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This Mercury Pro Sees Real Value in Repowering His Boat

By running the latest engines, Capt. Rush Maltz keeps his customers coming back

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For professional fishing guide and Mercury Pro Team member Capt. Rush Maltz, keeping his SeaVee® 340z in top condition has been a key to the success of his 30-plus-year career in the Florida Keys. Tight lines on a tight boat bring customers back year after year. And for the popular Keys captain, that is by design.

While catching fish is a given, customer comfort and entertainment are what round out a successful fishing charter. “When you think about how much time a client spends on your boat, it’s easy to understand the need to make that time as enjoyable as possible,” said Maltz. “I’d much rather hear compliments about my boat while the client is looking for fish than have to come up with excuses for why we didn’t make it to the fish.”

Aside from routine maintenance of fishing gear and vessel systems, Maltz has adopted a strategy that keeps his 34-foot “Odyssea” in fresh power season after season – repowering his boat with a new engine every eight to 12 months. Fishing guides like Maltz rack up thousands of hours on their outboard motors in short order, and in the past, this wear and tear was a constant concern for heavy users. 

“One thousand hours used to be the golden number you would shoot for before a repower. Anything beyond that and you were thought to be asking for trouble,” said Maltz. “With new motors like my V8 300hp Verado® outboards, I easily double or triple that number without a worry.” 

At this point, it bears asking the question, if reliability and confidence are up, why the need to repower so often? For Maltz, it comes down to a business model that aims at providing the best experience for his customers. That experience begins when they board a well-maintained vessel, rigged with the most up-to-date equipment. For many, the “Odyssea” is the boat they see Maltz captain week after week on his show, Local Knowledge, and securing a charter with the captain puts them in the middle of all the excitement. 

Rush Repower
Rush's repower at dealer
Rush's repower at marina
Rush's repower at dealer 2

When asked what becomes of the outgoing motors, Maltz stated, “the motors I swap out are not tired or faulty by any means and have plenty of life in them.” With several thousand hours and years of warranty remaining, the previously owned power package recoups top dollar and allows Maltz to reinvest those dollars into his business. This allows him to start the season with fresh power that features the latest advancements in marine propulsion technology. And for Maltz, the inherent reliability of modern luxury outboards has an added benefit – he no longer loses sleep to motor worries.

Rotating out high-hour motors at tight intervals like this won’t likely apply to the average boater. But there are other reasons to repower. With each new generation of outboards comes enhanced features that make for a better user experience. The gains can be immense for those who upgrade from older two-stroke outboards or even supercharged L6 Verado outboards. The new lineup of naturally aspirated Mercury V6, V8, V10 and V12 outboards covers a wide range of applications.

Maltz had his Mercury Authorized Dealer swap his V8 300hp Verado outboards for all-new ones in his most recent repower. He saw no need to choose a new engine platform. Overall, Capt. Maltz found the process simple, with minimal downtime in the peak of his busy season. “I’ve found the perfect balance of weight, performance and fuel economy for my SeaVee with the V8 300hp model, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

under water v8s
v8 side view
rush boat in motion
Rush with fish

Repowering is a great way to upgrade performance at a fraction of the cost of a new boat purchase, making it a great solution for those who don’t want to give up the boat they love. The latest Mercury outboards offer features like Joystick Piloting, SmartCraft® integrated technologies and Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS), that bring new capability and higher resale value to these seasoned vessels.   

Be sure to visit your local Mercury Authorized Dealer for more information on the current lineup of Mercury outboards and to see what a repower can do for you.

To learn more about Capt. Maltz, visit the Odyssea Fishing website or check out LocalKnowledge.tv. You can also follow Maltz on Facebook and Instagram and YouTube.

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