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Sterling Eyeing Pleasure Market for Superboat-Class Engine

While fuel delivery issues—and one ignition coil failure in the final race—hampered the WHM Motorsports team in their new 40-foot Skater catamaran during the recent Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., WHM Motorsports team of driver/owner Billy Mauff and throttleman Jay Muller reportedly were pleased with the power output from the cat’s new Sterling Performance engines.


Sterling is offering high-performance pleasure-boat versions of the engines it built to power WHM Motorsports at the SBI World Championship in Key West, Fla., earlier this month. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill.

“Jay told me, ‘The boat is a beast—it pulls much harder than the old WHM,'” said Mike D’Anniballe, the owner and founder of Sterling in Milford, Mich. “We tuned the engines to make low-end power—they produce about 800 hp—and we gave up some on the top end to make that happen. We wanted to come out of the turns quickly and get going, and it really did.”

D’Anniballe said that his company will offer the carbureted engine in a “more manageable,” non-Superboat-class-specification form. Displacement will increase from its current 510 cubic inches to 540 cubic inches, and Sterling will replace the current camshaft with a less-aggressive, milder version. Tuning, however, continue to be focused on making lower-end power and torque for better acceleration.

“It will make a great pleasure-boat engine—it’s actually similar to our 750,” said D’Anniballe. “We will focus more on manageability and idle quality on the pleasure version.”

D’Anniballe said the cost of the engine, without a drive or an exhaust system, will be approximately $55,000, the same as the racing version. It will be offered with a 90-day warranty.

Related Story: Sterling Nears Completion On ‘All-New’ Superboat-Class Engines