Volvo Penta has good news for cruising powerboat owners. It just introduced a new D8 diesel engine for boats in the 45- to 55-foot range, larger IPS pod drives for that engine, and new joystick controls for traditional shaft drives, all under the company’s theme of “Easy Boating.”
The new D8 diesel is designed for both IPS and inboard shaft drives, giving cruising powerboat owners a broader selection of power systems. The D8 is an eight-liter, six-cylinder, inline diesel; it’s new to the recreational boating market, although it’s been used in Volvo trucks and buses for the past three years.
When paired to IPS pod drives, the D8 comes in two configurations. The D8 IPS700 produces 550 hp; the D8 IPS800 produces 600 hp. Both are designed for twin or triple installations in 45- to 55-foot boats, offering state-of-the-art fuel efficiency and high torque at low rpms. Volvo has considerable experience with IPS drives; the company introduced the first IPS in 2005 and then tied it to fingertip joystick control a year later. (I spent three days on the first experimental Volvo IPS boat, a Tiara 37, on Lake Erie and Lake Huron, and was simply blown away at the time; the low-speed maneuverability, as we all now know, was amazing.)
In addition to the new IPS drives, Volvo is also introducing a new joystick control for conventional shaft drives, which can be used with all electronically controlled Volvo diesels from the D3 (150 hp) to the D13 (900 hp). The joystick operates the props, the rudders and a bow thruster in twin inboard configurations to maneuver the boat. With this system, Volvo now offers joystick helm control for all drive systems: pods, shafts and sterndrives. For the future, Ron Hubers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas, says the company “will continue to invest in innovation so that East Boating becomes a way of life on the water.”