Pod Wars on Mad Mariner

Mad Mariner LogoI wrote a continuation of the engine series for Mad Mariner last week covering the ultimate in recreational marine propulsion — the steerable pod drives from Volvo Penta and Cummins MerCruiser Diesel, known as IPS and Zeus, respectively.  Take a look at the piece here and then log on to the discussion forums at Mad Mariner to talk a little more about it.  These units are the next wave and I’m pretty confident in saying that they will be at least an option, if not standard on most new boats within the next five years or so.  Volvo Penta was the first to bring these to market and they’ve got quite a headstart over CMD’s Zeus; there are reportedly more than 2,000 boats afloat already with the IPS systems installed.  There were about 25 different models on display at the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and I expect more announcements from Volvo Penta at the Miami show next February.

The CMD people have scored some nice applications for their Zeus drives, too.  Have a look under the Boats, Yachts and Ships article category here for a piece I did on Grand Banks’ newly announced 41 EU Heritage model, which will feature Zeus drives and a full second stateroom made possible by the compact pod-drive installation.  In the Mad Mariner piece I describe a test drive I took on a 2008 Sea Ray 44 Sundancer equipped with Zeus.  If you’ve never actually been aboard one of these boats, the performance is truly jaw-dropping.  Not only does the boat maneuver around the docks as if its on rails, but it accelerates like a rocketship and carves turns at high speed like a Formula 1 race car.  In fact, it can turn so sharply that it will generate LARGE g-forces, large enough that you really have to warn the crew ahead of time and then hang on for dear life.  Amazing.

So, head on over to Mad Mariner and read about what your next boat might have on it — or should I say, underneath it?

Copyright ©  Tom Tripp 2007

Posted by Tom in Technology

A Floating Ovation, Please…

At the recently concluded Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Silverton Marine welcomed the newest boat brand to the party — Ovation.  And along with the brand came the first model — the 52 Ovation, a sleek, luxurious sedan bridge

Ovation 52 Debuts at Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

Ovation 52 Debuts at Fort Lauderdale Boat Show


cruiser with a state-of-the-art triple Volvo IPS engine installation.  It is a beautiful boat, exceedingly well equipped and with fit and finish on a par with such brands as Marquis by Carver.  It features a massive master stateroom amidships, with a full queen VIP forward and twins in a port stateroom.  A raised galley and dinette forward have great all-around views and the salon features a big screen TV on a lift, along with plenty of seating for showings of Master and Commander during the evenings aboard.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the 52 Ovation is its drive package — triple IPS600 pod drives that will undoubtedly pop this big boat right out of the hole and onto plane.  They’re set way back under the cockpit sole with lots of extra room forward for the big genny and storage (or watermakers and whatever else you might want to add).


Getting the most of these big IPS drives only requires that you learn to drive the boat with the IPS joystick — a simple task.  Move it right and the boat goes to the right.  Twist it left and the bow swings to port.  Push it forward and you’re moving forward.  It will change your world, especially around the dock.  It will also help cool off your credit card at the fuel dock.  Volvo Penta claims — and early adopters seem to concur — that these drives are nearly 30 percent more fuel efficient that straight shaft and prop installations of the same horsepower.

Ovation 52 Engine Room with Volvo Penta IPS Engines

Ovation 52 Engine Room with Volvo Penta IPS Engines

Silverton says the 52 Ovation will list for approximately $1.3 million, which is a competitive price for a luxury sedan of this size and with this kind of power.  It has features that will make cruising even easier, like a Nautical Structures 800# davit hidden in the transom, along with the big swim platform.  It has wide sidedeck walkways all the way to the bow for safer line and anchor handling underway. 



Helm Aboard the new Ovation 52

Helm Aboard the new Ovation 52

And frankly, the bridge is where you will want to host all your parties from now on.  Lots of great seating, a chill chest, barbecue and views all around.


Take a look at the specs provided by Silverton for this boat, then plan to check it out at the Miami show in February.  Or, you can visit the new brand’s website at:  www.ovationyachts.com

  Standard Power Triple Volvo 500 IPS Diesel  
  Optional Power Triple Volvo 600 IPS Diesel  
  Length Overall 52 Feet 15.8 Meters
  Beam 16 Feet, 4 Inches 4.9 Meters
  Draft 48 Inches 1.22 Meters
  Deadrise 13 Degrees  
  Appoximate Dry Weight 52,000 Pounds 23,608 Kilograms
  Fuel Capacity 610 Gallons 2,309 Liters
  Water Capacity 200 Gallons 757 Liters
  Holding Tank Capacity 80 Gallons 303 Liters
  Headroom [Minimum} 6 Feet, 6 Inches 1.98 Meters
  Sleeps 6  
  Clearance Height, DWL No Light 17 Feet, 9 Inches 5.41 Meters

Copyright © 2007 Thomas M. Tripp

Posted by Tom in Boats, Technology