Since its debut at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show, Detroit area-based Sixteen Power has been keeping a relatively low profile. But that doesn’t mean Tom Robinson and company have abandoned their 16-cylinder engine program. In fact, about a month ago they received their first batch of 10 aluminum blocks.
Based on 16-cylinder aluminum blocks, the first set of Sixteen Marine engines will go into a 42-foot MTI catamaran.
The first two-blocks will be the foundation for a pair of naturally aspirated 1,100-hp engine going into a 42-foot MTI catamaran—a test bed of sorts for the program—owned by Jeff Stevenson, the company’s primary investor. According to Robinson, the engines will be assembled by Katech Engines in Clinton Township, Mich., and “marine-dressed” by the Sixteen Power crew. Jim Styke of Jimkid Motorsports will handle engine installation and rigging.
Robinson said the boat, which has Mercury Racing No. 6 drives on its transom, should be on the water later this season.
“Once we get them into the boat and the boat is on the water, we can do the tuning that only can be done on the water,” he said. “Jeff also will have the first pair of supercharged Sixteen Power engines—we’ll build on the dyno-proven, 1,100-hp engines going into his boat. But that’s a next-year project.”
According to Robinson, Sixteen Marine will build additional engines as orders come in. While he emphasized that the Sixteen Power project remains very much alive, the demands of financing it have been significant and, for the most part, kept it “off the radar” since its Miami Boat Show introduction.
“We made a huge push for the 2017 Miami show and we had a set of amount of money to get there,” he said. “Then we had to go out and find more money—that’s the way investing is, it happens in rounds or ‘trances,’ as the lawyer call them. It’s like climbing a mountain. You get to the top, and then you see another mountain. Now that we have the ‘war chest’ filled again—the financial part of a new engine program is the hardest part, maybe even harder than the technical parts—we can start working on ramping up production.
“In the meantime since our introduction in 2017, we’ve had to replace some of sources for off-the-shelf parts, but at least some of our long-lead items are sitting on the shelf,” he continued. “So if someone wants a V-16 engine it can be theirs once we have a deposit, but I don’t think we’ll be ready to take deposits until late summer.”