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MTI Owners Conquer The Florida Keys Once Again

For the sixth straight year, the MTI faithful enjoyed an extended weekend with old friends and new friends in the Florida Keys during the Wentzville, Mo., company’s MTI Owners Fun Run. And for the fifth consecutive time, the event grew bigger and better than the prior year.

Between center consoles and catamarans with both outboard and sterndrive power, more than 60 MTI clients took part in the sixth annual MTI Owners Fun Run to the Florida Keys. Photos by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images

“Absolutely—it was a great time!” exclaimed Alan Wise when asked if he had a good time in his MTI 340X catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines, which was one of 60-plus boats that made the Thursday run from Haulover Marine Center in North Miami to Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key where the fun spread out from there on Friday and Saturday.

“We had a blast,” said Alex Pratt, who recently sold his 48-foot MTI cat and rode with his good friend, Nate Michel, in Cloud IX, Michel’s 40-foot cat that he had repowered recently with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines. “Nate’s boat is a rocket ship—we checked them all of the list!”

Michel agreed with Pratt about the event and added that getting to run his boat in the Florida Keys with so many other MTI owners was cool. “The boat is extremely sporty and fun to drive,” Michel said. “It’s super fast!”

New to the MTI family as an owner, but not new to the event as this was his third year participating, Shaun Torrente said he and his wife, Flavia, enjoyed the run as well as getting to visit with friends and make new ones.

“The fun run was awesome,” said Torrente, who drove his recently purchased 390X with twin Mercury Racing 450R engines attached to the cat with his STR X-Act brackets, the same ones on a majority of the outboard-powered MTIs. “We have been two other times but we were thrilled to be there as owners this time around.”

Check out the slideshow above for more images from the MTI Owners Fun Run.

Obviously the positive comments were aplenty as the MTI team went above and beyond once again to make sure its clients had an amazing, stress-free time.

“Everything went really well,” said Taylor Scism, the company’s client relations manager. “Hawks Cay was a great host hotel! We had 62 boats in attendance and more than 300 people on hand, and we’re hoping everyone had a good time.”

Although Kelly O’Hara had a mechanical issue in his 2012-built 36-foot catamaran, which is powered by upgraded Mercury Racing 700SCi engines, and missed out on most of the fun on Saturday, he and his wife, Julie, still enjoyed the event overall.

“Everyone with MTI team did another great job planning and making all of the arrangements for activities, lunch stops and more,” said O’Hara, who lives in Auburn, N.Y., and was happy to escape the Northeast’s chilly winter weather and enjoy the 70- to 80-degree temperatures. “It was great to see so many friends—it was special to be able to get together with everyone and have some normalcy. The Friday night part at Hawks Cay was really well done.

“There were more boats than ever before and, because of MTI’s increase in outboard-powered cats and center consoles, the different categories of owners continues to grow at the event,” he continued, adding that it was get to hang out with his friend from New York, Bill Sestak, who owns a 42-foot cat that was recently updated by Boat Repairs Plus and BRP Marine Custom, which also did O’Hara’s boat in 2019. “As the event grows, it probably makes it more challenging to put together, but at the same time, it’s a testament to the success of MTI and to the owners’ events that they put together.”

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