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A look into the outboard time capsule shows an interesting sign of the times.


This quintessential 1950s man is an easy target: He resembles that lovable goof Potsie Weber from Happy Days and is wound tighter than a spool of mono. The pipe isn’t fooling anyone.

Today’s outboard enthusiast would be his antithesis, right? A laid-back dude in his ’20s, shirtless, with spiked, bleached hair, visor and wraparound sunglasses. Instead of a pipe, he’s holding a beer koozie. And swap that bulky receiver for an iPhone and sputtering outboard with several V8 behemoths. Par-tay!

Our premiere issue has shown that my hackneyed typecasting is way off. Today’s powerful engines have allowed builders to increase LOA and at the same time, expand its outboard-powered model lines to include just about every type of watercraft, from family cruisers and luxe center consoles to hardcore fishing machines and whatever you’d call our cover boat.

But the more things have changed, the more they stay the same. Our ad’s “Man with the Mercury” phone never stops ringing. I bet many of you regularly field these calls from friends ready for a day on the water.

And we’ll get much farther than that old 10-hp outboard will take them. But the enchantment of being on the water is timeless.

This article originally appeared in the premier issue of Outboard magazine.