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Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by Dissapointed, Jul 18, 2018.
Never ever would I buy pod boat. Merc or Volvo.
Your loss. I’d argue more consumer dollars have been wasted on sterndrive corrosion damage than Zeus pods.
Just my opinion. That may be true too. Slipped a outdrive for 15 years and I'll never do that again either.
I would consider volvo... I wouldn't consider zeus i don't see how this system will continue to be developed. It at least seems that volvo's penta system is being continually developed/improved .
Obviously I agree with you. I think there is a growing tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water with pod drives. It’s unfortunate because if you can use the benefits of a pod drive the additional expense is justified.
I'm with you Henry, everyone I know with Volvo pods is happy and they have models that go up to 1200 HP...
I agree that Volvo IPS drives seem to be doing better than their Mercruiser counterpart.
The reality check is that Sea Ray largest 2020 boat only uses Bravo III stern drives. So given Sea Ray and Mercruiser are owned by Brunswick.....it would seem the age of pod drives (and inboards) for at least Sea Ray boats is over.
I don't know of a single 2020 boat manufacturer that is using Zeus drives which gives me the impression that the product line is finished.
I would be seriously concerned if I owned a boat with Zeus pods. Hopefully Volvo sees it as a business opportunity.
The standard power package for Sabre is now Volvo IPS of various hp rating. The only model in the lineup with Cummins Zeus as an option is the 42, all of the others just have Volvo IPS of different horsepower as options.
I'm a big fan of Cummins engines and the company. However, we must remember they share a good bit of the blame for this particular product. This is from their current ACTIVE website page on the product.
You raise an interesting point....If on the Sabre the drives are interchangeable ......I wonder if that might be a long term option to replace the Zeus drives with Volvo IPS.
A couple of my mechanic friends with experience on both say it could be done if Volvo made an adapter for Cummins. As it stands now you would need to change the engines as well which would be ridiculous. It just seems like a business opportunity for Volvo depending on how many Zeus boats are out there.
It would make financial sense for example on a $500k plus boat to change the drives if the IPS conversion was less than $100k. It certainly could improve the resale value.
That’s an outcome I hadn’t considered. I’d be willing to bet physical substitution wouldn’t be a major issue as Sabre can, and has offered both over the years in the same hull. That said, the IPS drives are mounted perpendicular to the dead rise, and I believe Zeus are mounted vertically parallel with the boat’s vertical centerline. So besides the obvious hole size difference, there would probably be structural fiberglass work needed to the hull.
The biggest obstacle in my mind might be software. The Volvo EVC system is an integrated power train drive by wire set up, i.e. throttle, shift, and steering integrated together. The big question is whether the drive functions could be separated into a separate package and an engine interface built to control the throttles for non Volvo engines.
Throttle control is not so simple. On ours when I’m on the joystick it (EVC) has complete control of engines and pods and the amount of actual throttle applied is determined by the action intended. For example when performing a sideways move the rpm range is different (less) than what is available for forward/back motion. Also in sideways motion the engines operate independently with one higher than the other.
It seems doable if sufficient motivation. I just wonder if the lawyers would let it happen.
If Volvo were to offer a retrofit package, I would imagine it has to include all Volvo software.
Engines are dumb. They just turn in one direction at the speed specified by the input.
Drives, angles of the drives, transmission direction, etc. are much more complicated, so I can't see how not including a "Volvo brain" to manage the movement would even be an option.
We have the D6-330. I have six EVC boxes, two under the helm, two in the engine room, and two in the rear lazerette with the pods. Somewhere in that collection of boxes something integrates engine and steering/drive commands into action. I do know that when in joystick mode the drive speed, direction, and steering angle operate independently. However in spin mode, one drive is going forward, the other in reverse at different angles and speeds. I would think interfacing the EVC with a pair of Cummins might be fairly straightforward as the EVC helm control only need access to the throttle function in the Cummins electronics. It would still need the Cummins computer for engine management and operation.
It sounds more do-able to me technically. Economically I don’t know. But with Zeus now an orphan technology and installed in some pretty expensive boats so not economical might be a pretty high threshold. It also raises the question of a shaft conversion.
I'm speculating but a class action lawsuit and the litany of known system problems would result in a pretty large judgement for the plaintiffs and their lawyers. I'm not sure Brunswick would want to have their internal emails coming to light for all to see in a discovery process.
Mercruiser has had a very long relationship with Volvo even assembling the 5.7 gas engines for them. You would think they have at least discussed retrofitting the Zeus system.
I don't know if Mercruiser has a plan for resolving this. What I do know is they better have one because people who paid $1m for a boat that doesn't work probably have no problem paying for a lawyer to get their money back.
On the surface it would appear the massive cost to correct the physical problem would help in a class action lawsuit by defining the economic “damages”. Offsetting that is there does not seem to be any trending data that shows cases of Zeus equipped boats selling significantly below the fair market value of similar non-Zeus boats. So while converting a Zeus boat to an IPS drive is technically feasible and could cost a few hundred thousand, there is nothing currently to suggest a last resort like that would be needed and justified.
And if it comes to a class action it is going to be ugly when the finger pointing starts between Zeus and the boat builders.
You make a good point about Mercruiser and Volvo, I just question if Volvo is agile enough to put it all together.