You’ve got questions. We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re helping a reader build a couple of small blocks for his powerboat.
B.J. Terre Haute, IN
Q: I’m going to build a pair of engines for my 41-foot powerboat. Big blocks are too heavy and take up too much space, so I’m going with a pair of small Chevys. Since it’s a boat, I’m looking for performance and reliability. Can you give me a few tips for building these marine engines?
A: The small block Chevy engine is a popular choice for powerboat applications. Now, let’s see if we can get you going in the right direction. Boat motors often run at much higher rpms for a longer period of time compared to a car engine. That means it’s important to select an intake manifold and cam that perform in a higher rpm range. Also, you’ll need special head gaskets, plus air, fuel, and electrical system components that are both corrosion resistant and built to prevent onboard fires. Companies like Holley offer special marine carburetors and components, and Summit Racing even has a special marine section to help you select the right parts.