Student "Thank You" — Infiniti QX-Powered Boat Project



Student “Thank You” — Infiniti QX-Powered Boat Project

Yesterday we had a “thank you” lunch for the students and faculty at Nashville State Community College and Tennessee Technical Institute for all their hard work and dedication for the Infiniti QX-Powered Boat Project. The lunch was held at the Smyrna plant, and our guests had a private tour of the facility afterwards, allowing them to see the Infiniti JX prototypes going down the line. Susan Brennan greeted the group, and encouraged the students to continue their training and let them know of opportunities for them at the plant upon graduation.

For several weeks, these folks put in several hours over and above their class curriculum to make this happen, and they pretty much did the impossible to get this engine running outside of the donor vehicle. (Of course, there was quite a bit of help from their friends at the Decherd plant and our training folks, for whom we are also eternally grateful and were also at the appreciation lunch yesterday.)

The faculty told us yesterday that due to the publicity they received from this project, they can directly attribute 17 new students into their automotive technology program. So, it’s a bit gratifying to know that this has been a win/win situation for all involved, and that it’s gone far beyond our objective of doing something good for the school and the students.

Another big thanks goes to Keith who put together the attached video recap for the school. He spliced in some comments from the boat restorer and the process we will go through, and there’s some glimpses of the boat itself when it was purchased; in a bit of coincidence, the former boat owner had just bought his own Infiniti QX the week before, and that’s featured as well. Henriette is going to share the story on WIN. And we will be using this video as a basis to continue chronicling the story for the media when the boat debuts.

And the current state of the boat itself? Well, the engine is down in South Alabama being “marinized” (having its manifolds made to be water-cooled) and in the next week, the boat itself will be flipped and the process of replacing every plank will begin. The seats will be recovered with Infiniti QX leather, and XM and Bose are creating create a similar audio/NavWeather system that our full-size luxury SUV has. At the center of the boat’s dash will be the signature Infiniti analog clock from the donor vehicle, and the engine box will have its side vents.

We are working with the Amelia Island Concours for a proposal to debut the boat there the weekend of March 11, 2012. The students and faculty are so excited about this, that they want to attend as well and share their experiences of the project.

More updates as they happen, but, wanted to share the video and the results of the lunch with the group. It was a pretty awesome day.

— Kyle

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