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1999 Sport Nautique re-power. ZR409 VS H6.

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    Posted: August-13-2019 at 6:53pm
Hey CCF,

I am preparing to do a complete drivetrain replacement on my 99 Sport Nautique. I have been considering either the H6 or ZR409. I want this boat to be REALLY fun to drive. The 550 isn’t available as re-power. My dealer simply can’t order it. (I was serious about this). So I had to compromise. While I was really leaning towards the H6, my dealer got back to me today and quoted me $28,000.00+ with a 1.23:1. No labor. Just the engine, trans, and shipping. Kinda hard to swallow for a naturally aspirated engine.

In comparison with the H6, the ZR409 has slightly less horsepower (409 vs 450) but more torque than the H6 (492 vs 465). The only major difference I can find between the two is the H6 has direct Injection and is .2 liters larger.

I found the ZR409 at Discount Inboard Marine for half the price of the H6 with the trans. I’m just trying to justify and understand the cost of the H6. Because this is my project boat (passed onto me from my dad, will be passed onto my children) cost isn’t so much of a concern and I am already prepared to make major modifications to engine mounting, etc. Either way, the extra cost of the H6 has to make sense. Especially if the ZR409 is going to give me better performance. I would think torque would be more important for a heavier boat like the Sport Nautique.

I appreciate anyone’s feedback.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 7:35pm
I thought Jody told us the EPA would not allow a new engine like that could not be put into an older boat? I have never seen how they could enforce that,the only way being it just could not to be sold to you. A way around that might be you are "building" your own boat. Any one say anything about needing a larger drive shaft? Not trying to discourage I think its an interesting project. EPA junk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 7:52pm
I’ve been told the 1” ARE shaft can handle the power no problem. The larger shaft found in the larger Nautiques is there for the extreme amount of weight these bots are riding around with. The Ski with a 6.2 has a 1” shaft.

As far as the dealer goes, a Nautique dealer is who is willing to sell me the complete H6 engine/trans crate. No boat information needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 9:25pm
Radically changing hp and torque might get you into an area where the prop selection is not available in a 1” shaft though. Just throwing it out there. I know one of the guys here once put a big engine in his Shamrock and many had warned him on the shaft size. As far as I know he never had any problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 9:45pm
There is no doubt the new LS Chevy Engines are very good engines.
If that is your desire do it.
Assuming your 99 has a 351W engine now.
If you just want more power in your 1999 boat have you looked at other options?

I bet you could put a stroked 351, I think it works out to a 406? Roller Cam and bump the stock engine to 400 HP. I understand if your boat has the Fuel Injected 351W this option may not work due to the fuel injection limits.
If it has a carb it would not be an issue at all, easy upgrade.

When I think of a $20,000 upgrade to a 1999 I would really want to evaluate.

The stroker 351W making 400 HP would be less than a $6,000 upgrade and the horsepower is pretty close to the LS conversion.

If your boat currently has a Chevy for power a 350 can be converted to a 383 or even a 406 and again, horsepower could be 400+ with torque approaching 500 ft lbs for under 6,000.
I turn my own wrenches so I don't add in labor charges but wanted to offer a couple things to think of.

The engine upgrades also use your current tranny/exhaust and mounts saving more money.

So I agree the LS GM engines are fantastic engines, my son has one with twin turbos making 765 HP at the rear tire, that is close to 900 at the crankshaft. It handles it fine and has close to 50,000 miles and runs like brand new still.   Ususally 900 HP engines are very short life.
You have options that might keep a lot of money in your pocket and still offer the smile you want on acceleration.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRBenj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 9:53pm
1” prop shaft is not a concern with the powertrain options being discussed. Standard fare in the SN.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 10:15pm
I have the GT40 so very few power upgrade options. As much as I want to keep the original engine, it just doesn’t have the power I am after. I have thought about having a 460 Ford built and calling it the gt460. Might sit better with die hard Correct Craft restoration members. I mean, this boat will be restored to better than factory, all original, but I wanted something a little special under the hood.

Originally posted by MrMcD MrMcD wrote:

There is no doubt the new LS Chevy Engines are very good engines.
If that is your desire do it.
Assuming your 99 has a 351W engine now.
If you just want more power in your 1999 boat have you looked at other options?

I bet you could put a stroked 351, I think it works out to a 406? Roller Cam and bump the stock engine to 400 HP. I understand if your boat has the Fuel Injected 351W this option may not work due to the fuel injection limits.
If it has a carb it would not be an issue at all, easy upgrade.

When I think of a $20,000 upgrade to a 1999 I would really want to evaluate.

The stroker 351W making 400 HP would be less than a $6,000 upgrade and the horsepower is pretty close to the LS conversion.

If your boat currently has a Chevy for power a 350 can be converted to a 383 or even a 406 and again, horsepower could be 400+ with torque approaching 500 ft lbs for under 6,000.
I turn my own wrenches so I don't add in labor charges but wanted to offer a couple things to think of.

The engine upgrades also use your current tranny/exhaust and mounts saving more money.

So I agree the LS GM engines are fantastic engines, my son has one with twin turbos making 765 HP at the rear tire, that is close to 900 at the crankshaft. It handles it fine and has close to 50,000 miles and runs like brand new still.   Ususally 900 HP engines are very short life.
You have options that might keep a lot of money in your pocket and still offer the smile you want on acceleration.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 10:23pm
Any insight into why the H6 is double the price yet the ZR409 has more torque? That really peaks my interest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 10:25pm
Originally posted by TRBenj TRBenj wrote:

1” prop shaft is not a concern with the powertrain options being discussed. Standard fare in the SN.


Guess I wasn't thinking, basically he's copying Orange Crush?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-13-2019 at 11:32pm
Originally posted by Gary S Gary S wrote:

Originally posted by TRBenj TRBenj wrote:

1” prop shaft is not a concern with the powertrain options being discussed. Standard fare in the SN.


Guess I wasn't thinking, basically he's copying Orange Crush?


I didn’t know about orange crush until I googled it. Very cool! My boat is a special order based on The University of Texas. A little different. I guess the powertrain would be similar when I upgrade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 2:47am
The H6 is new generation. Direct injection adds a lot to any engine. It allows full timing at all times because direct injection actually cools the intake charge cooling the piston heads and the valve chambers allowing more compression to be used for added efficiency.
The H6 is a full aluminum block and heads reducing weight.
Your fuel pump in a H6 probably has 1,500-1800 PSI of fuel pressure which allows injecting fuel with the piston at top dead center eliminating detonation risk in this engine.
The other engines use older technology, it is cheaper and they still run pretty dang well but the DI engines are next generation and cost more. I bet a fuel pump that puts out that kind of pressure will cost plenty when it breaks, I bet in the $2,500-3,500 range?
Some of the DI engines use mechanical fuel pumps that boost the fuel pressure to the required amount. Some use cam lobes internal in the engine to run the pressure up.
I do not know how GM is running the direct injection pump in these.
Having DI in an engine allows you to bump compression as high as you wish opening the door to many high performance upgrades in the future. Turbo or Supercharging is not nearly as hard to manage if you have a DI engine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 9:24am
This is a long shot but the Python 496 never comes up for sale does it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRBenj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 9:44am
The 6.0L has been standard on the SN for a while and has been optional since 2003... many older repowers out there as well. Not a new path to blaze. The 409 should fit under your existing engine cover.

There are rumors that the DI engines will not fit under the box, but I do not recall seeing anyone else try (yet). Big blocks definitely won’t- and in addition to being unobtainable, those would require additional powertrain hardware modifications to use reliably.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M3Fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 9:51am
I have the 5.3DI and the power and responsiveness is bonkers. I can't even imagine how nuts the 6.2 version is. The DI motors are also easier on gas and seem quieter FWIW. The DI motors are enormous with the cats on them, the doghouse on my 200 is ridiculously large because of this. The decorative cover on top of the motor has red LED backlighting on it when the motor is on. Nice albeit totally ridiculous touch.

Our club boat is always a new Malibu with a PCM 6L so I have nearly daily experience with that. The DI motor in my boat is an entirely different level in snappy responsive insta-torque, it feels like an electric motor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 10:02am
Dominic, interesting to read your thoughts on the repower, also being a Sport owner, mine is a '98. When looking for my boat I test drove a 502 Python powered '99 Sport, and it sounded great, power was awesome, I think it topped out at 52 or so if the Airguides were right, as compared to my GT-40 at 45-46. In the end I chose the GT-40 because we slalom and the weight of the big block wouldn't help the wake any, plus just by eye (I didn't ski behind it) I thought the 32-34 mph wake was visibly larger.

Your modern repower options sounds like they'd be outstanding upgrades. I guess not knowing what your intended use of the boat is, I'd say you might not get as much added top speed as you might expect with 100 extra HP, maybe 7 mph or so which isn't anything to sneer at but I know at times people think 100 HP would do more.

You asked about the H6 vs. 409, I can't come up with any reason to not go with the 409 for half the money if you end up with that choice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 10:13am
Originally posted by 63 Skier 63 Skier wrote:

Dominic, interesting to read your thoughts on the repower, also being a Sport owner, mine is a '98. When looking for my boat I test drove a 502 Python powered '99 Sport, and it sounded great, power was awesome, I think it topped out at 52 or so if the Airguides were right, as compared to my GT-40 at 45-46. In the end I chose the GT-40 because we slalom and the weight of the big block wouldn't help the wake any, plus just by eye (I didn't ski behind it) I thought the 32-34 mph wake was visibly larger.

Your modern repower options sounds like they'd be outstanding upgrades. I guess not knowing what your intended use of the boat is, I'd say you might not get as much added top speed as you might expect with 100 extra HP, maybe 7 mph or so which isn't anything to sneer at but I know at times people think 100 HP would do more.

You asked about the H6 vs. 409, I can't come up with any reason to not go with the 409 for half the money if you end up with that choice.


I appreciate the insight. This boat will primarily be used for cruising and slapping a pair of cut-offs on and skiing around! When I got serious about three event skiing, my dad added a Ski Nautique to the family. I’ll do the same for my kids. After all, I did learn how to slalom, trick, and jump behind this boat. I just want the boat to be able to handle a load of people, a couple skiers, and maybe some ballast while still be a blast to drive when dry. I am really learning towards the 409. It seems like a great motor and I don’t think I will get too much flack for replacing the gt-40 (even though I wish there were performance upgrade options available).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 10:26am
Don't worry about any flack, I think the "keep it original" crowd stop caring around 1995 or so!

I can put 4 people in the boat and pull a slalom skier, granted the wake isn't great with all that weight but we do it routinely. I can ballast up and pull a wakeboarder with no issues, I don't think it would matter how many people in the boat. And to bomb around the lake I find my boat a blast to drive and no amount of people challenges the engine.

I only say all this because now we know you aren't looking for this to be your primary slalom boat. Why not, as someone above mentioned, repower with a custom built stroker that could use your same tranny and mounts, develop the same power as the 409, and probably sound much better? Granted maybe not the turn the key and go aspect of injection but talk about the cool factor! Anyway I totally understand if you go 409 package instead, just thinking aloud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 10:27am
It will be interesting to see how the DI fairs as the boats get older as well as how marine mechanics will be able to service them. Seems to me if you have the technical skills to service these why waste your time on seasonal recreation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 10:28am
Also, cut-offs are banned for anyone under the age of 55, us kids of the 1960's and early '70's were the real cut-off era people!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 11:18am
Originally posted by 63 Skier 63 Skier wrote:

Also, cut-offs are banned for anyone under the age of 55, us kids of the 1960's and early '70's were the real cut-off era people!


You sound just like my dad lol. Good thing I’ve got 40 years until I’m banned!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote storm34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 11:25am
I've spent quite a bit of time driving both engines in the last two years. Our re-powered 409 Ski Nautique and a friends 6.2 powered promo boats (200 & new SN).

Both would be an amazing package in a Sport Nautique but I'd recommend you save the $$ and go with a 409. While I love the H6, the performance gains are not dramatic enough to be worth the extra spend unless you're pulling multiple barefooters on a regular basis, skiing the course on a short lake with minimal setup time etc, etc.

The conversion itself is really straightforward if you package the elements correctly. I'd highly recommend giving Tim White at a call at Inboard Solutions. They repower boats in their shop and can assist virtually. He helped us package our 409 & new 80a transmission with all the correct wiring harnesses, motor mounts, Zero Off etc. In fact, I believe he was working on a Sport Nautique while we were packaging our 409. He can also give you some additional engine options from PCM at different price points.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 11:40am
This is awesome info! I will give him a call! Thank you!

Originally posted by storm34 storm34 wrote:

I've spent quite a bit of time driving both engines in the last two years. Our re-powered 409 Ski Nautique and a friends 6.2 powered promo boats (200 & new SN).

Both would be an amazing package in a Sport Nautique but I'd recommend you save the $$ and go with a 409. While I love the H6, the performance gains are not dramatic enough to be worth the extra spend unless you're pulling multiple barefooters on a regular basis, skiing the course on a short lake with minimal setup time etc, etc.

The conversion itself is really straightforward if you package the elements correctly. I'd highly recommend giving Tim White at a call at Inboard Solutions. They repower boats in their shop and can assist virtually. He helped us package our 409 & new 80a transmission with all the correct wiring harnesses, motor mounts, Zero Off etc. In fact, I believe he was working on a Sport Nautique while we were packaging our 409. He can also give you some additional engine options from PCM at different price points.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DHMcFadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 11:44am
I have been researching having an engine engine built but I have no idea who I would choose for an engine builder who would also supply all the fuel injection components and send it ready to run and tuned. I want the boat to still run reliably, smooth, have multiport fuel injection, etc.

Originally posted by 63 Skier 63 Skier wrote:

Don't worry about any flack, I think the "keep it original" crowd stop caring around 1995 or so!

I can put 4 people in the boat and pull a slalom skier, granted the wake isn't great with all that weight but we do it routinely. I can ballast up and pull a wakeboarder with no issues, I don't think it would matter how many people in the boat. And to bomb around the lake I find my boat a blast to drive and no amount of people challenges the engine.

I only say all this because now we know you aren't looking for this to be your primary slalom boat. Why not, as someone above mentioned, repower with a custom built stroker that could use your same tranny and mounts, develop the same power as the 409, and probably sound much better? Granted maybe not the turn the key and go aspect of injection but talk about the cool factor! Anyway I totally understand if you go 409 package instead, just thinking aloud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 12:09pm
Originally posted by 63 Skier 63 Skier wrote:

Also, cut-offs are banned for anyone under the age of 55, us kids of the 1960's and early '70's were the real cut-off era people!

Yes cut offs, a "floatation" belt (maybe), plus we all learned to foot on a long line. No booms and no special bare foot suits ether.


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Keep it original, Pete
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-14-2019 at 2:17pm
Since these engines are very long life are there any Salvaged boats parting out where you could pick up a complete power train with all necesary connections still attached?
A used engine with less than 500 hours in good shape maybe?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote storm34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-15-2019 at 10:39am
Originally posted by DHMcFadin DHMcFadin wrote:

I I want the boat to still run reliably, smooth, have multiport fuel injection, etc.


If that's the case I wouldn't mess with building something - go with a 409/80a package and call it a day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Treybizttu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-15-2019 at 10:59am
Originally posted by DHMcFadin DHMcFadin wrote:

This is a long shot but the Python 496 never comes up for sale does it?





I've seen 1 for sale as a pull out since they were new.... The 496 and 502 are however built in marine applications by others. Heck the Mercruiser 502Mag is almost identical to the PCM502 in my boat. I've actually got parts on mine from mercruiser and my oil filter relocation kit is off a buddy's giant blower motor. Just have to be creative since PCM won't tell you a dang thing.

Other random thoughts:

-I'm in the buy a 409 w/trans and enjoy it camp. Still far less than a new boat and can build to suit.

-A stroker GT-40 sounds fun and probably would be. But, in the end that could be a fairly expensive motor and tunning could prove less than easy.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gun-driver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-15-2019 at 5:56pm
Here's your answer... Buy this swap motors and resell the Ski for 20K and your done.

https://www.planetnautique.com/vb5/forum/classified-group-buy-section/boats-for-sale-by-owner/591688-502-python-2000-196
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Orlando76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August-20-2019 at 10:12pm
If I were on the fence if 409 vs H6 I think this would make my mind up: on Miami Nautiques website they sell packaged annual maintenance kits. Annual. As in every year!
Carb’d 351-$143
409 kit-$445
H6 kit- $711

Shoooottt, I doubt I spend $711 in annual maintenance and repairs for my 3 boats put together.
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