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MTI At 25—The First 340X Starts The Craze

In the history of Marine Technology Inc. in Wentzville, Mo., the defining moment in terms of growth has got to be the company’s introduction of the MTI-V 42 performance center console powered by outboard engines, normally of the Mercury Racing variety. It marks the turning point in which MTI founder Randy Scism and his team started looking at performance boating differently.

Built as the company’s demo model and powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, the first MTI 340X catamaran made a splash during the 2016 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

That was more than 10 years ago, and that 42-footer, which has since morphed into the most luxurious of luxury performance center consoles and opened MTI’s doors to new boating destinations and a much wider clientele range, in turn led to the next chapter of the builder’s catamaran supremacy when—four years later on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks in the summer of 2016—MTI showcased its first outboard-powered catamaran, the 340X.

At the end of August, on the Wednesday morning of the famed Shootout on the Strip along Bagnell Dam Boulevard during the 2016 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, I was lucky enough to catch a ride in the company’s first 340X powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines with MTI’s sales manager at the time, Tim Gallagher, and our good friend, Nikki Sorenson, a much more camera-worthy co-pilot than I for a cover shoot we did for the 2016 digital magazine pictured below.

With Sorenson and I on board, Gallagher showed off the 34-foot cat’s turning, comfort, maneuverability, acceleration and even how well it handled the bumpy Lake of the Ozarks waters. He then dropped me off with photographer Pete Boden to capture the running images of a new model that Gallagher, Scism and everyone at MTI who had their hands on the boat were extremely proud of at the time.

Scratch that, they’re still proud.

You see, that 340X was the building block to the twin-engine 390X and 440X catamarans, which were released three years apart in 2019 and 2022. To call MTI’s 340X anything less than “game changing” for the brand would be an understatement as the 34-footer, which MTI has built 44 of to date, took full advantage of the 400-hp offerings at the time and led to the incomparable 390X, which MTI has delivered 63 of and has another 33 on order.

Serious lineage, right? Little did I know during my ride in the 34-footer, which by the way was pretty basic compared to today’s MTI standards, that the boat would set the table for a couple of larger—and likely more popular—models with help from the next generation outboard engines from Mercury Racing.

The second 340X—does anyone remember which boat that was? hint you can find it by searching the speedonthewater.com archives—was vastly different from the first. And that’s the beauty of an MTI…and the main reason the MTI At 25 weekly series exists.

Editor’s note: “MTI At 25” is a weekly series on speedonthewater.com celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. A new installment will go live every Wednesday on speedonthewater.com through the end of the year.

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