WISCONSIN (NBC 26) – Mercury Marine is confident their V12 600hp marine engine, made in Fond Du Lac, is the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.
“We have the coolest thing in Wisconsin,” said Chris Drees, president of Mercury Marine. “Without a doubt, and I don’t even think it’s the coolest thing in Wisconsin. I think it’s the coolest thing in the world. Our product is sold out for next year not just in Wisconsin, not just in the US, but all over the world. “
The engine is the largest and most advanced outboard in the world, Drees said. It’s so quiet you can’t even hear the engine running. It’s also 20 percent more economical than what’s brought out in the past, he added.
Another local finalist’s products are a little smaller: BenShot is a father-and-son team that makes glassware in Appleton. They embed objects in glasses, like golf balls and balls. The glassware is designed in-house, 3-D printed and cast from metal.
“It started as a project with my father,” said Ben Wolfgram, President of BenShot. “We started in his single garage in New London, Wisconsin. And now we have 40 full-time employees and 40,000 square feet. “
BenShot is equally confident that their Appleton-made Aircraft Propeller Glass will win it all.
“For us, every voice has a direct impact on our lives,” said Wolfgram. “Because we’re such a small team, we’ve only been around six years, so not that many people know about it.”
Broadwind Heavy Fabrications is hoping their 140 ton marine crane will come first. It is the first time that a crane of this size has been built and delivered fully assembled. The crane will be supporting the U.S. Navy in New Hampshire, and Broadwind partnered with Kona Cranes on the project to design, manufacture, build, assemble and then ship this crane about 2,100 miles to the east coast, said Brett Hartman, Business Development Director at Broadwind Heavy Fabrication.
“The whole community came and watched the crane start,” said Hartman. “I’d say there were probably four to five thousand people watching the crane leave Manitowoc that day, and we just got a lot of positive feedback from the Manitowoc community.”
All three manufacturers just hope that everyone in Wisconsin will get involved and vote for their favorite.
“The fact that they support the manufacturing business,” Hartman said. “We think that’s great in itself and if we were to win it would be even better.”
This voting round ends tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. Here you can vote in all four matchups once per day and per device.