I attended the Miami Boat Show the other day and was disappointed to find
only Natique and Mastercraft booths - a sign of the times.
The best part (besides of course the Fountain and Cigarette displays) was
that all the engine guys were there: Indmar, PCM, Mercruiser, even GM
Vortec. I got into conversations with each of them to find out when the
5.7L would go away and what it would be replaced by. Interestingly, it
doesn't look like those of us with the "old" block will be in a minority
anytime soon. The likely successor, 6.0L, is several hundred dollars more
and requires fresh water cooling to ensure the aluminum heads don't corrode.
However, unlike the Ford 5.8L/351, GM is still building large volumes of
5.7L in Mexico and shipping to many foreign countries, even though they have
discontinued selling it in US vehicles. The manufacturing equipment is well
amortized, manufacturing efficiencies are high, labor cost is low -- in
other words the cost is about as good as it gets.
I was a bit dissappointed that there wasn't some wonderful engine on the
horizon that would be lighter, better fuel economy, less polution, etc.
With Ford and Toyota out of the market and no plans from any of the Japanese
manufacturers (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki all said no), we are stuck with GM and
their age-old waterfall strategy of waiting ~10 years before taking anything
into a marine environment. What's wrong with that?
In the interest of innovation, how about taking GM's 4.2L I6 that puts out
an honest 275 hp and throwing that into a ski boat? I don't remember how
much bonus HP you get by taking off all the automotive accessories but with
that bump and maybe a little engine work, we might be able to get ~300hp out
of it. With Perfect Pass almost standard for tourney boats, it would just
squeeze the throttle a little harder than, say a 335HP monster. If done
right, the skier couldn't tell the difference between 6L, 5.7L, and 4.2L.
Another big plus would be the extra room inside the boat as a result of
dropping the V8 engine width in favor of inline 6. Some folks might
remember that an inline 6 four stroke engine is a natural harmonic meaning
vibration and noise is better. Not to mention the weight savings.
HP 255 275
Torque 330 at 2800 275 at 3600RPM
Material Cast Iron Aluminum
Weight 600+ 407 lbs
Design 2 OHV DOHC & Variable Valve Timing
Is this idea amusing to anyone else?