New Tampa Bay pilot boat powered by Volvo Penta IPS

(CHESAPEAKE, Va.) — Volvo Penta has supplied the integrated engine and drive systems for the new Chesapeake-class MKII launch delivered this month by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding to the Tampa Bay Pilots Association.

The new 52.7-foot, 28-knot pilot boat, designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, is powered by twin Volvo Penta D11 six-cylinder 503-hp diesel engines with IPS2 drives and Volvo Penta  EVC electronic steering and control system. Each of the IPS pods has two counter-rotating forward-facing props that pull the boat through the water rather than pushing it. The EVC control system and three-axis joystick will increase the boat’s overall maneuverability alongside a ship and when docking. The system complies with EPA Tier 3 emission standards.

“We selected the Volvo Penta IPS2 for our next-generation Chesapeake-class boats to improve the performance and the arrangement of planing hulls like our pilot boats,” said Peter Duclos, president of Gladding-Hearn. “IPS2 provides what pilots have been asking for — higher speeds, lower fuel consumption and more comfort.”

The boat is also fitted with an interceptor trim-control system supplied by Humphree. “The combination of the Volvo Penta IPS and the Humphree interceptors gives the pilots higher speeds and improved comfort,” said Duclos. “Initial sea trials revealed a 25 percent improvement in fuel consumption over comparable Chesapeake-class vessels, as predicted.”

Last year, Volvo Penta and Gladding-Hearn teamed to produce the first commercial craft in North America to be powered by triple IPS drives and dynamic positioning for automatic hands-off station keeping. The 64-foot Fort Ripley was delivered to Southeast Ocean Response Services in Charleston, S.C.

“Volvo Penta IPS is the perfect solution for modern pilot boats, consistently providing 20 percent faster speed, 30 percent lower fuel consumption, 15 percent faster acceleration and 50 percent lower noise and vibration levels when compared to a traditional shaft installation,” said Marcia Kull, vice president, marine sales, Volvo Penta of the Americas. “It is a true transformative technology that we believe will become the new standard in pilot boat propulsion moving forward.”

This year, Volvo Penta is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the IPS product. The first IPS was unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show in 2005. Since then, Volvo Penta has sold over 17,000 IPS units. Today, the Volvo Penta IPS comes in a range of ten models, from 350 to 1200 hp, in twin, triple or quadruple configurations.

About Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta, with approximately 4,000 dealers in more than 130 countries, is a global manufacturer of engines for leisure boats and commercial vessels, as well as industrial applications. The propulsion program includes diesel and gasoline engines with power outputs between 10 and 900 horsepower. Volvo Penta is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy trucks, buses and construction equipment.

By Professional Mariner Staff