Seven Marine , a builder of boutique high-performance outboard motors, had a pair of production examples of its Seven 557 motors in its display at the Miami Boat Show, and triple-rigs of the big outboards on at least two boats in the show. Progress may be a little slower than the Wisconsin-based company was hoping for – it was planning to be in production and shipping motors at the end of last summer – but the outward signs at Miami are positive.
One key hurdle was cleared just two weeks ago, according to company president Rick Davis, when Seven received an EPA emissions compliance ticket, which clears the motors for sale in the U. S. Davis told me there was never any doubt the motors would pass emissions testing, it’s just a process that takes some time.
Seven debuted at Miami in 2011 with a prototype that stunned the show. The motor uses a 6.2-liter supercharged/intercooled V8 sourced from General Motors as its powerhead, is rated at 557 horsepower, and carries a price tag of $70,000. Last year Seven had a boat in the water with a single prototype motor and offered demo rides.
Since last year, Seven has made some changes to the motor to make it easier to service and to improve airflow to the powerhead. The company has also begun setting up a service network, with seven centers in Florida, one in Louisiana, and one in the United Arab Emirates.
A trio of Seven 557 motors was rigged on the transom of a matte black Midnight Express 39 Open on display in the show (next to a matte black Lamborghini). I spoke with Eric Glaser, vice president of Midnight Express, who said that the owner was a repeat customer who started planning to build the boat in 2011, right after seeing the outboards at the Miami show. The boat will be delivered in two weeks, and has been rigged with the optional ZF digital joystick controls with a bow thruster. Glaser said he was still tweaking the propping but was very pleased with the how the boat runs. The boat was a real show-stopper, which is exactly the point.
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