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Project: Engine Refreshment and More in Outerlimits SL 39

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A staple on the New Jersey go-fast powerboat scene, Anthony Sauta’s 39-footer arrived at Potter Performance Engines with more than 300 hours on its Mercury Racing mills. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

Several years ago, I rode with longtime friends Anthony Sauta and Bob Christie in Sauta’s 2007 Outerlimits SL 39 V-bottom during the Miami Boat Show Poker Run to Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Sauta drove, Christie throttled and mutual buddy Joe Nasso and I held on tight. It was a memorable ride—one that left me impressed with the teamwork and communication skills of Sauta and Christie—with some of my favorite people in the high-performance powerboat community.

Sauta uses his boat and uses it hard, which is why his Mercury Racing 700SCi engines have more than 300 hours on them and why he sent the boat to Potter Performance Engines in Sarasota, Fla., to have those well-traveled powerplants refreshed. Once the project gathered steam—the boat arrived at Potter in January was completed a few weeks ago—it expanded to include complete transmission and drive rebuilds, as well as new CMI headers and tail pipes for the 700-plus-hp engines (Potter is a master distributor for CMI) and more.

In addition to engine refreshment, Ron Potter, the owner and the founder of the company that bears his name, completely gutted and refinished the 39-footer’s engine compartment.

Before and after—inside the engine compartment of Anthony Sauta’s Outerlimits SL 39.

“Once I had the engines out of the boat and we’d cleaned the engine compartment five or six times, we prepped and painted it with Algrip,” said Potter. “We took it from red to tangerine-orange. We completely re-rigged the engine compartment, added sand filters for the intercoolers and replaced all the bad cushion-clamps and hoses as required. The existing ones were in pretty nasty condition.”

Potter rebalanced both engines in house repaired head corrosion via tig welding. New internals included valves, springs, retainers, pistons, head-bolts and coated bearings. On the cosmetic side, Potter repainted the Mercury Racing parts, all pulleys, brackets and mounts were stripped and powder-coated in their respective silvers and electric blues.

“The engine and engine compartment look brand new,” said Potter. “It’s quite a difference from where we started.”

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