MerCruiser Christens Horizon Engine at IMTEC97

MerCruiser Horizon Christens
Horizon Engine at IMTEC 1997

The basic attempt is to take the "hassles" out of boating and to extend the maintenance intervals as well. The goal being 3 years of extended maintenance, 3 years of factory coverage, and 3 years of corrosion protection.

Robert Bonev began telling us the features of the engine:

A question from the audience about the continued availability of the 454 engine was responded to with, "we think it will be available for another 2 to 3 years and there is another engine coming out that we can get." Afterwards, Robert Bonev broke a bottle of champaign on the engine. I was so close I got champaign and pieces of glass on my notebook. Might be a good idea to put safety glasses on the front row next time? I knew he was going to do it, but he did it so quick that I did not even have my flash turned on. The official Mercury photographer did not even get a shot off. After the crowd left he "christened it" again and I got another nice photo.

After the christening they had a nice fix you own sandwich buffet and drinks. It made a nice lunch.

RBBI Comments- this engine is a step in the right direction. It certainly fits with the recommendations heard at the MRAA "Shirt Sleeve Sessions." Also its nice to see them look at the whole system and try to bring all the components "up" at once to produce a real "bullet proof" engine system.

Spark plugs and hose clamps are not the kind of things you go back home and tell everybody about (unless your stranded in the middle of the lake and yours don't work). Maybe next year they can show us something more exciting? I'm concerned the massive cost cutting and bottom line watching of the industry is depriving us of some major innovations. A few more innovative products like sport jet boats, PWC's, fish finders, depth finders, and GPS's could be of great help to the industry now.

I like the name "Horizon". It seems to connotate the idea of my engine working flawlessly as I boat over the horizon. Many products from the majors seem to lack a lot in the "naming department." This is a refreshing change.

The christening was a very nice touch and made the presentation much more lively.

Also, can't they find a "babe" to christen the engine instead of Robert Bonev? Kiekhaefer would have had a mermaid!


Engine & Christening

Horizon Engine

Official Christening

2nd Christening

The first "Christening" happened so fast it caught us by surprise. I did not have time to turn my flash on and the Mercury photographer did not even get a shot off. After the crowd cleared, there was a "2nd Christening" for the Mercury photographer. My flash controls were not on the proper settings (the controls had been bumped in my briefcase) but it still came out pretty nice.

Management & Booth



Management Photo - That's Barry Eller (top job at MerCruiser) on the far left, Robert Bonev in the rear near the champaign bottle, and Steve Campbell at the far right. If somebody will drop me a note with the other two gentlemen's names, I will post them. E-mail us at

Booth Photo - That's Robert Bonev working the booth on the far right. You really have to "watch your wallet" when your talking to these marketing guys. It looks like the gentleman in the middle is already wondering what happened to his : )

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