With everything cool that was unveiled during the 2018 Miami International Boat Show, which closed yesterday, I almost forgot something cool that happened before the show opened. During a media event last Wednesday night in Miami, the Mercury Marine brass announced that the Fond du Lac, Wis., marine engine and accessories company was re-opening Lake X, which closed in 2004, in Central Florida.
Once shrouded in mystery, Mercury Marine’s famed testing and setup facility is back in business (click image to enlarge).
For those of you who’ve never heard of it—and I’d have to guess there’s an entire generation of high-performance powerboat enthusiasts who haven’t—Lake X was where you sent your new Skater or Cigarette or any other catamaran or V-bottom to get “dialed-in” (for a fee of course) by Mercury Marine/Mercury Racing technicians for maximum performance. Once the process was complete, you even got a sticker for your boat that read, “Dialed In At Lake X.”
No question, the entire Lake X experience and process, which started in 1957 when Mercury Marine founder E. Carl Kiekhaefer had it designed and built, was great marketing. Having that sticker on your boat meant you were dead serious about getting every last bit of performance out of your boat. It was, in short, a badge of honor.