Merco Inc., doing business as Merco Marine, was established in 1979 as a small part time business started by Jon and Jim Meriwether, father and son. The original focus of Merco back in 1979 was sales of paint, hot tubs, the very first model Jet Ski introduced, and a few other items. It wasn’t until 1993 when Merco’s true mission was developed.
“To produce quality dock products at a reasonable price with on-time and courteous service utilizing U.S. employees.” -Merco’s Mission
Both Jon and Jim had years of experience in dock building. The first couple years were spent selling hardware and floats from another manufacturer out of a small office and rented warehouse in downtown Wellsburg, WV. Sheila Barrett came on board almost at the beginning doing sales, accounting, and office management.
In the fall of 1995 Merco Marine moved to its present 6 acre location and built a 2-story office complex and over 39,000 square feet of indoor manufacturing facilities and inventory storage. We stock most of what we manufacture and sell including all of our galvanized steel dock components, lumber, float drums, and all the accessories. In total we manufacture 500 different items and we sell a total of 2,900 unique items. In total we stock roughly 300,000 parts and pieces in our facility at any given time. Read more about our production facilities below.
When Merco was started, we decided that there were several principles that the business would adhere to: all taxes and bills would be paid on time, we would be honest, knowledgeable and courteous with our customers, and we would run our business honestly and would treat our employees fairly and share our business success with them. Because of these principles that we have adhered to, Merco Marine has been more than successful.
On April 24, 2018 Merco Marine was purchased by two of its former employees Scott Gallagher and Daniel Otto. The two have worked for Merco since 2004. Scott specializes in sales and technical consulting and Dan specializes in design and cnc programming. The former owners Jon and Jim have both retired but due to their relationship with the company and its employees they continue to stay close by and stop in very frequently. The new owners have made every effort possible to make as little change as possible. Merco Marine will continue to operate under the same principals as stated above and go above and beyond to uphold our legendary name in the marine industry.
Merco’s product catalog is updated each year. We print 60,000 catalogs and send them out to each person or business that has placed an order or requested a catalog from us within the past 4 years. We are constantly adding or changing products, adding pictures of a few of the previous year’s projects.
Merco has received awards for employment from the West Virginia Department of Employment. The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services has named Merco outstanding employer of the year. (Merco has its fasteners bagged by the Sheltered Workshop in Wellsburg, WV.) The Brooke County Commissioners and the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department. A governor’s commendation from the former governor of West Virginia for international market entry. Merco also receives many thank you letters each year from customers that mean a great deal to us.
Our web site has been a great success. There is a wealth of information available online on our website. Customers can view products, place orders, request catalogs, download catalogs, learn about flotation, view photo galleries, download credit applications, and much more. The website gets many thousands of hits a month.
Unlike many of our competitors, we are the manufacturer. Our manufacturing plant and production methods are constantly being updated. We have many automated machines now in use in our production plant for efficient cost and effective production. We have a High Definition computer controlled plasma table which we use to make tabs, deck plates, and special or demo parts. We make over 35,000 ½” tabs that you see on single “T” male and female parts as well as outside corner males and females every year.
Our Panasonic 6 Axis Robotic Welder is used for the welding of products that we make frequently. Just about everything we manufacture that has a ½” tab welded on is made on the Robot Welder. We also weld all of our roller assembly brackets and small pipe holders on the Robotic Welder. It takes about 45 seconds to weld a Single “T” Male on the Robot Welder, about half the time it would take to weld by hand.
Whenever we need a hole or many holes punched in a flat plate we use our computer controlled Iron Worker. The ironworker can be programmed to punch up to three different hole types at a time in varying locations on a plate using a moving XY axis. Just about every single plate that has holes in it is made on this machine. We also have two other ironworkers. All three machines have the added capability to cut rod and angle and snip small portions of steel.
We also have a 200-ton and a 250-ton Hydraulic computer controlled press brakes. These machine have programmable bend angles and back gauge lengths to make long, precise angle bends. They can bend a piece of steel 10’ long as thick as ¾”. For the 2008 season we added a new computer controlled pipe bender that can more accurately bend our current line of hoops as well as give us the added capability of bending 2” diameter hoops.
Merco Marine is very proud of all of our projects but some just stick out to us more than others. This is especially the case for any local projects like our latest local project in Pittsburgh, PA South Side Marina. South Side Marina has been in the works for several years now. We began manufacturing this marina last winter and it was finished early summer of 2015. The marina features a floating 2 story building which serves as marina offices, shower and bath facilities, and a meeting room with vending machines. The marina itself is manufactured using our high strength truss and wood system found on page 53. There are a total of 133 slips currently and they have plans to expand in 2016.
The Landing at Station Square in Pittsburgh, PA is a 42-slip marina built in 2005 to act as a boat landing for patrons of the restaurants and attractions at Station Square. The entire marina was built in our plant and shipped in sections by truck to Pittsburgh. The frame is our galvanized steel truss frame system. The main walkways are 8’ wide and the fingers are 4’ x 20’. The marina is held in place with nineteen 12” diameter pilings. The slips are 26’-6” wide allowing for 12’ wide boats side to side. The overall area of the marina is about 38,000 square feet. The total length and width of the marina is 347’ x 103’.
Fox Chapel Marina is another marina in Pittsburgh, PA. Fox Chapel Marine is a marine dealer that, among many other services, provides top-notch service to Pittsburgh boaters. The marina itself is approx. 340 slips with electric, water, phone, and cable. Its open 7 days a week 24 hours a day. This marina is an ongoing project for us every year. It uses our “Parallam” dock system in 4’ x 20’ sections for the fingers and 8’ x 40’ sections for the mains.
Waterfront Marina is located in Morgantown, WV and was built entirely from new construction in 2007. The total area of the marina is about 16,000 square ft. of our floating galvanized truss frame system. The mains are 8’ wide and the fingers are 4’ x 20’.
The marina includes 18 slips. Two of which designed specifically to be handicap accessible. The gangways are ADA compliant, and that portion of dock has toe board and handrail. The marina also features an 8’ x 180’ rowing dock which is used for the WVU rowing team. There was an 8,000 square ft. building constructed nearby (by others) to act as a restaurant upstairs, and storage for the West Virginia University Rowing Team shells down stairs.
Koehler Kraft marina offers a full range of services for all types of modern and classic boats. The marina is approximately 30,000 square ft. using our floating wood dock frame system. There are approx. 35 slips available using 3’ x 20’ and 3’ x 38’ fingers with 8’ and 6’ wide main walkways.
There are about 280’ of 6’ wide walkways and 200’ of 8’ wide walkways. The entire dock was constructed with IPE hardwood.
Merco after Hours
Merco sponsors a 5-liter hydroplane called “Miss Merco Marine”. The owner/driver/builder/designer John Jenkins lives in Kingston, Ohio. John rebuilds vintage race boats full time. Jon and Jeanette Meriwether, the former vice president and secretary of Merco Marine, crew for John during the summers on weekends.
The boat is a 5-Liter inboard hydroplane. Its total length and width is 18’-6” x 9’-8”, it weights about 1,250 lbs., the engine is a Chevy 305 cubic inch, 250 Hp, and the top speed is anywhere from 120-125 mph. But it’s not just for looks either. Some of the racing accomplishments include the following: 1992 Western Divisional Champion, 1995 Eastern Divisional Champion, 1995 North American Champion, 3 – Time MACH Series Champion, Inaugural Winner Hoosier Boy Cup. In 2013 Miss Merco Marine established a new U.S. 1/4 mile record for 5 liter hydroplanes in New Martinsville, WV which still remains unbroken. In 2015 Miss Merco set a new 1/4 mile record in the Grand National Class and was also high point champion in that class.