Volvo Penta IPS 600


Not Your Father’s Propulsion System

The Island Pilot 435 comes standard with a pair of 435 HP Volvo Penta IPS 600 Drives. The reason Volvo Penta named this system the 600 is that with 435 HP, the drive performs like a traditional angled shaft installation fitted with 600 HP motors. You get more performance with less fuel, less weight and less cost.

  • Motors02Two motors rather than one - Many of the fast trawlers in this size and class are fitted with a single diesel. The IP435 has a pair of marine diesels adding up to 870 HP. By having a pair of motors, you have the redundancy and handling of a twin screw boat (actually a four-screw boat with two props per motor), at no additional expense. (Many make the argument that most diesels failures, about 90%, are due to fuel problems, causing both motors to fail. That may be true, but that leaves 10% of failures caused by something else than fuel. When one of these failures occurs, at least you’ll have one motor still running. Also, even with fuel caused stoppages, both motors do not tend to fail simultaneously. That extra time on one motor may mean the difference between saving your boat or not!)
  • 12 cylinders (total) - The Volvo Penta D6 are pure bred Marine engines - not converted industrial or truck motors. As a result, they are meant for the environment and use they are put to in a fast trawler that is going to see a lot of cruising. They are smooth, quiet, don’t smell or smoke (the exhaust is through the drive unit under water).
  • 4 props - Each motor as a pair of counter rotating propellers. These are an extremely efficient way to get power from the motor to the water. Likewise, the stern drives have less drag than typical inboard installations, leading to even more efficiency, both at slower displacement speeds and at planing speeds. More efficiency means less fuel used per hour.
  • Latest Stern Drive Technology - With the IPS Drive, Volvo Penta has created a product that is meant to survive in the ocean environment. . These steerable pod drives will require less maintenance than your standard drive train with shaft, propeller, rudder, bearings, stuffing boxes, tiller arms, etc.

How does a 30% increase in performance sound?

There is a good reason to use Volvo Penta IPS drives - a 30% increase in performance. This translates into getting to where you’re going at a cruising speed of 30% more than your buddy who has a similar-sized craft with the same horsepower or using 30% less fuel at the same speeds! In an era of increasing fuel prices, this is a real benefit. (You can read more about both systems at www.volvopenta.com)

Were does this performance boost come from?

  • IPS_Props02Counter-rotating dual propellers. The after propeller captures much of the lost energy spun off by a single prop and converts it to added thrust.
  • Less drag. The lower unit of a ”pod” drive presents much less water resistance than does all the gear associated with a traditional power train, whether it’s a single or dual. There is no additional rudder, struts, keel(s), shafts to disturb the water flow; only a sleek lower unit sized just big enough to house the gears. The below-water exhaust exits the hubs, filling the void left by the drive itself, reducing drag even further.
  • Props are always running parallel to the the direction of the boat. The props are not tilted down as in a shaft installation but run parallel to the boat’s bottom, perpendicular to the water flow.

What about maintenance?

These drives are cast of heavy bronze - they will not corrode. In the event you hit something, they typically will suffer no damage - the props may need to be repaired or replaced (it takes less than an hour to swap out a pair of props). In some cases a shaft may be bent - this takes 2 hours to swap out. In extreme hits (like a rock or container at speeds of 25 knots plus) the entire drive is designed to sheer off, with no compromising the hull’s integrity. If this were to happen, most likely it would be in shallow water - the drive could be recovered and refitted onto the mount. In any case, the boat will not be out of the water in excess of a few days.

What is the Joy Stick?

The Joy Stick is Magic! When you slow down to maneuver, you can take complete control with the Joy Stick. Most likely you’ll learn everything you need to know about using it in minutes.IslandPilot_JoyStick402

  • Rotate the Joy Stick and the Island Pilot rotates around  her center point (right about where you’re sitting).
  • Push the Joy Stick forward - the Island Pilot slides forward. Rotate the Joy Stick while pushing forward, and she steers just like with the steering wheel.
  • Push the Joy Stick backward - the Island Pilot glides aft completely under control. As when going forward, if you rotate at the same time, the boat steers positively in reverse at slow speeds.
  • Push the Joy Stick to the side - the Island Pilot parallel parks - she actually goes sideways. If the wind blows the bow off a bit, just rotate a bit while still pushing to the side and she comes up into the wind. You can control this motion an inch at a time.
  • Push the Joy Stick forward and to the side, and the Island Pilot “crabs” - going on an angle without changing her heading - perfect for easing into a fuel dock against the current and wind.
  • There is NO bow thruster. All this is done with the steerable pods reacting to commands initiated by you with the Joy Stick. Need a bit more power? Put her into high-power mode. If you’re ready to go cruising, just shift into gear (with the normal gear shift/throttles), and the Joy Stick disengages. There is NO GOING BACK to any other type of of propulsion system once you experience for yourself the complete control offered by the IPS Joy Stick. Island Pilot is the ONLY trawler in production using this state-of-the-art technology.
  • We are now including a 3rd Joystick to the aft cockpit. This will belocated on the port side (the other helm positions are to starboard) to allow single-handed docking (to port) and easy backing into slips.


Read Volvo Penta’s Press Release on the D-Series Diesels.

To read more about the Volvos, check out Bits & Pieces...