TNT Custom Marine has been an MTI dealer for a little less than 10 years, yet they hold the distinction of being the longest-standing dealer for MTI. The story behind this enduring partnership is a fascinating one, and we invite you to continue reading to delve deeper into the company’s evolution.
Given TNT Custom Marine co-owner John Tomlinson’s shared high-performance marine interests and Class 1 offshore powerboat experience with MTI principal Randy Scism, you might be surprised to learn that Miami-based TNT has been a dealer for the Wentzville, Mo.-headquartered catamaran and center-console brand for less than 10 years.
But that still makes TNT Custom Marine MTI’s longest-standing dealer.
Though TNT became an MTI dealer in “right around 2014, 2015,” according to Tomlinson, not so surprisingly, it coincided with Tomlinson joining Bob Bull’s two-boat, world-championship-winning Unlimited-class CMS offshore racing team. Scism throttled the team’s 48-foot MTI with Bull behind the wheel, while Tomlinson throttled alongside driver Jeff Harris, who currently is the chief operating officer for Fountain Powerboats.
As it happened, Steven Fernandez had joined TNT Marine Sales, a then-new pre-owned boat brokerage service under the TNT business umbrella, in 2013. Fernandez was looking for a line of new boats to sell, so Tomlinson called Scism.
“Randy said, ‘Sure, let’s do it,’ and I think pretty soon Steven was working in the MTI booth at boat shows,” Tomlinson recalled.
Scism launched the MTI-V 42 center console in 2012. Beyond that, Fernandez had only sterndrive catamarans from 36 to 52 feet to sell as the first outboard engine-powered MTI 340X catamaran wouldn’t appear until August 2016.
“The first 340X I sold was in 2017 to a guy in Germany,” Fernandez recalled. “He was really cool. He flew me out Business class and I brought paint and upholstery color samples. I also came pre-loaded with drawings.
“He took me out to dinner and I think we designed that boat in three minutes,” he added, then laughed.