Pulling It Off
Drop the sailor´s cap and put on some racing goggles. With its new Inboard Performance System (IPS), Volvo Penta is boosting the comfort and white-knuckle fun of yachting. Volvo engineers built
forward-facing propellers-like those in prop-driven airplanes-and stacked them side-by-side directly beneath the engines. Instead of pushing on water that´s already been chopped up by the engine, the blades pull on undisturbed drink, increasing efficiency and thrust. The IPS should be able to squeeze out 30 percent more horsepower; in tests, Volvo reported, it´s 20 percent faster. But it´s not all about speed. The entire propulsion system can turn like a rudder, so parking your 45-footer in a slinky slip won´t be nerve-wracking. Progressive electronic steering-a first in boating-will make it easy to turn the wheel at low speed, hard at high speed. And boaters will have a more civilized ride, thanks to vibration-dampening seals swaddling the drive unit, and submerged exhaust outlets that reduce rumbling. The good life just got better.