Mark Twain Boats

Mark Twain Boat Forums => The History Mystery => Topic started by: Mkb4550 on April 25, 2010, 09:25:42 AM

Title: United Marine/Seibert/Cooper
Post by: Mkb4550 on April 25, 2010, 09:25:42 AM
Lee Seibert and LLoyd Cooper were the original reps for Kiekaefer Mercury Motors.  They established the dealer network throughout Mo., Ks., Ark., Ia, Nb. in the late 40\'s and early 50\'s.  All of this was the result of Lee\'s racing program and LLoyds persistence in calling on dealers.  Lloyd told many stories about removing the back seat of his car (De,Soto?) and filling it with outboards to sell.  Many of the original dealers were hardware stores and gas stations.  He told a story about the White River before it was dammed up to form lakes like Table Rock, Beaver, Northfork etc. One in particular was about a boat ride operation that used evinrude motors but was constantly shearing prop pins and shafts on the rocks.  Just to prove a point he convinced them to try a Mercury on the same run.  Of course they did damage props but they were so much easier to change and they did not damage the gears as often as the Evinrudes and he got the business from that day forward.  As they established a dealer network they expanded into accessory sales and of course the parts business just kept getting bigger.  Eventually they began distributing boats of all types through this same network.  Some of the name brands you might recognize are Yellowjacket (Lees Racing boats), Lone Star, Duo, Appleby etc.  Once they had participated in the development of the reverse gel-coat mold and Mark Twain was born United Marine took off in a big way.  In the early days it was very rare to find a MT boat with anything but Mercury power.  Over the years there were times when motors were in short supply and the only way to get one was on an MT.  I was told that this entire venture was the direct result of a $5,000.00 GI loan and shear determination on the part of these two men.  LLoyd always told me \"You can\'t sell from an empty wagon \". Which was fine with me because it meant that no matter where I went he expected me to take a demo boat and a trunk or back seat full of closeout accessories.  Needless to say he was right and I had the best job in the world.
Title: United Marine/Seibert/Cooper
Post by: cfellers on March 23, 2015, 09:27:14 PM
Hey Mkb4550 or anyone else.    I would like to tell a story about a boat my father bought, perhaps, from from Lloyd.   We grew up in Kansas City.    My boat is a MT 1979 180VBR Vsonic with a factory installed 350/260.    According to my father, who has passed.   He bought the boat from the Plant Manager, Lloyd ?.    As the story goes, my father told Lloyd that if they ever put a 350 cu in.  in a 180VBR in baby blue with the cushioned deck and captains chairs, to let him know.  As the story goes, Lloyd called my father one day.    and said that they made a few of these boats.   3 in fact.   Two of the three wrecked on high speed turns.  He had one left.     In order to buy the boat, My father had to sign a waiver of liability.   Our beloved Mark Twain,  one family owned  boat was put into service in 1981.   I bought it from my dad in 1987.  If you try to find a Mark Twain of this combination it doesn\'t exist in the manuals.    I can\'t post pictures to this reply for some reason.   This boat  survives and is a daily summer workhorse for my family and I.    It screams (roars), actually.  with a 21 pitch prop its a 60 mph boat and she starts to walking a bit when full out and trimmed up.   The only change I have made to the motor is an electronic ignition to keep from having to set the points by feel.    When I open her up like this,  I only do this on calm days.    Anyway, I would be interested in talking to someone who was at the factory or knows this story.