When it comes to boat projects, Dr. Michael Janssen, the founder of the Center for Spine and Orthopedics in Denver who is best known around offshore racing and poker run circles as “Doc,” isn’t afraid to tackle a repower or a major overhaul, which was the case with his well-known Fountain Powerboats 42-foot poker run edition that two generations later became the Saratoga Stampede canopied raceboat he drove to an Extreme-class world championship at the Super Boat International Key West Worlds in 2009.
The team at Central Power and Rigging in Missouri finished Michael “Doc” Janssen’s Outerlimits SV 53 in time to be displayed on Thursday at the Desert Storm Poker Run Street Party in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. All photos courtesy Doc Janssen
In fact, the renowned physician who specializes in spine care and resolutions, seems to really enjoy the projects, which is why he decided to go all-in on updating his stunning canopied Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats SV 53 V-bottom that was powered by a beautiful set of Teague Custom Marine 1,365-hp, 5-liter Whipple-supercharged engines.
Formerly Without Limits and now dubbed Watch Your Back, which was the name of Janssen’s former Super Vee Light Fountain raceboat, the 53-footer that was built in 2010 is going to make its public debut with its new power right beside the Mercury Racing truck during Thursday’s Desert Storm Poker Run Street Party in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. With stickers on his boat and tow vehicle, team shirts and more branded as the “QC4v Experience,” Janssen said he is excited to show of the bright yellow Outerlimits and all of the new technology that’s been included to complement the boat’s new Mercury Racing QC4v 1550/1350 engines (see image at right, click to enlarge).
Janssen, Mercury Racing’s Mike Griffiths and the crew who handled the project from Central Power and Rigging in Kaiser, Mo., tested the boat last week on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks before sending it on its way to Lake Havasu.
“We’re working with Doc to bring his boat with our promotional vehicle to at least four events this year and calling it the ‘QC4v Experience’ to show what goes into taking an older boat and repowering it with the latest technology from Mercury Racing,” said Griffiths, product manager for Mercury Racing. “The repower is more than the dual-fuel 1550/1350 engines and M8 drives-most everything in the boat was changed out and the setup is totally different. The boat was torn apart, re-rigged and updated with Digital Throttle and Shift technology and new VesselView systems.”
The project was Janssen’s first with the team at Central Power and Rigging, and he was impressed with their promptness and attention to detail. He also was thankful to have Mercury Racing’s vested interest in the project as well as some friends in the industry to bounce ideas off of, including Marker 17 Marine‘s Brian Forehand, who has handled many of Janssen’s past projects, and fellow offshore racer Bob Teague, who is refreshing Janssen’s TCM engines for a future project.
“The boat was amazing before, but now it’s flawless and as advanced as it gets in terms of propulsion technology,” Janssen said. “I bought the boat in 2015 and ran it for about a year before I got inspired by a couple of things-some of the cool boats with the new Mercury Racing QC4v engines at last year’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and a book called ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins-and decided to transition the ‘good’ supercharged SV 53 to a ‘great’ turbocharged SV 53 with all the latest and greatest in digital technology thanks to Mercury’s 1550/1350 power package.”
Janssen, who also repowered a 47-foot Fountain several years ago from triple Mercury 525EFI engines with Bravo drives to a pair of Mercury 1025/1200SCi dual-fuel engines with No. 6 drives, said he’s always been drawn to power conversion projects mainly because he’s loved his boats-the hull design, paint job, etc.-but wanted more horsepower.
This time around, the project was more extensive than any he’d been involved with before.
“This wasn’t just a power and drive change, this was a complete re-rig,” Janssen said. “We got rid of all the gauges and now it’s a beautiful fully digital boat. It’s so quiet, yet it’s so efficient. I couldn’t be more excited about how it all transpired. I can’t wait to use the boat this summer.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the Outerlimits transformation in progress.
After the first day of testing the boat, which is also headed to the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Michigan in July, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri in August and the Key West Poker Run in Florida in November as part of the QC4v experience, the 53-footer reached 140 mph, according to Griffiths, with the engines in the 1,350-hp mode.
“I was very happy with the whole setup the first time out,” Griffiths said. “We’ve ordered some new props-we tested with a set of forged props from Doc’s old raceboat-that I think should get the boat up to about 147 or 148 mph. The boat should run 153 or 154 mph in 1550 mode. The top speed is cool but the setup is about overall performance, which means you can idle around without any issues, get on plane easily and accelerate like nobody’s business. For example, we went from 75 mph to 140 mph in about 25 seconds.
“We’re excited to show off the boat, especially because potential customers can come see an engine and other equipment displayed with our truck and then go take a look at how it is used in an actual boat that has been completely repowered and re-rigged,” he continued. “We believe there’s a good market for repowers with our QC4v packages. Think about it, if a guy likes a used boat-with or without power-he can pick it up for whatever the price is and invest in new power, which gets him instant engine reliability, a warranty and more resale value when the time comes to sell it.”
Janssen couldn’t be happier with the transformation.
“For me, powerboat conversions like this are similar to my profession as a spine surgeon,” Janssen concluded. “I make incisions into the human body and change it with updated technology and improved function. The only difference is surgery is done while the ‘motor is running’ and there is not typically a ‘warranty.’ One more great thing about making a transition like this is that it creates another opportunity to make other boaters happy with opportunities to acquire the removed boating technologies such as sea strainers, drive indicators, transom assemblies, Garmin computers, digital race packs, fuel cells and gauges.”
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