrill" and lots of fun. I have gone a lot faster in bigger boats but when the boat is that small it feels a lot faster than it is (about 35 -40 mph) The only thing equivalent I have experienced is a PWC at 65-70 mph and frankly the PWC didn't feel as exciting.

But yes, I was really impressed by the "rack" of engines all lined up producing anywhere from 50 HP to hundreds of HP. They were all developed for racing, but eventually all that tech went into their production engines.

My wife wasn't there with me (it was a "business" trip). But it was a lot more fun than most business trips I've taken.

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Peter D. Eikenberry
newboatbuilders.com
newboatbuilders.blogspot.com
"Don't tell me that I can't. tell me how I can."

Re:Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128347

I find it funny you started this thread and today I find yet another chunk of mercury history that got out of the factorys hands. Today on Craigs list I caught this ad. Many things like this were taken by employees over the years and some were dealer displays too. Doc should buy this for the man cave lol.
Bob

Rare Mercury Cutaway
minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/bpo/5843937644.html

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Re:Visit to the Mother Ship in Fond du Lac 1 year 2 months ago #128453

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Nice - saw an outboard cutaway of a 70's Merc outboard and thought the same thing - how do you get that? I used to see those at boat shows as a young teen...now somehow they show up in non Mercury events/locations. I need the reel motor before a cutaway.

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