Mercury Marine is synonymous with outboard engines. And outboards, as we know, are a hugely popular segment of the yachting marketplace.
Without Carl Kiekhaefer, the company’s founder, there is no Mercury. Kiekhaefer had little intention of becoming a giant in the yachting industry when he purchased a manufacturing plant near his family’s Wisconsin farm in 1939. No, he planned on slinging magnetic separators to the dairy industry, but fate intervened.
Included with the plant’s assets were 300 shoddily built outboard engines. Where most saw scrap metal, Kiekhaefer saw opportunity. He inspected the engines, then drew up what he thought was a better design, with a stronger crankshaft. The engines became popular, and Kiekhaefer founded Mercury. The rest, as they say, is history.