Here is a poorly kept secret: Most high-performance powerboat builders don’t love running boats out of the Venetian Yacht Club and Marina—formerly Sea Isle Marina—during the Miami International Boat Show, which closed last Sunday. Ripping current and tide, tight quarters and manatees often around the docks make for a demo-ride nightmare. Except when the show moved to Virginia Key, where it had its own logistical issues, for several reasons, its in-water portion across Biscayne Bay from the Miami Beach Convention Center has always been the event’s weakest link.
MTI had a V 42 center console and a 390X catamaran—both equipped with new 400-hp V-10 outboard engines from Mercury Racing—at Grove Harbour Marina last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the Miami International Boat Show.
Knowing that the ever-challenging marina would be part of the Miami show when it returned last year to the South Beach-based convention center, MTI founder Randy Scism made a savvy decision to have all his Wentzville, Mo., demo catamarans and V-bottom center consoles run out of Haulover Marine Center, where MTI has a booming powerboat concierge business. That worked well enough for Scism to return much of the demo fleet to Haulover, but he also had an MTI-V 42 center console and a 390X catamaran—both powered by new 400-hp naturally aspirated outboard engines from Mercury Racing—at the Fond du Lac, Wis., in-water by-appointment demo session at Grove Harbour in Coconut Grove.
Between the two locations, MTI delivered more than 70 demo rides to prospective owners and inked six solid orders.
Bill Pyburn and Fallon Thibodeaux took delivery of an MTI-V 50 center console during the Miami International Boat Show.
“I scheduled more demos on the first day than I did all of last year,” Scism said in a press release from MTI. “I was pleased with the level of interest we had in the 440X—there was some commentary that this boat was too big, and it turned out to be the biggest hit for us at the show.
“I anticipate more orders to follow after the conversations we’ve had,” he added.
MTI client relations manager Taylor Scism was equally delighted with the 2023 show.
MTI was spread out in three locations for the event.
“The level of engagement we had in Miami was staggering,” Taylor Scism explained in the release. “It’s important to get in front of the consumer at this show, educate them on our product and tell our story. It was poignant to me how familiar people are with our brand, and the difference and quality that comprises not only how we build boats, but also how we connect with our customers and promote community.
“That’s really what we’re all about—building a community and sharing an experience,” she continued. “We had the pleasure of delivering Bill Pyburn’s new V 50 to him at the show and celebrated with a champagne toast. It’s an honor to have someone of Bill’s caliber and profile not only order an MTI, but become a repeat customer.”
This Mercury Racing-branded MTI 390X demo catamaran was busy for all three days at Grover Harbour Marina.
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