After the upcoming Super Boat International offshore powerboat race next weekend in Michigan City, Ind., the Superboat-class Cleveland Construction team of driver Ed Smith and Keith Holmes will be running twin 750 hp Sterling Performance engines in their Skater 388 catamaran. The team currently runs engines from Ilmor Marine.
Shown here running uncontested in its class at last weekend’s St. Clair River Classic race in Michigan, Cleveland Construction will run one more race on Ilmor power before making the move to Sterling engines. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“The big thing with the Ilmor’s has been durability—we just haven’t been getting the longevity out of the engines that we would like,” said Holmes. “It’s been frustrating at times.
“I have been running Sterling engines off and on for 22 years, so I pretty much know those engines inside and out,” he continued. “I just ran Cat Can Do in its 11th race without a problem, and it has (1,600-plus-hp) Sterling Ethanol engines.”
When Cleveland Construction arrives for the SBI race Aug. 26-28 in Mentor, Ohio, it will be one of three Superboat-class teams running Sterling power. Performance Boat Center and WHM Motorsports, the defending 2015 class world champion, all run Sterling engines.
“Cleveland Construction will run in Mentor and Clearwater (Fla.) with their first set of Sterling engines, and they’ll run in Key West (Fla.) with the second set of engines.,” said Mike D’Anniballe, the owner of Milford, Mich.-based high-performance marine and engine automotive product durability testing company. “They are 510 cubic inches, carbureted with a 8.5:1 compression (per spec standards for the class). What separates you from everybody else with these engines are the small, fine details. In this class, 10 to 15 horsepower makes a difference. It’s not what the power is, it’s where the power is.
“We have developed a really good powerband for these engines,” he added. “We put the power where the boat spends most of its time racing.”
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