Volvo Penta’s easy boating concept is hailed by lovers of ‘smart’ technology

Volvo Penta’s enhanced Glass Cockpit system welcomes a new generation of marine-lovers for whom ‘smart’ technology is a way of life.

First there were smart-phones and smart-cars, and Volvo Penta added ‘smart-boats’ to the list of technological advances which are revolutionizing the way we live our lives.

The new generation of Glass Cockpit further develops the all-in-one system that enables marine-lovers to monitor and control every aspect of boating, from the propulsion system to navigation monitoring, and the cabin environment.


Glass Cockpit is a technologically integrated system.

Performance, safety and comfort are integrated in a seamless, ergonomically designed interface – to make boating even easier.

As with the initial award-winning system that launched the concept of connecting a touch-screen pinch-to-zoom display to the Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) platform, the new Glass Cockpit is a unique system for marine application. 

What you want, how you want it
Volvo Penta’s collaboration with navigation technology experts, Garmin, sees the latest Glass Cockpit system offering a greater range of displays – between 7 and 24-inches on Garmin’s 7600 and 8600 series of multi-function displays (MFD) – and provides new features, including fully customizable layouts.

It means that drivers can pre-program which specific data they want to be displayed on a layout for any given operation, offering a tailor-made application that is relevant to particular situations.

And, by linking customized layouts to the control and joystick, the driver can, for example, press an assigned button on the joystick that will activate the docking camera view on the display.


Volvo Penta and Garmin’s Autopilot chart-plotter.

Functions such as Autopilot, Dynamic Positioning System, Interceptors and Sportfish Mode are also integral to the innovatively unified system.

David Jirikovic, a Sabre Yachts dealer, with Down East Yachting in the U.S., thinks that the system is revolutionary.

He has ordered Glass Cockpit for several customers’ boats since its initial launch in 2013, and has recently incorporated it in the debut of the Sabre 66 Dirigo – Sabre’s largest and most luxurious motor yacht.

He says: “Glass Cockpit is ground-breaking. The simplicity of having an integrated system rather than separate units manufactured by many vendors for display and autopilot and powerplant systems is fantastic, and is so far ahead of other systems, many of which can be quite cumbersome.


Volvo Penta and Garmin’s Switching layout.

“The integration it provides is unlike anything else. Volvo Penta has done an incredible job and unlike any other manufacturer, has a totally integrated package. From drives to engine blocks, and now to navigation electronics, Volvo Penta has created a single source of contact from production to purchasing, to product support, and ultimately to the end user.

“In the application, the user now has everything needed to access and customize engine information ribbons, bilge pump control, climate, lighting, and more, and all of this is managed with lightning fast processing speed.”

Something for everyone
In conjunction with EVC, Glass Cockpit can be put into any size boat and is suitable for all types of leisure boats. And, by linking all propulsion power, monitoring and internal environmental controls together, the system is convenient and can be used by both expert drivers and new boating enthusiasts.

Jirikovic, who has been boating for 35 years, adds: “The speed at which the system operates is important. Whether you’re running long distance or close quarter navigating, and regardless of vessel size or user ability, you need an instant response. Glass Cockpit provides this response on all levels with a clear and easy-to-operate user interface that reacts on demand.

“I’ve had zero software glitches with the system, which is the result of painstaking research and development before release. Troubleshooting is also excellent as Volvo Penta is using automotive grade trouble-code reporting which results in faster service. Should a powerpoint code arise, with one call to your representative, the Glass Cockpit gives you full disclosure of codes.

“With this system, your representative can easily explain to you the issue and dispatch a technician if necessary. The end result is quicker diagnosis which results in reduced downtime, and a more satisfied user.”

The future of boating
“Volvo Penta has been listening to its customers, but also anticipating their needs. Glass Cockpit is still relatively new, but it’s making a big difference and I think it will appeal to a younger generation of new boaters who see ‘smart’ technology as a normal part of life,” concludes Jirikovic. This is easy boating on a whole other level.”

The new Glass Cockpit is being launched at the Miami Boat Show.

Download high resolution images:

Glass Cockpit integration >>
Volvo Penta and Garmin autopilot chart >>
Volvo Penta and Garmin switching layout >>