MTI Boats has long been known for building some of the finest pleasure and race crafts in the country. In fact, they celebrated their 25th year of business this year. With their fast and sleek catamarans and large and roomy luxurious center console line, it’s no wonder that the Wentzville, MO-based builder has amassed such a strong and loyal following.

This weekend found the company and their owners in Florida, on their annual owners New Year’s Fun Run—departing out of Miami’s Haulover Marina to their host venue, Hawk’s Cay in Duck Key, led by MTI’s Director of Client Relations, Taylor Scism.

Amongst Scism’s passions for boat building, event organization, and winning offshore racing’s national and world championships, are sea life and their well being and safety—namely turtles and sharks.

One of the lucky 15 baby turtles returned to their natural habitat in November, 2022

So much so that she volunteered their MTI 50V center console last November 2022, amidst their busy Key West Offshore World Championship week, to help 15 turtle hatchlings and post-hatchlings return to the Gulf Steam of the open sea. The young turtles were rescued by the famed Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL after they had been displaced and rehabilitated following a Category 4 storm that hit the Florida Keys.

MTI's Taylor Scism and members of Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL return turtle hatchlings to the Gulf Stream off the coast of Key West, FL

During their current Fun Run, Taylor learned of a 600-lb. adult leatherback turtle that had been rescued off the coast of South Beach Friday night.  It wasn’t long after that she contacted Turtle Hospital to once again volunteer their spacious 50V to help return him to his natural habitat.

"I’ve always been a big fan of ocean animals. I grew up around the ocean and it has always fascinated me," Taylor told Speedboat. "I got my dive certification at 14 in Key Largo (Florida) and my first dive was with nurse sharks in Penne Camp State Park and I was hooked. Turtles and sharks are my favorite animals and they do so much to help the ecosystem and we get the benefit to enjoy."

An adult leatherback turtle rescued off the coast of South Beach, Florida, taking a ride on the MTI 50-V

Thanks to the help of the dedicated team at Turtle Hospital, MTI and the Scisms, this lucky leatherback is expected to make a full recovery.