|FYI — December 2004|
|By Brad Dunn|
Extra! Extra! Read
All About It!
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.
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This article originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.