You must have been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years if you have not recognized the ongoing demand for turbo-charged marine engines. Mercury racing has certainly laid the ground work with their incredible offerings. Their leadership has opened a new door for new players. Independent engine builders, and now some of the aftermarket guys are ramping up to bring out turbo packages. Until now the only after market company really working on a production system has been Hardin Marine. Hardin states they are bringing the industry’s most revolutionary new stainless steel water jacketed turbo exhaust housings, but that delays in manufacturing have pushed consumer release dates back.
The flood gates now seem to be opening with many professional engine builders looking to debut turbo packages in 2014. One of the first to push out new products will be Chief engines of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Chief will show off their new 1400 HP turbo charged engines in just a couple of weeks at Florida Powerboat Clubs, Key West Poker Run Village.
Some of the real excitement for the upcoming year is the new turbo-charged engines that are under development at numerous facility’s around the country. These engines will be built on numerous platforms that range from a new double over head cam turbo engine to traditional GM big block versions as well as the popular new LS engine family. There is also an aftermarket four valve, per cylinder cylinder head offering that is already being endurance tested.
The marine turbo market has opened up interest from outside the traditional market place. Today we are seeing the engineering and development standards being used in the automotive industry now focused toward the marine industry. This is exciting news as large scale engine builders who have been building and developing racing and endurance programs for the automotive market for years now have set their sights on the marine market.
The one common note among all of the new ventures is to achieve the four quality goals (Q4) of Savings, Durability, Serviceability, and Rebuild-able. After polling numerous consumers this has been identified as the key issues keeping the average power boater out of the turbo market.
The OEM production turbo engines are a work of art yet they have suffered numerous mechanical failures. Everything in this world does have the potential to break but customers expectations of reliability are high and the high cost of rebuilding the OEM 1350 power plants has lead the aftermarket shops in a race to identify some of the early production flaws.
Companies are now modifying the original 1350 engine packages to be easier to repair through the use of installing new engine block cylinder liners as well as aftermarket production replacement parts are under development as well. This is proof of the commitment of many vendors to keep our sport strong and healthy. These moves will really benefit the used boat market as it will afford dealers and new owners of used, out of warranty engine packages the rebuild options they currently have with all of the OEM supercharged motors. This move will make the cost of ownership of used OEM Turbo packages much more appealing.
It looks as if an entire new market and options are on the horizon for boat owners in the future!