North America

Yacht captain tests Volvo Penta IPS1350

Volvo Penta IPS is a world-renowned system, but don’t take it from us. We invited Matthew Conner to test the yacht he formerly captained, which has been repowered with our D13-IPS1350 system. During his test drive, he shared input about the differences that he sees, hears and feels.


The Azimut 68 is a luxury sports yacht, which is currently being used as a test boat at Volvo Penta’s Krossholmen test facility in Gothenburg, Sweden. Matthew Conner, the French based captain, knows his way around the boat well, having captained it from 2008- 2016. Back then the boat was fitted with an Inboard shaft installation with V-drive gearboxes, but that’s all changed. His instinctive knowledge of the vessel makes him the perfect contender to test the advantages of its Volvo Penta D13 engines and IPS 1350 system.

The Repowering
Volvo Penta’s Yacht Segment Product Manager, Björn Rönnvall led the repowering of the Azimut 68 at Krossholmen. The team worked to replace the inboard shaft installation with our Volvo Penta IPS system and completely rebuilt the engine room. Björn worked hands-on with the installation to make sure every detail was fine tuned to optimize the IPS installation. With a little help from a trusted ship builder 3rd party supplier, adjustments to the hull itself were made and voila the transformation was complete. But what would the former captain make of all this? We invited him to our Gothenburg test facility so he could take the boat out for a spin and see for himself.

Testing the waters
“Pulling away from the dock I could already feel the difference” exclaimed Matthew. The overall ease of use is facilitated by the joystick which makes it extremely easy to navigate and delivers unrivaled maneuverability. While features like the Dynamic Positioning System provide an automated way to maintain position – even in high winds and rough current. “After that I was raring to see what the boat could now do at speed.”

“We got out of the speed restriction zone and it was time to put IPS to the real test – speed.” Matthew recalls, “I was amazed how smooth the ride was even when we were running at 35 knots. The main thing that struck me was the low noise level.” The Volvo Penta IPS1350 system is best in class for noise level, with up to a 50% reduction compared to inboard shaft installation and this is the result of a major reduction in vibration levels which makes your ride smoother and more comfortable. Additionally, the interceptor system handles the boat trim – delivering increased stability and control – even in rough seas.

Going the extra mile
Matthew was won over by Volvo Penta’s IPS system after a day of test driving and it was hard to tear him away from his “new” old yacht. If he had stayed a little longer, he would have experienced the long-term economic and environmental benefits of this boat. With a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and a longer cruising range than its contemporary systems, this yacht is now able to make a non-stop journey, such as going from Cannes to Mallorca without the need to refuel. So, you can focus on what really matters: enjoying the journey.

“I’m really impressed with this system. Well done Volvo Penta, you’ve made it simpler, easier and safer for people to operate large boats with their families in. I’m sold,” said the yacht’s former captain Matthew Conner.

Watch Matthew Conner’s test story here >

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