QC4v Jet King

Spencer King Photos Courtesy of MT Actions Photography 

Eight time World Jet Boat Champion Spencer King.
Eight time World Jet Boat Champion Spencer King.

Our Product Integration Manager Mike Griffiths recently returned from the Thunder on The Snake jet boat races in Lewiston, Idaho. Mike was there to support a project he had been involved with for a year now; the fitment of a QC4v 1350 in a jet boat. Say what? Yes. Mike and our associates at Mercury Canada successfully installed the first QC4v 1350 coupled to a jet pump.

Spencer is all smiles after testing his new QC4v 1350 jet drive.
Spencer is all smiles after testing his new QC4v 1350 jet drive.

Spencer King, of Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada is an eight time World Jet Boat Champion.  In recent times – turbine powered competitors have taken the upper hand against his 20-foot jet boat powered by a custom built 900 h.p. Ford engine. We’ve experienced a similar trend in offshore powerboat racing. The teams that could afford turbines converted – and were the ones to beat until the QC4v arrived on the scene. I will never forget Key West – I believe it was 2011 – when Bob Bull spanked a well known turbine competitor at the SBI Offshore World  Championships. He passed them like they were standing still. We had a 1650 Competition on display in the poker run village. People lined up to sneak a peek and snap a photo. They couldn’t stop talking about it. 

The QC4v 1350 nestled neatly between the stringers of the 22-foot Outlaw Performance hull.
The QC4v 1350 nestled neatly between the stringers of the 22-foot boat.

Spencer is co-owner of Kingland Ford – an automotive and Mercury Outboards dealer. He knew he needed to update his power.  He also felt compelled to go with something with factory support. He contacted his resources at Mercury Canada for suggestions. That’s when Mike got the call. He didn’t hesitate to suggest QC4v 1350 power.

The 9.0 liter 1350 cranks out 1300 lb. ft. of torque from 2500 rpm to 5500 rpm on 91-octane pump fuel!
The 9.0 liter 1350 cranks out 1300 lb. ft. of torque from 2500 rpm to 5500 rpm on 91-octane pump fuel!

The 9.0 liter engine, running on 91-octane pump fuel, cranks out massive torque (1300 lb. ft. from 2500 to 5500 rpm!) The 1350 and its competition siblings have earned a reputation for both performance and durability in recreational and competitive applications.

Australian water ski racing features 21-foot boats powered by a 1350 sterndrive.
99 Psycho Clowns, powered by a Mercury Racing 1350 sterndrive, is a strong competitor in Australian F1 Men’s water ski racing. Photo courtesy Vanessa Eyles Photography.

The closest 1350 application to Spencer’s is water ski racing in Australia. There – a driver and an observer pilot a 21-foot boat, powered by a single 1350 sterndrive, to 130 mph … with skier in tow! So – in that respect – the install if a 1350 in a 20-foot boat wasn’t a stretch.

A good view of the engine installation.
A good view of the QC4v 1350 jet installation.

Mike committed to the project after discussing it with Spencer and Mercury Canada. Mercury Racing technicians spent the winter converting the engine for jet propulsion.  “We took things off the engine that jet boats don’t need. The transmission was one of them,” Mike said.

Spencer fabricated a couple for fitment of the American Eagle jet pump.
Spencer fabricated a couple for fitment of the American Turbine jet pump.

Spencer purchased a new 22-foot Outlaw Eagle Performance Boat to make room for the 1350.  He named it Sunset Shaker. Mike traveled to Outlaw Eagle in the spring to assist with the rigging.

“I went through the process of wiring the boat for the engine, water and fuel,” said Mike. Spencer fabricated a coupler to enable the 1350 to be coupled to an American Turbine jet pump.

The father and son team of Russell and Spencer King.
The father and son team of Russell and Spencer King.

Jet boats are piloted by a driver and navigator. Spencer’s navigator is his father Russell King. After testing and dialing-in the rig – Spencer and Russell were ready to race. They selected the  2015 World Jet Boat Championships as their first event. A total of 60 teams, representing the U.S., Canada, Mexico and New Zealand compete for 10 days – racing 550 miles through the rivers of Western Canada.

The Jet Boat World Championships consists of 1- days of competition travelling 550 miles through the rivers of Western Canada.
The Jet Boat World Championships consists of 10 days of competition travelling 550 miles through the rivers of Western Canada.

Out of the box, the 1350 powered Sunset Shaker  approached 130+ mph speeds. Not bad for its inaugural competition. Still – it wasn’t quite enough to squelch 1,800 h.p. turbine powered competitors capable of speeds in excess of 140 mph. Even with the power gap – they finished an impressive fourth overall.

“It’s a new boat, the engine is new to us, and just finishing these marathons is a feat,” said Spencer.

“He ran for ten days without an issue and a lot of racers took note. We’ve received a lot of inquiries regarding the 1350 following this year’s World Jet Boat Championship,” Mike said.

Mercury Racing technicians  will work their magic converting Spencer's 1350 to a 1550 h.p. competition model.
Mercury Racing technicians will work their magic converting Spencer’s 1350 to a 1550 h.p. competition model.

Spencer’s engine is coming back to Racing where our technicians will work their magic, converting it to a 1550 competition model. While that is being done – Spencer plans to make modifications to the hull – in hopes to reduce weight while enhancing the drive line in preparation for increased power.

I’m looking forward to seeing how he does at the 2016 Worlds. My guess is he’ll have people lined up to sneak a peek of the engine that beat the turbines. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Share

Overachiever!

First launch of the Skater 318 with twin Verado 400R outboards.
First launch of the Skater 318 with twin Verado 400R outboards.

I recently experienced Skater’s new 318 catamaran. What a sweet ride! It is the first new Skater to be factory rigged with our hot new Verado 400R ouboards.

Mike Griffiths stops for a pose prior to testing.
Mike Griffiths stops for a pose prior to testing.

Our Product Integration Manager Mike Griffiths invited Skater to bring the boat to Fond du Lac to have it dialed in. The engines are one of the first to be equipped with our factory installed rear tie bar mounting kits. Read more

Share Share

Cat Nip!

The very first Skater catamaran powered by Verado 400R outboards.
The very first Skater catamaran powered by Verado 400R outboards. Photo credit: speedonthewater.com

The Verado 400R has fueled the resurgence of the outboard performance boat market. Multiple outboard (two or more) installations capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph require the use of an external rear tie bar assembly to keep the motors parallel and equalize loading. 

Factory Installed Tie Bar Kit

Verado 400Rs destined for go fast cats come with a factory installed rear tie bar mounting kit.
Verado 400Rs destined for go fast cats come with a factory installed rear tie bar mounting kit.

400Rs destined for go fast duty on catamaran hulls are equipped with a custom Mercury Racing designed rear tie bar kit. The factory installed kit includes custom rear engine mounts and a heavy duty, stainless steel tie bar wing plate.  The engine mounts feature an addendum for the mounting of the wing plate. A tie bar is not included.

A view of a port rear engine mount.
A view of a port rear engine mount.

The custom rear mounts are critical for safe and secure installation of the wing plate. They serve a function and –  at the same time – maintain the integrity, form and function of the 400Rs’ Advanced MidSection. Most people mount aftermarket rear tie bar wing plates via the powerhead studs. This places a great amount of stress on the studs, engine mounts and the powerhead which could lead to cylinder distortion and possible engine failure.

A view of the starboard engine mount.
A view of the starboard engine mount.

Verado 400Rs with factory installed tie bar kits are backed with a full warranty.  The Mercury product warranty does not cover any damaged related to the use of tie bar kits or other accessories not manufactured by Mercury Marine.

Sport Master

The 400R is the first Verado available with the race proven Sport Master gearcase.
The 400R is the first Verado available with the race proven Sport Master gearcase.

One of the features which differentiates the Verado 400R from all other four stroke outboards is the availability of the Sport Master gearcase. Designed  for boats capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph, Sport Master 400Rs deliver fresh adrenaline pumping excitement to the go fast cat world.

The factory installation process includes cutting custom slots into the AMS covers to allow room for the tie bar wing plate.
The factory installation process includes cutting custom slots into the AMS covers to allow room for the tie bar wing plate.

We are excited to see our high performance boat builders embrace the 400R. The response thus far has been phenomenal. The biggest kick I get is people seem to be as awestruck by the pure power and torque of the engine as they are its  drivability and and overall  quietness. People are as excited to be able to carry on a conversation at 80 mph as they are going for the big number. These are exciting times for sure.

Share Share