J.D. Blackburn knew his 1999 Triton TR-21 bass boat still had a lot of life left in it. Like a lot of well-cared-for older boats, the hull was still in great shape. Blackburn had already invested in upgrading the trolling motor and electronics. Plus, the boat possessed the most important intangible of a cherished fishing boat: memories.
Blackburn, a fishing industry media professional from Tennessee, grew up angling with his dad, and has relied on his Triton bass boat to continue the family tradition with his own kids, while also sharing his passion with others.
“I just love taking people fishing,” Blackburn said.
So, when his original 1999 Mercury 225hp OptiMax® two-stroke outboard started showing its age, Blackburn went looking for the kind of upgrade that could enable many more years’ worth of memories on the water.
He took his boat to Mercury Repower Center Clark Marine Sales in Franklin, Tenn., and their expert service technicians completed a full repower upgrade, starting with a new Mercury 4.6L V8 250hp Pro XS® outboard. They also installed new controls, connected his Lowrance® HDS-12 unit with the outboard using a VesselView® Link module and added VesselView Mobile® so Blackburn can wirelessly connect to the onboard SmartCraft® system from his smartphone.
The difference has been remarkable. Not only is Blackburn enjoying speeds up to 75 mph (he previously topped out in the mid-60s), but he’s got a newfound sense of pride and confidence in his boat.
“I love going to the lake now,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about babying it. I’ve explored more of the lake, too. I used to put in close to where I wanted to fish. Now, if the fishing isn’t good down the lake, I’ll just run up the river. And enjoy the run. Before, I would just hope I could get there. And now, let’s go!”
If you’re interested in reviving your boat, contact a Mercury Repower Center to learn how easy it is to repower with a new outboard.