This year, classic Italian boat builder Absolute is launching yet another Volvo Penta IPS-powered yacht, unveiling its second vessel in the Navetta series at this year’s Cannes Boat Show, September 8 to 13. Absolute, a supporter of Volvo Penta IPS since the beginning, says the system offers its customers room to breathe — the reason it continues to power its yachts with this innovative propulsion system year after year.
Ten years ago, Absolute took a leap of faith and, along with a small group of other boat builders, dared to believe that Volvo Penta IPS could completely change the face of modern leisure boating. It was a bold move but one that Absolute was certain would usher in a new age for the marine industry.
After launching at the London Boat Show in 2005, Volvo Penta IPS became an overnight success. Offering customers unparalleled value, the Inboard Performance System boasted an impressive list of advantages for boat builders and end users. During testing, the high-efficiency system proved to be 20% faster than conventional shaft drives, with 30% lower fuel consumption, 15% greater acceleration, 50% lower noise levels and fewer vibrations.
But there was one more important benefit that made Absolute sure this was the system that would set them apart from their competitors.
“What really captured our imagination was the space Volvo Penta IPS afforded,” says Cesare Mastroianni, sales manager for Absolute. “By using the Inboard Performance System, we could offer customers more comfort and more luxury. Volvo Penta IPS allowed Absolute to modify its interior design process and give end users more space inside the staterooms and living areas.”
Thanks to increased fuel efficiency, the engines could be downsized with no impact on performance. Smaller engines and a more compact engine room, coupled with engine relocation in the hull, instantly created extra space on board — something that couldn’t be achieved in a shaft line system using a conventional engine layout.
Volvo Penta IPS not only changed the way Absolute designed its yachts; the revolutionary system also changed the way end users interacted with the boat. By maximizing on board space, Volvo Penta IPS completely transformed the interior look and feel of the yacht. Offering more space; added comfort, due to fewer vibrations; and more precise handling, Absolute’s first launch with Volvo Penta IPS — the Absolute 56 STC — was an instant success. Unveiled at the Cannes Boat Show in 2006 and containing a triple Volvo Penta 1PS600 system, it was a revolutionary launch as it represented the first boat to ever to be fitted with a multiple installation.
A break in tradition
“We’re a classic Italian boat builder — our heritage is an important part of the Absolute brand,” explains Mastroianni. “But we’re also a builder that wants to experiment and push the boundaries. Volvo Penta IPS has allowed us to merge innovation and tradition. We’re proving to the industry that being modern and progressive doesn’t have to mean forgetting your roots — in an Absolute yacht these elements exist harmoniously.”
At last year’s Cannes Boat Show, Absolute launched a completely new class of yacht, known as Navetta. A series designed to show off Absolute’s unity of tradition and technological innovation — and intended for boaters who want to live on the water — the first boat to debut in this class was the Absolute Navetta 58.
“This boat was designed for someone who wants to spend their life at sea, so it had to offer them the space they needed to feel free,” Mastroianni says.
“When we revealed the Navetta 58 to our customers, they were completely blown away by its spacious, airy interior,” he continues. “Although it’s only 58 feet, we were asked on several occasions if the Navetta 58 was actually a 70 foot yacht — thanks to Volvo Penta IPS, we maximized space and onboard luxury.
At this year’s Cannes Boat Show, Absolute will launch its second yacht in the Navetta range — the Absolute Navetta 52. With their virtually vertical bows, towering topsides and upright screens, the Navetta 52 and Navetta 58 are an excellent mix of tradition and modernity. Both contain twin Volvo Penta IPS600 installations, although the Navetta 58 is also available with the slightly larger IPS800. After winning the ‘Best Boat Design’ award at the London Boat Show in January 2015, the Navetta 58 is setting a high standard for its slightly smaller sister.
“With 90% of its products designed specifically for Volvo Penta IPS — and the other 10% containing Volvo Penta stern drive alternatives — Absolute is a truly global ambassador of Volvo Penta’s,” says Nicola Pomi, Volvo Penta’s head of the Italian marine market. “With a strong presence in leisure markets worldwide, it’s a brand that is helping us prove to the industry that a combination of tradition and innovation can be achieved.”
Absolute is launching its Navetta 52 at the Cannes Boat Show, which will contain a twin Volvo Penta IPS600 installation. The yacht will be moored at PAN 203, while on the Volvo Penta stand (JETEE147), there will be a D13 engine and an IPS3 engine on display, in addition to the revolutionary Glass Cockpit dashboard and the Volvo Penta IPS touch screen.
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