North America

Australian boat-builder pioneers new sport craft with Volvo Penta Forward Drive

Award-winning Australian boat-builder, Cruise Craft, is pioneering a new sport vessel with Volvo Penta Forward Drive. As one of the premier fishing boat producers in Australia, the company is now branching out into the sport market due to the cutting edge technology offered by Volvo Penta’s latest marine leisure propulsion system.


Cruise Craft’s 6-meter R6S model is the first new boat in Australia to be launched with Volvo Penta Forward Drive (FWD). The Brisbane-based company has chosen to move into the watersport market – in addition to continuing to produce its reputable series of fishing boats – because of the advantages offered by FWD. And the new boat coincides with Cruise Craft celebrating its 70 th anniversary as one of Australia’s premier boat-builders.

“We’re known as one of the best producers of fishing boats in Australia,” says Cruise Craft director, Nathan Nichols. “But we thought this would be a good chance to move into the sport boat market for waterskiing and wakesurfing, by taking advantage of Volvo Penta’s new Forward Drive propulsion system. One of the great things about Forward Drive is that you can create the wake you want.”

Volvo Penta Forward Drive offers the best combination of the company’s Sterndrive, Duoprop and IPS technology, leveraging decades of research and development. Uniquely engineered with two forward-facing counter-rotating propellers that pull the boat through the water rather than pushing it, FWD gives small-craft leisure boaters excellent performance, efficiency, comfort and versatility.

Proven Duoprop technology provides superior grip, smooth and fast acceleration to high top speeds, and increased fuel economy. Exceptional responsiveness and directional thrust enable tight, fast turns; and minimal cavitation and zero side force provide all-round enhanced efficiency. Low vibration and noise increase onboard comfort; and as exhaust fumes flow down into the prop wash rather than up around the stern, boaters can be assured of an enjoyable ride.

Sporting fun
One of the main benefits of Volvo Penta Forward Drive is that as opposed to a fixed inboard motor, FWD’s variable trim easily adjusts upwards for superb watersports action, cruising or docking. In normal cruise operations, the boat creates a symmetrical wake, but with the power trim and enlarged trim plate deployed, the operator can customize the wake on either side, making the system versatile for many fun leisure activities such as wakeboarding or waterskiing.

Furthermore, the position of the forward-facing propellers and the lowered drive trim when the boat is at rest, create an appropriately safe water space behind the stern for swimming and fishing. All-in-all, the FWD system offers great flexibility for thrill-seeking sports enthusiasts and boaters who desire to participate in a variety of leisure pursuits.

Celebrating success
Cruise Craft produced its prototype R6S earlier this year to gauge customer feedback and will launch it publicly on August 12, to coincide with the company’s landmark anniversary.

“We’ve been going for 70 years, and have been using Volvo Penta engines for around 50 years,” adds Nichols. “We have many loyal customers as we have a good pedigree and heritage, and it’s exciting for us to showcase this concept boat with a new propulsion system, to cross into a new market. It shows that we offer world-class boats and that we have a good partnership with Volvo Penta.”

Vovlo Penta Forward Drive was launched in 2015 as a unique, dynamic propulsion system capable of big wakes, smooth cruises and everything in between.

“The leisure sport market is hugely popular in countries such as Australia, and it’s a growth market for us,” says Andrew Nicholson, head of Volvo Penta Oceania. “We spent a lot of time listening to customers to develop Forward Drive as an efficient, user-friendly engine, which can provide both comfort and an exhilarating ride. “It’s fantastic that Cruise Craft has decided to seize the opportunity of using Forward Drive in a new boat for the watersports market. We wish them every success for the next 70 years.”