The Unconventional LS Engine Swap That Turned Heads on the Water

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Setting Sail with Horsepower.

When it comes to LS engine swaps, automotive enthusiasts have pushed the boundaries of creativity and performance in various vehicles. But what happens when you take this iconic engine and transplant it into a boat? That’s precisely the question one daring YouTuber set out to answer, and the results are making waves in the world of marine engineering.

The LSx engine family, produced by General Motors, has long been celebrated for its lightweight design, exceptional airflow, and extensive aftermarket support, making it a beloved choice in the automotive world. While LS engine swaps have become common in cars and trucks, the idea of transplanting one into a boat was a venture few had contemplated.


Within the LSx family, the LS7 engine stands out as a track-focused powerhouse. However, the LSx lineup is versatile, with variants suited for a range of applications from sleek sedans to powerful boats. The adaptability of LSx engines knows no bounds, making them the go-to choice for engine enthusiasts with a penchant for versatility.

Meet Chris, a YouTuber with a love for adventure and a knack for pushing boundaries. For him and his friends, a 4th of July party on a boat was the perfect way to celebrate. Little did they know that their voyage would take an unexpected turn. After a few years of smooth sailing, their boat’s diesel engines failed during a return trip. A faulty oil gauge readout on the aging dashboard caused one engine to be deprived of vital fluids, leading to its unfortunate demise.

Faced with the need for replacement engines, Chris turned to his sponsors at Texas Speed & Performance, who generously provided a pair of 468 cubic inch LSx engines, each packing a punch with 750 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. With this newfound power under the hood, the boat transformed into a true waterborne beast.

Chris documented the boat’s remarkable transformation on his YouTube channel, aptly named "B Is For Build." Alongside the engine swap, Chris made notable modifications, including replacing the idle air controllers sourced from Amazon and reworking the intake manifold, fine-tuning the boat’s performance for aquatic adventures.

The LSx engine, short for the Chevrolet LSx engine, is a family of V8 powerhouses crafted by General Motors. This engine lineage has earned legendary status in the automotive realm, primarily due to its unparalleled power and adaptability. The "LS" designation, which stands for "Luxury Sport," perfectly encapsulates the potent blend of performance and sophistication that LSx engines deliver.

One defining characteristic of LSx engines is their lightweight construction. Utilizing aluminum blocks and cylinder heads, they shed excess weight without compromising strength or durability. This weight reduction significantly contributes to overall vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, a factor especially crucial in the marine world where efficiency and power are paramount.

Furthermore, LSx engines are distinguished by their superior airflow characteristics. Equipped with advanced intake and exhaust systems, they maximize air intake and enable efficient combustion, resulting in impressive horsepower and torque output across a broad RPM range.

What truly sets LSx engines apart is the extensive aftermarket support they enjoy. Thanks to their popularity among automotive enthusiasts, an abundance of performance parts is readily available, allowing enthusiasts to further enhance the already formidable capabilities of these engines. From upgraded camshafts to superchargers, the possibilities are endless for those looking to push the boundaries of performance, whether on land or, in Chris’s case, on the open water.

Chris’s LS-powered boat project showcases the incredible versatility and power of the LSx engine family, proving that with a bit of creativity and a lot of determination, you can indeed set sail with horsepower.

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