The Re-Power Story
There are a lot of boaters that would like to get better performance and fuel efficiency out of their marine engines on the Great Lakes.  After an extensive interview with Dan Benn of Advanced Marine Propulsion in Wallaceburg Ont.  He told me about the best solution I ever heard of.  The most common solution is to re-power to diesel or replace with similar gas engines.  So, if your going to re-power it seems the only other solution would be to put in a new engine?  The alternative solution, which is by far the best solution, is to re-power with an 8L V-10 Dolphin engine.
The reasons to re-power are obvious, the engines are worn out and not producing the power you need any longer and the fuel efficiency has gone way done.  There is a difference between marine and auto engines.  The way Dan explained it to me is that the auto engine goes through the load in order to get up speed then the engines just maintain that speed until a higher speed is needed.  In a marine engine the engines are under constant load pushing the boat like driving a car up hill continually.  So the auto engines that are in boats get worn out much quicker.  Most people will re-power with a 502 or a 454 V8's which are excellent marine engines however there maybe a better solution with the V-10.
The V-10 offers better fuel economy by being a straight-forward fuel injection system.  Also, the performance is enhanced by producing a tremendous amount of torque where you need it, which lengthens the life of the engine as well.  The V-10 produces a smoother ride that is very quite.  The V-10 engine allows you to use lower Rpm's to get your cruising speed and the usable Torque that has a very long Band; 400 ft. Pound at 1000 RPM.  This doesn't drop until 3600 RPM and the horsepower peaks at 4100 RPM so all usable cruising rpm has over 400 ft. Pound.  The torque will peak at 2800 RPM.  A very impressive engine.
The boaters that would benefit the most is the 32' to 42'.  In all boating classes like cruiser, speed boats and mostly trawlers or boats that are used a lot, like a charter boat.
Now it's time to put the engines to the test.  I had a couple extra hours when I went to Wallaceburg to talk to Dan.  So, we went for a boat ride.  Dan's father has a 1963 37' Chris Craft Constellation that was completely restored in 1999.  What a beautiful boat.  Cover stored and in immaculate shape also with two new V-10 engines.  When we started off the first thing I noticed is that the only sound I heard coming from the boat was the mufflers, no engine noise at all.  We got under way going north on the St. Clair River heading for Port Huron.  I sat on the bench at the transom and had a great talk with Dan and we were going 22 knots at only 2500 RPM and the conversation levels were normal we didn't have to scream at each other to hear.  I was amazed at every turn with the performance of these engines then I was told that at that speed and RPM we were only burning 8 gallons per hour per engine.  A part of this boats success has to also be attributed to Wolverine Propeller and the fantastic job they did with 3 bladed props for this world class cruiser.  The V-10's are the best solution and I wanted to know why the manufactures aren't using this engine.
The next thing I wanted to know is what is the cost?  Yes-these engines are more expensive than just replacing them with new gas replacements but only by a small percentage and there is a significant saving with the V-10's over the cost of diesels.  So if your thinking about re-powering please do yourself a favor and call Dan at Advanced Marine Propulsion and talk with him about the V-10's as an option to re-power.  For more information be sure to check the website
Advanced Marine Propulsion
Erik Kyle
Courtesy of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt

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