Mad Mariner

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

My Articles for Mad Mariner

Mad Mariner Logo

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of writing for Glen Justice at Mad Mariner ( and I’ve had a chance to work with his great crew there on a number of separate pieces. 

The first piece was an overview of the engine choices available to boaters today; covering everything from outboards to the drive pods of Volvo Penta and Cummins MerCruiser Diesel.  Have a look at it here: Story link…

The article talks about how 4-stroke outboards dominate that market segment, with the notable exception of the Evinrude E-TEC line of high-pressure injected 2-strokes.  We also covered basic gas-powered inboards, dominated by computer-controlled, fuel-injected models from companies like Crusader, MerCruiser and Volvo Penta.  Diesels, too, are going electronic and the benefits are significant — better fuel economy, smoother and quieter operation, and drastically reduced smoke and emissions.  The article ends with a discussion of the next wave in marine propulsion, the steerable pod drives now in service with Volvo Penta IPS and coming from Cummins MerCruiser Diesel with the Zeus units.

If you haven’t seen Mad Mariner yet, go check it out.  Glen’s many years of experience as a New York Times reporter gives the site a major leg up over other online boating sites.  He’s got a great collection of basic reference articles and good, hard news, too.  I’m proud to be associated with him and his team.

Copyright ©  Tom Tripp 2007

Posted by Tom in Website news