Pleasurecraft Marine’s New ZZ8R and ZZ8S Engines

It’s long been a given that a high-performing marine engine requires a higher-octane fuel in order to deliver its rated performance. The engines needed to power the largest of today’s watersports boats are a case in point.

Now, that’s changed. With the introduction of its ZZ8R and ZZ8S, Pleasurecraft Marine (PCM) offers two supercharged marine engines that can produce maximum power and torque without needing 93 or higher octane gasoline. In fact, the ZZ8S is the first supercharged inboard tow-sports engine over 600 hp to run on Rec 90.

This milestone is important for several reasons. For one, it allows boaters who require high-performing supercharged engines to choose the Rec 90 gasoline blend. Rec 90 is pricey, but it contains no ethanol, and so alleviates the problems associated with ­fuels such as E10. Also, the 93-octane fuel that most high-performance engines require for max output is not available at waterfront fuel docks in many markets. Boaters in those regions thus gain the convenience of using a readily available fuel grade if their boat is powered by these new PCM powerplants.

For the 2024 ZZ8S and ZZ8R models, PCM developed a new ground-up marinization system featuring a custom supercharger cooling circuit to provide the engine with lower intake air temperature and higher performance. Utilizing this marinization system along with custom calibration for engine optimization and protection, the mandate for using premium fuel in supercharged boat engines exists no longer, according to PCM.

Typically, higher-octane fuels have been required to prevent “knocking,” a phenomenon in which the fuel-air mixture ignites at the wrong time, sending destructive shock waves through the engine. “The engines have been calibrated to, and certified with, Rec 90-octane gasoline,” says Kevin Finney, PCM engineering manager. “Using fuel with a lower-octane rating isn’t recommended,” Finney advises, adding that, “additional performance may be gained with 93 octane.”

The ZZ8R is rated at 570 hp and 600 pound-feet of torque and features a new Super Duty transmission coupled with the PCM Power Plus V-drive in a 1.5-to-1 ratio, offering ­supercharged performance for midsize inboard watersports applications. For reference, this engine powers Nautique’s S and GS models (20 to 25 feet, ­respectively), according to PCM.

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The ZZ8S “crushes the performance mold,” according to PCM. At 630 hp and 665 pound-feet of torque, it features the new Super Duty transmission and a new Super Duty V-drive in a ratio of 1.7-to-1 to power the industry’s largest wave- and wake-making machines. The ZZ8S can be found powering Nautique’s G Series Paragon and ­Centurion’s Fi245 and Fi265 models, ­according to a PCM spokesman.

Both the ZZ8R and ZZ8S are available as complete OEM powertrain packages. Neither is available for repower projects. That means performance and convenience might just be your incentive to shop for a new boat. 

Horsepower: 630 570
Torque: 665 lb.-ft. 600 lb.-ft.
Displacement: 6.2L/376 cid 6.2L/376 cid
Weight (engine, V-drive, transmission): 1,150 lb. 1,150 lb.

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