The 37th Annual Super Boat International World Championship is finally here. A Sterling Performance Engines victory is almost a sure bet but don’t take our word on it. Check out this write-up by Matt Trulio | Sterling Performance A Lock In Key West.
Unless something bizarre happens, Sterling Performance Engines will power the 2017 Super Boat International Superboat-Class World Champion next week in Key West, Fla. On numbers alone—defending 2016 class champ Performance Boat Center, WHM Motorsports, STIHL, Cleveland Construction, M-CON and Pro Floors Racing are all running twin 750-hp carbureted powerplants from the Milford, Mich., engine company—the odds in Sterling’s favor are overwhelming.
Loving dark horses as much as the next guy, I’d love to see Randy Sweers’ Salt Terminator/Autonation/FB Marine team running Frank McComas-built Superboat-class engines pull off a stunning upset. But even Sweers, a veteran offshore racer and true realist, admits that’s unlikely.
How did Sterling Performance Engines come to so thoroughly dominate the power market in the Superboat class? The answer is simple—and historical.
“We have been building what is essentially the same motor for years,” said Mike D’Anniballe, the owner and founder of the company. “We built it for the Super Cat class under APBA Offshore back in the early 2000s, when the compression ratio specification was 12:1 and the maxium engine operating speed was set at 8,000 rpm. Even though the limits have changed to a 9.5:1 compression ratio and maximum 7,000 rpm for the Superboat class in SBI, we’ve basically said we’re not going to change the way we build the engine. It wasn’t a difficult decision.