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FYI: December 2004

FYI — December 2004
By Brad Dunn
   
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Extra! Extra!, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With... Capt. John Pettengill, and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
PMY recently test-drove one of the most revolutionary vessels to be developed in decades: Cruisers Yachts’ 400 Express. Although elements of overall design were noteworthy, what made this particular model so flat-out fantastic was its mind-boggling, new Volvo Penta propulsion system. Dubbed the Inboard Performance System, or IPS, it stands to change the way the boating world looks at inboard power over the next few years.

In early October Capt. Bill Pike tested a version of the IPS-equipped 400 on Lake Michigan, not far from Cruisers Yachts’ facility in Oconto, Wisconsin. There was little more to the boat at the time than two IPS units, an open hull reinforced athwartship with aluminum I-beams, and a bunch of lead pigs and sandbags to simulate the presence of normal components. The helm area consisted of a small plywood walkway supported and surrounded by two-by-fours, with a steering wheel and trim tab controls temporarily installed.

Pike was so seriously whipped up by his sea trial he couldn’t sleep the night afterwards, choosing instead to draw diagrams on hotel stationary in an attempt to understand some of the more exceptional close-quarters maneuvering characteristics he’d observed. Open-water performance kept him awake, too. By all reports, IPS boosts both speed and fuel economy—at presstime Cruisers test engineers were getting a top hop that was 6 mph faster than a comparison boat with an extra 120 hp. They also reported an efficiency at WOT of 1 mpg versus 0.6 mpg for the comparo vessel. Moreover, Pike said acceleration was head-snapping, turning was tight, and tracking was superb at all speeds.

Specifics on IPS are being withheld by both Volvo Penta and Cruisers until the unit’s formal introduction at the upcoming Miami International Boat Show. However, general information on the system, particularly as it relates to close-quarters maneuvering, will appear in the January issue of PMY, based on Pike’s continued testing.

A fully technical story (with photos and drawings), as well as an analysis of the test data PMY continues to collect on IPS, will appear in the February issue.

88,633
Total miles of coastal shoreline in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii

Things We Like
PMY associate editor Elizabeth Ginns Britten spotted this patch of green turf dur­ing a tour of the 144-foot charter yacht Four Wishes in Newport, Rhode Island. Apparently the owner not only provides charterers with a slew of marine toys, but also one typically land-based luxury: a personal driving range. Charter Four Wishes, and you can tee off to your heart’s content. Best of all, the boat is stocked with floating golf balls, so you can swing around, pick them up, and save yourself a few bucks. Because, when you’re pay­ing $120,000 per week ($130,000 dur­ing the sum­mer) to charter the boat, every penny counts.

December
1-3. The International Workboat Show in New Orleans, Louisiana. (207) 842-5508. www.workboatshow.com.
2-5. The Boat Show in Tampa, Florida. (954) 441-3220. www.tampaboatshow.com. (Postponed from September 16 because of Hurricane Ivan.)
3-13. The Paris International Boat Show in France. (33) 141-90-4710. www.salonnautiqueparis.com

Next page > A Word With...Capt. John Pettengill, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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