FEBRUARY 7, 2020
By Christopher Swanhart
Since being introduced to North America at the Miami Boat Show in 2005, Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System, or IPS has established itself as a leading propulsion choice among pleasure boat owners and builders. Other suppliers are following suit including the Cummins Mercruiser Zeus system. Pod propulsion offers benefits like increased efficiency, better performance, nimble handling, and low noise levels while allowing more people to successfully operate their vessel due to a friendly operator interface. Features of these commercial pod systems that also benefit builders include ease of installation and the integral underwater exhaust which helps to meet CE requirements, for both exhaust and noise levels. Both IPS and Zeus are fully integrated pod propulsion systems.
Existing vessels can be retro-fitted with these systems while many new vessels are being designed specifically for IPS or Zeus. Donald L. Blount and Associates provides consulting in regards to IPS integration with existing and new designs and has also been involved with designs employing the Zeus system. The first portion of this paper discusses pod drives, particularly IPS itself. (Because the author has substantially more experience and background with IPS, much of the information herein is IPS specific). General information on IPS and Zeus is offered as well as some operational specifics. The paper then focuses on the application of pod drives in existing and new vessel designs. The discussion includes how hull forms can be evaluated for use with pod drives. A look at the integration of pod systems into various types of pleasure boats (cruiser, day boat, fishing yacht, etc) is also covered including the challenges which exist for each specific vessel type.
In case you would like to receive more information or discuss about this subject, please contact Christopher Swanhart.
1. Bjarne, E. “Duo-Prop, Volvo Penta – SSPA.” SSPA, Vol. 1-91.
2. Blount, D.L. and Bartee, R.J. “Design of Propulsion Systems for High-Speed Craft.” Marine Technology, October 1997.
3. Blount, D.L. and Codega, L.T. “Dynamic Stability of Planing Boats.” Marine Technology, January 1992.
4. Hadler, J. “The Prediction of Power Performance of Planing Craft.” SNAME Transactions, Volume 74, 1966.
5. Islam, M. et.al. “Effects of Geometry Variations on the Performance of Podded Propulsors.”
6. Savitsky, D. “Hydrodynamic Design of Planing Hulls.” Marine Technology, October 1964.
Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest points of focus in naval architecture and engineering: subscribe to DLBA’s concise monthly newsletter. Within it, we briefly describe and picture our latest projects and concepts. We encourage feedback and seek to have our newsletter spark conversation regarding potential collaborations and further advancements as we share our passion for the industry.