Volvo Penta’s next generation gasoline engines power RIBs in the Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Penta’s V6-280 engine is powering the sailing teams’ RIBs in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

Volvo Penta’s next generation gasoline engines power RIBs in the Volvo Ocean Race

Rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) are used by teams in the Volvo Ocean Race to transport crew, equipment and guests. (Image courtesy of Volvo Ocean Race)

A highly efficient low-emission gasoline engine by Volvo Penta has been selected to power the rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) for use in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. The next generation V6-280 sterndrive has been chosen as it provides excellent power and maneuverability, and low emissions. It is the cleanest engine available on the market in the gasoline segment.

“There are compelling environmental reasons for selecting this engine,” says Jan Dahlsten, manager of technical support and product delivery for the Volvo Ocean Race. “It’s a modern engine that is strong and responsive, and at the same time offers class-leading low emissions.”

The RIBs are used by each of the seven teams in the competition, to transport crew, equipment and guests from the Race Village ports to the guest sailing catamarans. Every team has two RIBs and each boat is used in an alternate port, so that the teams’ guest sailing activities can be carried out quickly at the stopovers on the route around the world.

Next generation efficiency
The V6-280 DPS aquamatic sterndrive is an integrated package comprised of a 6-cylinder, 4.3-liter, freshwater-cooled engine and duoprop twin counter-rotating propellers. The compact and lightweight unit has two catalytic converters, direct fuel injection, and variable valve timing, to ensure high fuel efficiency and optimum power and low emissions throughout the whole operating range. It provides excellent handling and impressive acceleration, and hydrocarbon (HC²) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are around 90 per cent lower than a typical outboard engine.

For the Volvo Ocean Race, the RIBs are also equipped with Volvo Penta’s electronic vessel control (EVC; a complete system from helm to prop which links engines with functional controls and software), and Glass Cockpit (a system that integrates operational and monitoring controls in one customizable screen interface).

“As an integrated package, it’s highly efficient and makes driving safe, predictable and fun, while minimizing the environmental footprint,” says Dahlsten. “With our EVC system and the electric throttle, operating the boat is smooth and easy. And the Glass Cockpit System’s navigational screens contribute to a clean, uncluttered helm station.”

Fletch Kennedy, technical shore manager for the Turn the Tide on Plastic team, says: “The RIB is nicely designed with good aesthetics. It carries a lot of people and still provides a comfortable experience for the guests we have onboard. The engine is powerful and its performance is suitable for taking our guests out to the Volvo Ocean 65.”

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