Bays Boating Mercury Dealer of the Year

Bays Boating has been named Mercury Marine’s New Zealand Dealer of the Year for 2022.

Located at Motueka on the northern tip of NZ’s South Island, Bays Boating was started in 2004 by Dave Thorn in his parent's hop shed and has since grown to be the region’s largest marine retail and service centre, now employing over ten staff.

In 2019, Bays Boating opened a spacious new showroom and purpose-built workshop where there are five full-time mechanics.

Mercury Marine’s Director of Sales David Meehan said the win by Bays Boating was “thoroughly deserved”.

“Bays Boating had lots of success in 2022, achieving outstanding growth across a number of product portfolios,” David said.

“It was a hotly contested competition with many worthy candidates, but Bays Boating were the standout, highlighted by them being the first South Island dealership to become a Mercury Premier Service Centre.”

The team from Bays Boating and all the other winners were recognised at the 2022 Mercury Marine Awards held at SeaWorld on the Gold Coast, where dealers were also able to get to grips with a host of new products.

The awards also involve regional and specialist categories. The full list of winners for 2022 is available on the Mercury Marine Australia website.


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.


MERCURY HAS DEVELOPED 1st MATE, the world’s first engine-integrated man overboard monitoring and warning system for powerboats.

The 1st Mate Marine Safety and Security System uses wearable technology for up to eight people. It’s designed to turn off the engine and sound an alarm during man overboard events and send distress messages to the captain’s emergency contacts.

Comprising an intelligent hub, the wearable devices, and a mobile app, it ensures direct integration between 1st Mate and the vessel’s propulsion system.

An additional feature is the theft deterrent system, that prevents unauthorised use by locking the engine when the captain is not on board.

Bays Boating top Mercury dealer 2020

Bays Boating has earned the title of Mercury Marine’s New Zealand Dealer of the Year for 2020.

Located in Motueka at the top end of New Zealand’s South Island and owned by Dave Thorn, the dealership offers a full range of products from new boats and outboard motors sales to second-hand vessels and servicing.

Bays Boating became a Mercury dealer in late 2016 and was the first South Island dealership to become a Mercury Premier Service Centre. It is the region’s largest marine retail and service centre.

The Australian Dealer of the Year Award was taken out by Brisbane Marine in Brisbane (QLD).

Mercury’s annual awards are based on a range of objective criteria including year-on-year growth across all product categories (Outboard, MerCruiser, Parts & Accessories), business diversity, service status and market share growth within their dealer district.

Another New Zealand dealer, Hamilton’s Tristram Marine, received the award for MerCruiser Sterndrive OEM of the Year 2020.

Pictured above: (Left-Right) Peter Brown (Mercury NZ) Vic Taylor (Bays Boating) Dave Thorn (Bays Boating) Dean Harris (Mercury NZ)

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp

Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), has introduced the new 7.6‑litre V12 600hp Verado outboard engine.

With this launch, Mercury continues to transform the high-horsepower outboard market, providing its most powerful and capable outboard, which includes several industry‑first features for a wide variety of applications.

“With boats continuing to grow bigger and performance expectations continuing to rise, boaters have been asking for a better, more capable high‑horsepower solution to meet their needs. The V12 Verado outboard is Mercury’s answer,” said Chris Drees, Mercury Marine president.

“Using our advanced engineering and design capabilities, we completely redefined outboard performance. The V12 Verado outboard delivers boaters unrivalled freedom, luxury and power to pursue their passions on the water. This is a remarkable engine that will change the future of boating.”

Ground-breaking product innovations include the following:

  • The world’s first V12 outboard, the 600hp Verado engine features a naturally aspirated, large‑displacement, quad‑cam powerhead that generates impressive torque to get heavy boats out of the hole and on plane quickly, and to accelerate up to rated speed rapidly.
  • The industry’s first two‑speed automatic transmission for an outboard optimises engine rpm according to workload, facilitating powerful acceleration and highly efficient performance at cruise.
  • The industry’s first steerable gearcase on an outboard pivots independently underwater while the engine’s powerhead remains in a space‑saving fixed position. This provides more room for multi‑engine configurations and a wider steering angle for agile handling. With help from contra‑rotating propellers, it also has better “bite” in the water for docking and other close‑quarters manoeuvring.
  • Several enhanced Mercury technologies work in conjunction to enable the V12 Verado outboard to deliver exceptional fuel economy and range.

“The V12 Verado outboard delivers everything boaters want and more in a high-horsepower outboard. This engine makes boats easy to manoeuvre near the dock and provides superior handling at all speeds.

“It’s incredibly fuel efficient, so boaters can go farther and stay out longer. It’s so smooth and quiet that you can have a conversation while the engines are running. It’s durable, reliable and easy to maintain. There’s nothing else like the V12 Verado in the marketplace today,” Drees said.

The development of the V12 Verado outboard is a product of Mercury’s continued commitment to investing in R&D and manufacturing expansion, which includes more than $1.5 billion of investment since 2008.

“We’ve dedicated substantial investments and years of effort toward enhancing our ability to turn highly creative ideas into practical, functional and dependable solutions,” said Tim Reid, Mercury Marine vice president of development and engineering.

“That work has positioned us well to anticipate and respond to shifts in the marketplace. We listened carefully to boaters’ needs and wishes, and we created new product capabilities aimed at exceeding their highest expectations.”

The Mercury Marine V12 Verado outboard will be released in Australian and New Zealand through selected OEMs and dealers in the second half 2021.

Exhibitor demand strong for SCIBS 2021

The 32nd edition of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS), to be held from May 20-23 at the vibrant Marine Village on the Gold Coast, is shaping up to be a beauty following the launch of exhibitor bookings in mid-December.

Among the prominent brands having already applied for prime on water positions are , Maritimo, Horizon, Princess Yachts, Integrity, Whitehaven, Eyachts, Azimut, Sunseeker, Hampton, Fairline, Palm Beach, Grand Banks, Fleming, Beneteau, Lagoon, Illiad, Mastercraft and Iliad.

Trailerable boats, watersports and inflatable craft will also have a strong presence in The Marine Village, with Quintrex, Yamaha, Jeanneau, JSW Powersports, Sea Doo, Stacer, AB, Northside Marine, Sailfish Catamarans, Voyager Catamarans, Aurora, Mercury, Zodiac, Honda and Mastercraft already on board.

The latest gear and gadgets will also be on display in the Pavilions, with notable brands such as Garmin, Fusion, Navionics, Raymarine, Seabreeze, Dometic, JL Audio, C-Map, Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, VETUS-Maxwell, International Paint, Awlgrip and HELLA quick to secure space.

Spaces are limited. To register as an exhibitor, visit

Mercury and Beneteau

Mercury Marine has announced an expanded partnership with Beneteau on a global scale to leverage both companies’ leadership position and offer Beneteau customers Mercury power on 2021 models.

This announcement comes two years after Mercury Marine and Beneteau first announced a partnership in North America.

With this partnership, Beneteau customers will be able to take advantage of even more competitive, high‑performance and high‑quality outboard boat‑and‑engine packages, they said in a joint statement.

Customers can order Mercury outboards on Beneteau packages immediately. Mercury‑powered Beneteau boat packages will be on display at upcoming European boating events.