Early this year, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Volvo Penta launched the industry’s first fully-integrated Assisted Docking system, a game-changing next step in the Inboard Performance System (IPS) experience. Now, in one of the first customer tests, Tiara Yachts explores how the new technology makes docking a boat easier and safer than ever before.
Tiara Yachts was one of the first yacht brands in the world to test the Volvo Penta Assisted Docking technology. Tiara Yachts’ President and CEO, Tom Slikkers, took this newfound tech for a test drive and he was not disappointed…
A worthy judge and a long-term partner
Established in 1955, Tiara Yachts was one of the early adopters of the Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (IPS), collaborating with Volvo Penta on the first generation of the product. They know the technology well and are keen to be involved in its progression. All this made them the ideal candidate to test the new Assisted Docking system. The companies have worked together to install this new technology into a Tiara Yacht 44 Coupe and the system was tested by the team at Tiara as well as its dealers.
“Tiara is a legacy brand,” explains Tom. “We focus on what’s going to help build, create and sustain value through a long period of ownership. We joined Volvo Penta many years ago to help revolutionize the inboard segment. The Assisted Docking system is another add-on to the Volvo Penta IPS fully integrated experience. The way Volvo Penta incorporates components, gives us the confidence to be able to sell a package that’s been fully integrated, fully vetted, has great performance and safety and, is innovative.”
Calm, confident, control
The Assisted Docking system is designed to give the Captain better control when docking a boat by automating his or her intentions, compensating for some dynamic variables, and helping the vessel stay on its intended course. The system is a hybrid between automated docking and manual docking – giving the Captain enhanced control without fully taking over.
“Docking is a rather stressful procedure – even for seasoned Captains,” explains Tom. “The Assisted Docking system slows the whole process down. It creates a much calmer experience. This feature has given a lot of potential confidence to the customer.”
Safe and reliable docking
Docking a boat by yourself can be challenging. Wind, current, movement of the boat all make it harder to maneuver safely; Volvo Penta’s new Assisted Docking system helps to better manage those variables
“I was surprised by the level of hold that the Dynamic Positioning System was capable of,” says Tom. “I wasn’t prepared for being able to compensate for that much wind or that much current. Ultimately, this system allows you to think: It doesn’t matter where I am or what the conditions are, I’m still going to be confident. I think this is something attractive to a lot of people.”
Martin Bjuve, President of Volvo Penta Americas explains that: “this Assisted Docking technology is another industry first. The system will for sure reduce the pulse of any captain, experienced or non-experienced. It's a concrete example of how, from undocking to docking, Volvo Penta is making the boating experience even easier.”
Driving innovation forward together
The Assisted Docking system will gradually be introduced – in a step-by-step process – starting in Spring 2021. It will be available for installation on new boat models, as an upgradeable option for Volvo Penta IPS-equipped motor yachts sized 35ft to 120ft long. The Assisted Docking system will be sold directly to Original Equipment Manufacturers.
“This is the easiest potential docking scenario that there’s ever been and it’s a game-changing next step in the Volvo Penta IPS experience,” says Tom. “And it’s only going to get better. We look forward to working with Volvo Penta on exciting new developments. Let’s keep making it better.”
Learn more at Volvo Penta’s Assisted Docking webinar, where Dave O'Connell, Head of Sales & Marketing, Tiara Yachts also appeared
Hear more from Tom Slikkers in this short clip