Work continues on the Infiniti QX56-powered luxury boat, which we first learned about last July. Infiniti provided the latest news on the “luxury boat project” powered by the SUV’s 400-hp, 5.6-liter VK56DE V-8-engine.
At the start of the project, Infiniti recruited automotive tech students from the Tennessee Technical Center-Nashville and Nashville State Community College who assisted with the extraction of the VK56DE engine from a donor QX56. The students also removed a few components unnecessary for aquatic use (i.e. the power steering pump).
Since then, the engine has made a number of pit stops with specialists to further prepare it for life on the open waters. Bracket Marine in Westbrook, Maine for modifications to ensure a proper fit to the ZF/Hurth marine transmission. Next, a shop in Alabama installed water-cooled exhaust manifolds and a closed cooling system. Now, the engine is on its way to the automaker’s factory in Decherd, Tennessee, where it will be dyno’d before returning to Maine for installation into the hull of the donor boat.
That boat for the record, is a vintage 1962 Chris Craft Holiday, which will need to undergo heavy restoration before the engine is fitted into the hull. Up to 85 percent of the boat’s wood will have to be replaced as well as all the upholstery, hardware, and wiring. Once completed, the boat is expected to be a outstanding looker and performer.
“When the 20-foot Chris-Craft Holiday model was introduced in 1962, it was said to be one of the best performing Chris-Craft hulls ever produced,” said George “Dodo” Brockman, owner of Freeport Boat Outlet, who is overseeing the build of the Infiniti boat project. “It cornered well, was easy to come on plane, and was often used in nationally sanctioned competition water skiing events for just those reasons. We can’t wait to see how this classic design performs with the new engine.”
The boat is no stranger to hot-rodding and has previously been powered by four different engines over the course of its lifespan, including a 431-cubic inch Lincoln plank head marine engine and a 440-cubic inch Chrysler Hemi marine V-8.
“The use of the powerful Infiniti QX56 V8 is fitting with the history of this particular craft,” said Brockman. “The Infiniti V-8 is actually lighter than all of the previous powerplants and won’t require any special bracing or hull modifications to fit it into the original engine bay.”