For the last decade, Ben Wiersum of Precision Power Offshore in Spring Lake, Mich., has steadily built his business and his reputation as an expert rigger, a knowledgeable service technician and—most of all—a high-performance engine builder and tuner. Now, with help from his younger brother, Dan, a sales and marketing professional, Precision Power Offshore is poised to create a name for itself well beyond the Midwest.
Under the care of Precision Power Offshore, Michigan’s Bill Reiffer made it to several poker runs in 2015, including the inaugural Lake Erie Poker Run, which as you can see was pretty rough. Photo by Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images
“Engines are first and foremost when it comes to our business,” said Ben, who opted to forego the engineering degree he was working toward in college for a job with a local performance boat service shop, which led to the creation of his own business in 2003. “I’ve been a gearhead for as long as I can remember. I love building engines—I built my first Mustang motor before I had my license.
“As a kid I used to freak out when I’d see go-fast boats,” he continued. “We had a family boat, an 18-foot Powerquest, and I am an avid slalom skier, but I was drawn to the sheer power and size of the go-fast stuff. I still remember the first time I saw Triple Threat, the triple-engine 42-foot Baja—that was an awesome boat back in the day.”
Of course Ben wanted nothing else than to work in and around the “big boats,” and his daydreaming paid off with a flourishing business in which Ben and his team handle the power and maintenance for some of the coolest boats in Michigan, including Punisher, a 43-foot Checkmate Powerboats V-bottom with twin Mercury Racing 700SCi engines owned by Bill and Monica Reiffer of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Giving much of the credit to Ben, Reiffer said the 13,000-pound wave crusher went from its 85-mph, out-of-the-box top speed to 99 mph without a single prop change. Reiffer expects it to reach 100 mph this summer. “It was all Ben—he changed some of the aeration and managed to optimize airflow to the bottom of the boat, which made a huge difference,” said Reiffer, who owned a 30-foot Checkmate with a single turbocharged 1,700-hp Precision Power Offshore engine coupled with a Mercury No. 6 drive prior to the 43-footer.
When it comes to wave-crushing V-bottoms, Precision Power Offshore seems to attract many of them—on the left is the 43-foot Checkmate Powerboats Punisher and on the right is the 42-foot Chief Powerboats Warpath raceboat.
“The initial thing I noticed about Ben was his professionalism—everything about his operation is extremely professional,” Reiffer continued, adding that Precision Power Offshore is currently installing No. 6 drives in place of his boat’s NXT drives. “I also noticed that he was taking care of some high-dollar boats, which spoke for his attention to detail. He’s very meticulous and honest, which is not a common combination in this business.”
Another Grand Rapids boater and Precision Power Offshore customer—Parnell Olson—had nothing but praise for Ben.
“I’ve known Ben since before he started his own business and now he’s the go-to guy in our area,” said Olson, who will be utilizing Precision Power Offshore’s services for his latest project—a complete rebuild of the 41-foot Saber Marine V-bottom Wicked Won. “His customer service is second to none and he’s extremely knowledgeable. And if he doesn’t have the answer he will get it.”
Besides maybe enjoying a boat ride on the water, Ben said there’s nothing he’d rather be doing than tinkering with his engines, which range from 400 to 2,000 hp.
“My favorite part of my job is tuning on the dyno, no doubt about it,” Ben said. “I think that’s really any engine builder’s favorite part. The key for me is shooting for reliability not just horsepower. I’ve learned over the years how important reliability is to our customers.”
And that’s why the customers keep coming back.