July 1, 2023

Swedish Short Cut

I am nearly sure that with such a title many of you thought that I would go into the short cutting, one way or another boat builders do to turn a bigger profit from boat building.  But this one is not for them, this is for Volvo, and how it keeps sitting on a twelve litre engine platform and climbing the supply ladder chain for larger super yachts.

When the IPS pod appeared in 2005, Volvo said that the project for the propulsion set up, is to make all its light duty engine series available on the platform, henceforth, with the increase in size and its update up to 1000hp thanks to larger pod drives, we arrived to a size limit of about twenty meters for twin engines, and up to about thirty meters thanks to use of triple or quadruple propulsion systems.  

Volvo seeing that triple or quadruple units have not been entering the market they expected above 24 meters, comes with a new idea of fitting twin engines to a single pod drive unit.  Here comes Volvo new IPS40 to launch in 2025 and able to put two engines per drive, bringing maximum horsepower up to twin 1000hp i.e.2000hp per drive.  The drive will also be available with a combustion engine and electric motor set up.

It is an interesting system to be fair, but probably overly complicated, which in itself is not a problem once you are sitting in Volvo friendly waters.  But if you are not?  This has always been the problem with overly complicated systems at sea, an argument which does not stop with Volvo.  Although the Swedish engine and propulsion builder has been at the forefront for trying to change the wheel or the prop in the last couple decades. 

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