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Volvo Penta

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7 New Must-See Marine Engines, by Capt. Richard Thiel (continued)

Volvo Penta FWD

Volvo Penta gets my vote for the most unusual introduction at the show. Its Forward Drive (FWD) combines an adjustable-trim drive unit with contrarotating forward-facing props. Why has Volvo, which has always used aft-facing props for their stern-drives, suddenly done an about face—literally? The answer is wakeboarding. Volvo says FWD not only lets the driver customize a boat’s wake for different ability levels but also offers a “unique symmetrical wakeboarding wake and equally shaped wakesurfing wake on your side of choice.”

This technology might also prove to be a safer option for tow boats because the props won’t be as close to the vessel’s transom. FWD can be mated to five gasoline V-8 engines ranging from 300 to 430 horsepower.

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