NEW ZEALAND’S SPEARFISHING guru, Darren Shields, hadn’t owned a Mercury engine for 43 years – when his dad used to have an old 50hp Mercury.

But after upgrading to a 7.45m aluminium boat, he decided he needed a new, more powerful engine.

“When I had a few friends and all our diving equipment the ride at times felt laboured sort of like driving a bus on water,” Darren says.

“I was coaxed into looking at repowering to Mercury. So, I did – with a Mercury 4.6L V8 300hp four-stroke outboard. Now, my bus has turned into a sportscar.”

Darren is a six-time New Zealand spearfishing champion, who has clocked up thousands of hours out on the water and travelled the world “diving it all”.

“Not only is it 48kg lighter than the 250hp outboard I was using, it’s also smoother and significantly more fuel efficient.


Spearfishing is an institution in the Shields household, with Darren’s son the current NZ number one and his son’s girlfriend NZ’s number one female spearfisher.

With his wife Alison, Darren owns Wettie – New Zealand’s biggest spearfishing, wetsuit and dive equipment business. They operate seven days a week out of Auckland in retail, online and wholesale.