As we tear back and fourth across the country covering events its apparent consumer built performance boats are in full swing. Its amazing to see the powerboating spirit in action as some boaters dont stand for anyone telling them what they cant have or cant do. For those people we salute the every growing charge towards adapting current model GM engines into their boating world. Lets face it, outboards are huge and dominated the market right now, and the QC4v has made the high-end market strong. But this has left the small pocket pleasure performance boaters standing by wondering when will we get the latest and greatest.
Well some people wont wait and it helps when your located near a shop that is busy building these styles of modern engines already so the transformation to marine seems like second nature. One of those shops would be Boyd’s Motorworks in business for 24 years in upstate NY . They are a full service machine shop, that proudly touts that they keep everything in house, including their own DTS/Superflow engine dyno.
Boyd’s builds all forms of engines, mostly performance based, for hot rod, restoration, race, truck pulling, and marine. “The LS market seems to be on fire right now and we have seen an increased interest in using them for marine applications.” said Boyds
When approached by a customer to build purpose built hi performance custom twin 455 LS engine packages for this project and they jumped at it. The builds started with GM LSX engine blocks, and All Pro cylinder heads. The internals are from Callies, Oliver, JE, Comp Cams, Isky and Jesel. On the top we used a supercharger and intercooler, and underneath a Dailey billet oil pan with integrated dry sum oil pump. It has custom Stainless headers and a Hardin supplied the sea water pump, front mount and oil cooler. A Holley ECU and Boyds did all the programming, baselined the engines on the dyno and then finished in the water. They ended up being 453 CI. each and produced over 1000 HP each.
Boyds points out the majority of the problems we encountered were due to the fact that there is so little offered in the marine industry to make these swaps simpler. Nothing off the shelf to easily adapt for marine use. Boyds custom made all of the brackets for power steering, alternator, idler pulley and oil filter. We couldn’t fit a water pump so we fabricated a crossover as well as the flame arrestors and bracket to hold the ECU. The space we had to work with within the pontoon meant we had to keep things tight. Now that we got all this information from Boyds we had to point out that PBN supporter Hardin Marine has been turning out a new LS product nearly every month for these applications and the marinization of the LS engine platforms will just keep getting better and easier.
The end result is astounding though , a tritoon-hull pontoon boat with XR’s outdrives and Sportmaster’s mounted to ITS transom assembly.and engines dynoed out at 1000+ hp each. To date, the boat has reached 97MPH with Bar B Q and lounge chairs included!