Any performance boater will perk up when he hears about a project that crams a 1,350 hp engine in a 22-foot boat. Well that’s what Spencer King of Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada, did with his jet-powered race boat because he wanted to compete against teams running turbine engines. Yes, turbine engines in 20-foot boats.
According to Mercury Racing’s Senior Marketing Manager Rick Mackie, King talked with Mercury Racing’s Product Integration Manager Mike Griffiths about engine options that would give him what he needed to beat the turbines. King owns a Ford automobile and Mercury outboard dealership and wanted something that would have factory support to replace the 900 hp Ford engine he had been using.
Griffiths recommended the QC4v 1350 from Mercury Racing. It runs on 91-octane pump gas and makes 1,300 foot-pounds of torque. King bought a 22-foot Outlaw Eagle Performance jet boat to make room for the 1350, which is coupled to an American Turbine jet pump.
The boat is called Sunset Shaker, and King teams up with his father Russell, who is the navigator. After dialing in the boat, the team made its debut at the 2015 World Jet Boat Championship in Western Canada. In its first runs, the boat hit 130 mph, about 10 mph off the speeds the turbines were running.
The Kings finished fourth overall, opening a number of teams’ eyes. Mercury Racing technicians will turn up the engine’s wick to 1,550 hp for the 2016 world championships.