GOTHENBURG, Sweden — Volvo Penta on Wednesday introduced a joystick helm control system — Joystick Inboard — for conventional twin inboard-powered boats as well as another size range of its Inboard Performance System (IPS).
This one-two punch highlighted a new-product media event that brought about 100 journalists from around the globe to Volvo Penta’s Krossholmen test center in Gothenburg.
“Lately, in the last four to five years, we have been growing our business quite substantially in the yacht segments. Today our [engines] are in boats up to 100 feet,” Björn Ingemanson, president of Volvo Penta, told journalists. “We are focused very much on integration — on our electronic platform and our ‘Easy Boating’ concept. That is something we will talk a lot about today. We are very proud to have total solutions for our OEMs and partners.”
The IPS teams a new pod and an eight-liter diesel, the Volvo Penta D8. The IPS700 uses a 550-hp D8; the IPS800 works with a 600-hp D8. The D8, an inline six-cylinder diesel, is new to the recreational marine market, but it has been in production for Volvo trucks and buses since 2013.
The IPS700/800 can be used in twin and triple installations on boats from 45 to 55 feet. The IPS range now spans 350 to 900 hp. The engine maker introduced IPS in 2005, and its accompanying joystick followed in 2006. Joystick control for Volvo Penta sterndrive applications was introduced in 2009.
Now Volvo Penta has applied its joystick technology to conventional shaft-drive inboard diesel boats. Joystick Inboard can be used with all electronically controlled Volvo Penta diesel engines from D3 (150 hp) to D13 (900 hp) in twin applications. Joystick Inboard uses the engine propellers, electrical steerage of the rudders and a bow thruster to maneuver the boat.
Seven test boats ranging from 22 to 56 feet, including runabouts, pilothouse cruisers and motoryachts, were rigged with Volvo Penta engines, drives and vessel controls.
Joystick Inboard was installed on a Cranchi sport yacht, powered with twin 600-hp D8 diesels. (Trade Only’s coverage of the event in the July issue will include my impressions of how the system works and compares to joystick with IPS.)
With Joystick Inboard’s arrival, Volvo Penta now has joystick helm control for all of its propulsion drive applications — pods, sterndrives and shafts.
“Regardless of the propulsion system, we can offer the same kind of user experience, the same kind of features,” said Fredrik Celander, a manager in business development and product planning.
Volvo Penta also said at the event that it has broadened its range of multifunction display screens for its Glass Cockpit; has introduced its own battery management system; and will extend its trim control and boat stabilization offerings through the acquisition earlier this year of the Swedish company Humphree.
Automatic boat stabilization, IPS, Joystick Inboard, battery management and Glass Cockpit are all part of the Easy Boating equation, which drives the company, Volvo Penta officials said.
“I am very determined to make sure we are here 20 years from now, leading this market,” Johan Carlsson, Volvo Penta vice president of product planning, product development and purchasing, said during his presentation.
“That is really the challenge. To do so you have to have an idea of where boating is going and come up with technology that supports the development we think will happen on the market.”