Seven Marine and Volvo Penta team up to provide outboards with an IPS joystick and big boat features.
from southernboating.com April 2019
When Volvo Penta became the majority owner of Seven Marine in 2017, most boaters and industry insiders wondered what these two highly innovative companies would come up with working together. We are now seeing the results of their collaboration with Volvo’s drive technology coupled to Seven Marine’s powerful outboard engines. Volvo Penta pioneered sterndrive technology in the 1950s and continues to produce high-performance Aquamatic Stern Drives today. Coupling the same type of robust lower units from their stern drives to an outboard created the new Seven Marine 527 CR. This not only provides the power and efficiency of their DuoProp counter-rotating (CR) propellers but also creates outboards that use Volvo Penta’s EVC (Electronic Vessel Control) systems and joysticks. There are many benefits of this pairing and I was able to experience them firsthand during the Miami International Boat Show where Tiara introduced the new Seven Marine/Volvo Penta 527 CR outboard package on their Sport 38LS.
Tiara is an innovator of new technologies and has a long history with Volvo Penta. They worked closely together when the Volvo IPS debuted and the Tiara 38 Open was launched, one of the first IPS-powered boats in 2004. This ongoing collaboration demonstrates how popular IPS and Volvo’s EVC system with joystick control has become. One of the primary benefits of this new system is that the same joystick used on larger inboard applications is now fully integrated into these outboards. Anyone who has driven with an IPS can maneuver the outboards with the same precision and ease, including joystick driving and docking. The optional package on the Tiara also has Volvo’s Glass Cockpit helm (in partnership with
Garmin), dynamic positioning, autopilot-joystick integration, and Easy Connect remote connectivity.
Robbie Massengill of Seven Marine demonstrated the benefits of this new system on a rainy, choppy day on Miami’s Biscayne Bay. The joystick moved the boat sideways straight off the dock and when he kicked the boat into forward gear, there was a slight shift noise that was more of a muffled echo than the loud gear clunk many outboards make. The lower units of these big outboards use an electronically controlled 90 ZF wet disc clutch and heavy-duty gears with a 2.55:1 gear ratio designed to handle the big torque needed to produce the thrust necessary to drive larger and heavier boats.
In a three-foot chop with winds gusting to 20, the 6.2-liter V8 outboards pushed the Tiara onto plane rapidly and once trimmed, sped easily through the waves. You can fully drive the boat with the joystick, which felt strange at first. With the throttles set and the course set, it was easy to sit back and steer the boat using only the joystick with the ability to dodge an obstacle to either side and come back to your original heading. You can also reset the heading using the joystick, handy if currents play havoc with your direction. Maneuvering the boat through turns with the joystick worked flawlessly despite my ingrained urge to grab the wheel.
Another interesting benefit of the DuoProp outboards is their ability to keep the boat on plane at slow speeds. Once on plane, the RPMs were slowly reduced and the boat kept on plane down to a speed of 15 mph (13 knots). This is something many outboard-powered boats can’t do. They can run slow at displacement speeds and run fine once on plane, but there is a gap where they can’t really run at intermediate slow speeds. The added surface area of the DuoProps and
their counter-rotation reduces cavitation and allows these engines to effectively drive the boat through a wider range of speeds.
To further demonstrate the system’s “big boat” abilities, the boat sat at idle and the dynamic positioning system (DPS) was engaged. The big Sevens gently rumbled and held the boat in place despite the persistent push from the wind and waves. It was remarkable how well it worked in these adverse conditions. The conditions also showed how well the Seakeeper 3 stabilizer works. The boat remained comfortable even while locked on DPS in the open, windswept bay.
The Seven Marine 527 CR outboard demonstrates that combining two innovative companies like Volvo Penta and Seven Marine can lead to great things. “The combination of Volvo Penta DuoProp technology and Seven Marine’s high-horsepower rating makes it possible to push larger and heavier boats more efficiently at all speeds,” says Massengill, strategic account manager of Seven Marine. “The result is improved low-speed maneuvering and planing, faster time to plane, enhanced power, and improved fuel efficiency across speed ranges. Additionally, the DuoProps dramatically reduce cavitation, even when running in rough seas.” seven-marine.com