Chief Performance Debuts 1,600-HP Engines in 388 Skater

Although he’s back home from another trip to Key West, Fla., Tommy Hofstetter, owner of Chief Performance (formerly Chief Engines), is still trying to catch his breath from a busy week at the charming island some 200 miles southwest of his Fort Lauderdale sales and service shop.

As usual, Tommy Hofstetter and Chief Performance sponsors the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. Courtesy Florida Powerboat ClubAs usual, Tommy Hofstetter and Chief Performance sponsored the Key West Poker Run. Photo courtesy Florida Powerboat ClubNot only was Hofstetter and his crew supporting 17 poker run boats participating in the Florida Powerboat Club’s 20th annual Key West Poker Run, but the talented engine builder was in town to support the Sheds Plus race team for the Super Boat International Key West World Championships.

Powered by a pair of 750-hp Chief engines coupled with twin Arneson surface drives, the team of engaged couple Joe Ferrer and Jackie Piper drove their Sheds Plus Fountain consistently well all weekend to earn second place overall in the Superboat Extreme class behind the Instigator Fountain.

“Our equipment ran fabulous all week,” Piper said while cleaning the boat in the race pits. “We’re extremely excited we were able to come out and compete with the best this year.  Canale Marine and Chief Performance did a great job working together to get everything running right.”

One of the fastest catamarans in the world, Bill Pyburn's 388 Skater received a new set of Chief Engines just before the Key West Poker Run. Photo courtesy Florida Powerboat Club One of the fastest catamarans in the world, Bill Pyburn's 388 Skater got a new set of Chief Engines just before the Key West Poker Run. Courtesy Florida Powerboat Club Hoftstetter also was proud of the new 1,600-hp engines he installed in Bill Pyburn’s 38-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran Pure Platinum for the poker run. The 572-cubic-inch engines with Whipple Superchargers and Hofstetter’s electronic engine system management reportedly make 1,600 hp on 93-octane fuel.

“The motor runs really good, we’ve really come a long way with developing the engine package,” Hofstetter said. “The boat runs well and it is super fast. Bill seems very happy with it and he’s a guy who enjoys having a lot of power in his hands.

“If you think about it, 1,600 is a lot of power, and it’s really come a long way,” he continued. “A lot of it came from the electronic engine management system—we’re able to control each cylinder individually. And the knock control system that is in the ECU is obviously very extensive and so it keeps it from knocking and detonating and, of course, failing. So with that we’ve been able to push the envelope a little bit further.”

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