Marine Technology Inc. is celebrating 20 years of building high-performance boats with its models all around the world. As the company keeps growing, MTI founder Randy Scism remains very accessible to his customers.

MTI will host a fun run June 27-29 in Chicago.

It’s one of the reasons that Marine Technology Inc. launched its first owners fun run a few years ago. The run is so popular that MTI is adding an event in Chicago, June 27-29. MTI is doing three runs in 2019 with stops in Chicago, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, and this past March in Miami.

The Miami run earlier this year had nearly 50 boats, the largest gathering of MTI boats since the Wentzville, Missouri, builder started the run in 2016. MTI owners from as far away as Arizona and Maine participated.

“It started as a conversation of, ‘Hey, how fun would it be for our friends and customers to come together and go boating’ and it’s just grown so much every year,” said MTI’s Taylor Scism. “I think the first Florida run had 12 boats and this past March we had almost 50, so it’s grown exponentially every single year, which is awesome.”

Base camp for this year’s run was Haulover Marina in Miami, where MTI recently opened a new sales and service facility. The three-day event started on Thursday (March 21) with a run and lunch in Marathon, Florida. Fun runs took place on Friday and Saturday with the participants leaving on Sunday.

Marine Technology Inc. is partnering with WESTREC Marinas for its Chicago event.

The Chicago event will follow a similar format with the Windy City’s skyline as the main attraction. The event is a partnership with WESTREC Marinas, which manages more than 7,000 slips in the Chicago area.

“This past year we started our partnership with WESTREC Marinas by opening our sales office at Haulover and through that relationship we met people from the WESTREC Marinas in Chicago,” Scism said. “Since we’re from the Midwest, it’s not too far for us and we thought that would be a great opportunity to give our customers somewhere else to boat different than Florida. While Florida is great, it’s good to branch out and do something different.”

MTI is limiting its first Chicago event to 20 boats. As of mid-May, 12 boat owners had registered and Scism expects a few more participants.

“We want to be able to have a manageable group and make sure everything runs smoothly,” she said.

On the afternoon of June 27, the MTI boats will go through the locks on the Chicago River and have dinner on the patio of Chicago Cut Steakhouse. More than 100 feet of dockage is being brought in, Scism said. “We’ll raft everyone up and they can walk up to the restaurant that’s right on the river,” she said.

“They’ll be able to sit there and look at their boat and the Chicago River downtown. It should be really cool.”

The Friday portion of the fun run includes a run to the coastal town New Buffalo, Michigan. After lunch, the boats will return to Monroe Harbor and raft up to enjoy the Chicago skyline. On Saturday, the group is traveling to North Point Marina for lunch and to hang out by the pool. Later that evening, the owners group will finish with a party on the docks of 31st Street Marina back in Chicago.