The sum of its parts

Most boaters know that Mercury is the most popular propulsion-system manufacturer in the world. But probably not many are aware of the size of the company’s marine parts-and- accessories business.

Through its Land ‘N’ Sea and Attwood Marine divisions — both acquired by Mercury Marine in 2003 — Mercury is the largest marine parts and accessories wholesale distributor in the world, with 14 locations throughout North America. With the more recent acquisitions of Kellogg Marine in Connecticut and Diversified Marine in California, Mercury Parts & Accessories covers 95 percent of the country with 105 delivery trucks that provide next-day service to dealers and repair facilities from coast to coast. That means boaters get back on the water faster.

Attwood Marine manufactures parts and accessories. Among some of the new products Attwood recently launched is an award-winning portable fuel system that prevents fuel vapor from being released into the atmosphere. The MotorGuide line of trolling motors is also part of Attwood and the company recently introduced two new models, the Xi5 and X3. MotorGuide’s Pinpoint GPS technology uses a GPS receiver to control your boat. Like the SkyHook Virtual Anchor technology available with Mercury’s JoyStick Piloting, Pinpoint can hold a boat’s position on a fixed GPS coordinate using the trolling motor. When in anchor mode, the directional controls can be used to move the boat in 5-foot increments. The unit stores and holds up to eight positions and it can navigate the boat to a specific compass heading.

Land ‘N’ Sea is a full-line distributor of a wide range of parts and accessories for boats up to 40 feet long. Mercury originally bought the company to create a parts-and-accessories business to sell product to the boat manufacturers owned by Brunswick Corporation, Mercury’s parent company. But Land ‘N’ Sea quickly outgrew that role and today remains a nationwide distributor to all dealerships.

From propulsion systems to parts and accessories, Mercury Marine leads the industry and delivers for its customers.

Strong to the SeaCore

A harsh saltwater environment can wreak havoc with marine engines, transoms and drives. To combat the elements, MerCruiser created SeaCore, a protective anti-corrosion system that enhances an engine’s durability at multiple levels and includes a full complement of corrosion defenses.

With SeaCore, all components exposed to saltwater are hardcoat anodized, changing the molecular structure of the exclusive XK360 aluminum alloy of the engine block and creating a shield against abrasion and corrosion. In addition, the engine’s closed cooling system seals out saltwater from the block using five-year, long-life coolant for additional durability.

SeaCore uses stainless steel underwater components to provide additional protection. MerCathode defends against corrosion using electrical current and sacrificial zinc anodes, and MercFusion paint provides an additional corrosion barrier, sealing the cover with a protective shine.

Mercury Marine so strongly believes its corrosion protection is the best on the water that MerCruiser provides a standard four-year limited corrosion failure warranty.

Don Simonson (Mercury years: 1962 — 2003)

Don Simonson’s career was all about service. Not just mechanical service on all manner of Mercury Marine products, but making sure the boat dealers and builders were also well served.

After his father, a Kiekhaefer Mercury salesman, passed away unexpectedly, Simonson was offered a technician position in East Brunswick, N.J. Various field service and sales jobs followed until 1971, when he became service manager for Mercury Canada, establishing dealerships and converting the rental fleets of fish camps and resorts to Mercury outboards.

Returning to the U.S. as director of service in 1984, Simonson became involved in cross training service technicians in sales techniques and in special large-scale projects that required attention to detail; among them, setting up the first Bass Pro Shop stores and managing the fleet of Mercury-powered Brunswick boats that supported the 1996 Summer Olympics in Georgia.

“I wouldn’t say I was a ‘fixer,’” Simonson said, “I just got involved in a little bit of everything over 41 years.”