Gérard Herisson has always felt at home at the helm. In his youth, he trained as a helicopter engineer, and later a pilot. For years, he flew private clients all over the world. Today, he does the same job, only he’s swapped the air for the sea.
Gérard is the yacht captain of a Sanlorenzo SX88, owned by an Austrian family. From where it’s moored in St. Tropez, he regularly captains the yacht for the family between spring and autumn.
A particular highlight for Gérard is that the Sanlorenzo SX88 is fitted with the Volvo Penta IPS (Inboard Performance System).
“We used to have an 18m motor yacht with traditional inboard shafts, and it has been a nice change for me to go from the shafts to the IPS,” he says.
“What I like about Volvo Penta IPS is that it’s very easy to operate,” adds Gérard. “I feel the same sensations in the IPS that I do in the helicopter joystick. It’s very sensitive but at the same time you can do much bigger movements. It makes my life much easier. Joystick driving offers an easy way to maneuver with precision. It also allows me to steer comfortably at all speeds with only one hand, meaning I have the other hand free to use the radio and communicate with the port staff.”
Another feature that Gérard is particularly fond of is the Dynamic Positioning System. When activated, the Dynamic Positioning System automatically maintains the boat´s heading and position, safely keeping within a very limited area, even during strong currents or windy conditions – perfect when preparing for docking, waiting to refuel, or for a bridge or lock to open.
Docking is made easier still with joystick docking. Gérard simply has to push or rotate the joystick in the desired direction and the boat follows: forward, reverse, sideways, or spins on its own axis. It’s simple and logical, and all maneuvers are totally intuitive.
“The owners were concerned about the vibrations and noise,” says Gérard. “We do a lot of night cruises, and if I don’t use my thrusters, Volvo Penta IPS is really quiet, especially when we are entering the marina at night.”
“The owners are very happy with the comfort of the system. They are going to stick with IPS,” he concludes.
To see Gérard’s story, click here.