When Sunseeker International revealed its radically new 65 Sport Yacht design in late 2020, it was almost certainly the sculptured exterior styling, innovative helm concept, and stylish interior appointments that initially caught the eye. But behind that sleek exterior is another impressive development that is set to have an equally impressive impact on the cruising experience – Volvo Penta’s Inboard Performance System (IPS).
The new yacht will be powered solely by Volvo Penta’s D13-IPS1200 or D13-IPS1350. This innovative helm-to-prop driveline is the perfect match for the 65 Sport Yacht’s fresh design philosophy, with its engines, transmission, and hydrodynamic drives specifically created to function as one optimized package for enhanced performance, comfort, efficiency and maneuverability.
Growing success with Volvo Penta IPS
Although this is the first large Sunseeker production model to be powered exclusively by Volvo Penta IPS, this system has already amassed thousands of hours powering its other yachts. For example, twin Volvo Penta IPS600 systems were supplied as standard with its 48ft San Remo model, and IPS is a popular option across many of the ranges.
“These have proved so popular that the decision to choose Volvo Penta IPS as the only system for the 65 Sport Yacht was not difficult,” says Andrea Frabetti, CEO at Sunseeker International. “The choice was purely a technological one; following exhaustive testing utilizing computational fluid dynamics (CFD), our brand new hull was designed solely for IPS, maximizing performance and minimizing consumption.”
Once traveling on the open water, the twin 12.8-liter, inline six-cylinder, dual-stage turbocharged engines effortlessly enable impressive speeds. Crankshaft power from the Volvo Penta IPS1200 option produces up to 662kW/900hp per engine while, at 735kW/1,000hp each, the IPS1350 offers even more impressive performance.
For laid-back cruising at a steady 10 knots, a range of up to 750 nautical miles can be extracted from the 3,500-liter/924 US gal. fuel tank, with the forward-facing twin counter-rotating propellers helping to increase fuel economy by 30 percent over similarly powered rivals that use inboard shaft installations.
A comfortable ride
Recognizing that few people will wish to spend extended leisure time on the ergonomic equivalent of a passenger ferry, Volvo Penta has ensured that its IPS reduces vibration and internal engine noise by a perceived 50 percent compared to inboard shaft systems.
There are huge benefits for the captain too. The simple joystick control elicits ultra-responsive handling from the individually steerable drives, enabling tricky maneuvers and the maintaining of stability in all sea conditions. On top of this, the Electronic Vessel Control (EVC), allows boatbuilders to easily install additional features such as Joystick Docking, Dynamic Positioning System, Glass Cockpit, Cruise Control, and more.
“Fundamentally, our customers will benefit from the exhilarating performance,” explains Andrea. “The user experience will be one of pure adrenaline, akin to driving a high-performance convertible supercar, with acceleration to match. A specially designed ‘SkyHelm’ sets race-like seats low to the deck on either side of a central console, complete with a state-of-the-art joystick system allowing seamless maneuvering and even the possibility of a Dynamic Positioning System for efficient anchoring. Meanwhile, near undetected noise and vibration makes for unparalleled driving comfort.”
The compact proportions of this propulsion system have actively aided the implementation of innovative architectural features into the boat. For example, it has now become possible to fit an extra-wide tender garage with a fully flush floor that enables a Williams 345 Jet RIB to be carried and launched via a new diagonal sliding hydraulic bathing platform, a first for any yacht in this sector.
“This yacht is a true work of art,” says Nicola Pomi, VP marine sales, Volvo Penta. “Our companies share a love of innovation, so our IPS models are an ideal fit for Sunseeker’s incredible new yacht. But although much of what we have supplied is hidden below the waterline, the advantages of our IPS are clear for all to see!”