Winters tend to be busy for Jason Saris and his son, Johnny, at Performance Marine—the home of famed Saris Racing engines—in Bolton Landing, N.Y. The time they don’t have to spend on their offshore racing efforts gets put to great use at their engine-building and upgrade, rigging and service business on the shores of Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. Their roster of loyal clients keeps them hopping well into spring and summer.
The 3.8L Whipple supercharger has taken center stage in Performance Marine’s big-block engine upgrade program.
Most recently, they’ve been working on engine upgrades using Whipple Superchargers’ latest and greatest product, a 3.8L supercharger that replaces the Fresno, Calif., company’s 3.3L product. That model formerly was the supercharger of choice for their big-block engine projects.
“We’ve been fortunate to have been working with Whipple since the late 1990s,” said Johnny Saris, who got engaged in late 2022. “Our first big project involving Whipple was with their then-new quad-rotor superchargers on some really radical 1,300-hp engines we built for a 32-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran. That was in 1998 and every time Dustin has come out with a new product since then we’ve always been eager to get our hands on it.
“Reason being?” he added. “Their products always exceed our expectations.”
The son of company founder Art Whipple, Dustin Whipple has renewed the company’s big-block marine engine push with its 3.8L supercharger at the center of its upgrade kits. Whipple released the new product for marine engine applications last year after having developed a similar unit for automotive applications two years ago.
In the past eight or nine years, according to Whipple, supercharger technology has blown up.
“Supercharger technology has increased 10-fold from eight or nine years ago,” he said in a prior speedonthewater.com article covering the company’s latest blower for the marine world. “The rotor and housing designs in the 3.8-liter unit are significantly better,” he said. “The units are built with better rotors, better bearings, better seals, better everything. Adding a port injection manifold to the package creates better fuel consumption, better idle and better overall efficiency.”
The proof has been in the pudding for Saris and his father. To date, Performance Marine has completed five marine power projects with Whipple 3.8L superchargers, from a 22-foot Sea Ray Pachanga to a 33-foot Active Thunder. The outfit currently is building a pair 900-hp engines for a 36-foot Skater catamaran, twin 1,100-hp engines for a 37-foot Outerlimits V-bottom and three 800-hp engines for a 46-foot Black Thunder V-bottom.
Though it delivers significantly more power and efficiency, Whipple’s 3.8-liter supercharger (red) isn’t much larger than its 3.0-liter (black) sibling.
The 3.8L Whipple supercharger is at the heart of all three projects and more.
“The beauty of the 3.8L is its ability to cover all of the bases,” Saris said. “It’s just as efficient on a 454-cubic-inch engine making 550 hp as it is on a 572-cubic-inch engine making 1,100 hp. The new rotor design and the addition of port Injection have given us the ability to make huge amounts of horsepower while generating very little heat. Just 10 years ago, we would have needed a supercharger almost twice as big to yield the same results.”
For his part, Whipple said he couldn’t imagine having finer dealer-partners than Jason and Johnny Saris.
“Jason and Johnny are to date my longest dealers in marine,” Whipple said. “Great people, great company—I literally can’t say better things about anyone. With PCM technology becoming better and better and Performance Marine’s know-how, it’s a great combination that really fits new power demands.”
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