Volvo Penta introduced two new diesel engines and new Electronic Vessel Control technologies at a weeklong press event at the company’s marine testing facility Krossholmen in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The new products are built to further Volvo Penta’s driving philosophy of easy boating, the guiding principle of the company since the launch of the first IPS pod in 2005.
D8 inboard and D8 for IPS
The D8-IPS800 expands Volvo Penta’s diesel IPS line. It is turbocharged and supercharged, available in 550 hp and 600 hp, and has a swept volume of 7.7 liters.
“It joins the IPS family and gives us the ability to power boats from mid-20s to over 100 feet,” said Marcia Kull, vice president of marine sales for Volvo Penta of the Americas.
“This is now the world-leading IPS range and it gives huge specificity to boat builders so you can choose [the engine] for the size of the boat in triple or twin, and also depending on the weight and the needs that you have,” said Anna Pettersson, CPM at Volvo Penta.
The new IPS pod comes with entirely new propellers with flat tips, which Volvo Penta says provides further efficiency. This engine will be available for twin and triple installations and has a speed range of 20 to 40 knots.
“Our goal is to make owning and operating a boat as easy as possible,” said Stefan Carlsson, head of Volvo Penta’s Marine Diesel segment. “The new IPS pod continues that commitment. By expanding our range, we can now offer a greater choice in systems and bring the benefits of ‘easy boating’ to an even broader range of boats.”
The D8 inboard is the same base engine but without the supercharger, and is also available in 550 hp and 600hp models. The new engines mark an expansion in Volvo Penta’s inboard diesel line, which previously moved from D6 to D11 models.
The company says this inboard engine is defined by high power density, about on par with the power/weight ratio of the D6 435 hp model.
The new engines “fill a really important void in the marketplace,” said Kull, as they are built for vessels between 45 and 55 feet.
The new engines provide higher performance, higher torque for lower RPM, enhanced maneuverability and control, and increased fuel efficiency. The exhaust works through the drive down into the water in order to reduce noise. According to Petterson, Volvo Penta measured the sound power reduction and it came in at minus-three decibels.
“The difference in noise level is one of the first things you notice,” says Fredrik Celander, Product Management for Marine Leisure, Volvo Penta. “Along with the smoothness of the engine, it makes for a far more pleasant boating experience.”
Upgrades to Electronic Vessel Control platform
Volvo Penta introduced joystick control for traditional twin inboard shaft applications, the first time this has been offered for the segment.
“For many, docking is the most stressful part of boating – but the Joystick Inboard just takes all the stress away,” says Anders Thorin, Volvo Penta’s Electronics Project Planning Manager.
Joystick for Inboard includes all five steering components: thrusters, rudders, gear, slip and throttle. The Joystick for Inboard system automatically calculates balance between rudder angles and thrust from the main engines and bow thruster, to match each specific boat’s characteristics. The Joystick for Inboard offers the full benefits of Volvo Penta’s Glass Cockpit system.
The integration of joystick control in an inboard application also offers users the possibility of using Volvo Penta’s docking mode, joystick driving and autopilot.
“Regardless of propulsion system, we can offer the same kind of user experience, the same kind of features,” said Celander.
Kull said the new option for joystick control in an inboard application will help bring new boaters to that segment, as the company saw when it began offering joystick control with IPS.
“It really opens up the joystick opportunity and the facilitation of easy boating,” she said.
“Customers will now be able to benefit from a fully customizable system, which is also available in a wider range of sizes, making the technology more accessible for all Volvo Penta customers who own any sized boat,” said Carlsson.
Volvo Penta also introduced its Battery Management Solution, which controls and monitors the vessel’s battery system to bring a more car-like experience to boating; the system can be integrated in small or large vessels powered by gas or diesel engines.
The e-Key Remote is the first key on the market that is connected and integrated into the boat’s entire driveline. The remote has a range of up to 100 meters. It is also possible to connect additional electrical equipment to the same remote key, such as lights, gangway or windlass – which can then be switched on before stepping foot onboard. Each e-Key is connected to the vessel with a unique identifier to prevent theft.
The Batter Management Display allows users to access all battery information in one display. This includes voltage, current flows, time to full/empty and status of battery health.
“When you’re out on your boat, you do not want to spend your time searching for faults or dealing with small issues,” says Petter Andolf. “By giving you a complete overview of your boat’s batteries, the Battery Management Display allows you to be more proactive in maintaining healthy batteries, and when faults do occur, it is far easier to locate the source.”
The system is optional for boat builders to offer its customers and the first Battery Management Solutions are being installed in boats right now.
Kull said he new battery management system will allow boat builders to simplify and clean up the installation of the electric system.
"It’s all tied in together through the internal vessel control system of IPS,” she said. “It’s part of our push to be a totally integrated package – one call for the boat builders who order the system; one call for the boat dealer be trained on and sell the system, and how to service the system; and one call for the consumer knowing that it’s all built to be used together and serviced together.”
All of the new products will be released to the industry at the International Boatbuilder Exhibitors Conference in October at the Volvo Penta booth. Consumers will begin seeing this line on the water at the Fort. Lauderdale Boat Show in November.