Excess. We live for it. We want it. In the squirt gun arena, where potato chip-like boat profiles are the preferred look of speed, mountainous big-block motors crackling through over the transom headers are the overwhelming choice in powerplants. Who ever said bigger is not necessarily better has never been in a jet boat. In this world, it's go big or go home. Overcoming hydrodynamics is a tricky proposition. Having 500 hp on land is not like having 500 hp on the water. Unfortunately, with 500 hp in a well-prepped squirt boat, speeds of 70-plus mph are about what is achievable. Blower and nitrous anyone?
Truckin' Feature Editor Travis Noack knows all too well the lure of jet boats. His '77 19-foot Hallett Bubble Deck is big-block motorvated and spread out here before you. The hull still sports its original 28-year-old candy-red metal flake over gloss white gel. The bottom of the Hallett was blueprinted and tuned by Jeff Bennett. Inside this retro rod is a completely smooth interior with gunnel-to-gunnel, stem-to-stern red marine carpet. Travis and his buddies Brandon Dolan and Ken Claypool, in order to make a new home for the floor covering, glassed-in a fresh false floor between the 3\4-length stringers. Seating in Travis' river hauler consists of front buckets and rear cocktail seats covered in white tuck-'n'-roll marine vinyl finished with red piping. For navigational needs, a Formuling steering wheel, hung from a red, anodized hub, comes in handy. Forward and Reverse on this bad boy are handled with a billet Rex Marine handle, and go-go power is at the press of the original Hall Craft foot throttle. A floor-mounted manual Place Diverter control creates the big bridge-dousing rooster tails Travis loves so much. While in the captain's seat, Travis gets engine vitals thanks to a full complement of Auto Meter, Accu-Comp white-face gauges.
Travis' bank of gauges is in place to babysit his fully built Ford 460, although said 460 is now a fire-breathing 501ci water rumbler. Dave Whitehead of Vrbancic Brothers Racing assembled the Blue Oval big-block with big-time internals: an Eagle Stroker cranks and rods swing SRP pistons with JE rings sealing the cylinder pressures, and a Lunati cam thumps the timing cycles up the chain. Breathing life into the bottom end is a full CNC pair of Edelbrock RPM aluminum heads with stainless intake and exhaust valves that move with help from Lunati 1.7 roller rockers. Topping the Edelbrocks is a Decor Plating, polished Weiand tunnel ram, sucking fuel and air through two Holley 600 double-pumpers that are fed from the fountain of power supplied by a Holley 130-gph electric fuel pump. Sparking all 533 raging sea horses is an MSD 6M2 marine central control feeding a Blaster II coil. The job of choosing which cylinder to fire goes to the MSD Pro Billet distributor. Bassett over-the-transom headers were ceramic-coated by Jet-Hot Coatings of Tempe, Arizona, and bang the cackling Ford song out of the back of the boat. Holding the explosions together are ARP fasteners everywhere you look. Making the package complete is a Dooley, polished intake scoop and Milodon 10-quart oil pan. All water plumbing of the motor is Earl's braided stainless steel and anodized AN fittings.