When it comes to engine upgrades, most notably supercharger kits, I lean toward the conservative side. First—and this should be obvious—anyone who upgrades an engine while it’s still under warranty is nuts. Second, in almost every high-performance marine engine upgrade scenario, the kit itself is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to expense. Adding 100-hp or more to your engine’s output can take your drive right out of its rated operating range, and make every propeller in your trailer too small.
And in a twin-engine upgrade application, a little simple math will tell you that your costs will be double.
With that said, a press release from Whipple Industries that came to me via Eric Colby, my good friend and former editor at Powerboat magazine, caught my attention. Having covered several Whipple supercharger upgrade projects over the years, I’m familiar with Whipple’s upgrade kits. High-quality stuff that’s well thought-out, for sure.
What I didn’t know? Whipple now offers an upgrade kit for every engine in the Mercury Racing line. (OK, Whipple doesn’t have one for the new turbocharged 1350, but that power-pumping monster just went into production in late July.) That means the Fresno, Calif.-based company has kits for the 525EFI, the 600SCi and the 662SCi, the 700SCi, the 850SCi, the 1075SCi and the 1025/1200SCi.
Depending the “stage”—meaning blower size, boost level and various aftermarket parts in each kit—the power increases reportedly range from 100 to 370 hp. Even with the 100-hp Stage One kits, that’s substantial. Prices vary from kit to kit, but it’s safe to say that none of them come cheap, particularly if the boat owner in question doesn’t have the mechanical and technical savvy to handle the upgrade himself.