Tiara Yachts and Volvo Penta: a vision for innovation

For long-time partners Tiara Yachts and Volvo Penta, continually improving the boating experience is the Number 1 goal. Ten years ago, innovation and customer satisfaction collided, and the two companies made history when Tiara Yachts became one of the first boat builders in the world to use Volvo Penta’s revolutionary new propulsion system: Volvo Penta IPS. Now a decade later, Volvo Penta and Tiara Yachts will unveil a new collaboration at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, November 5 to 9.
Although Volvo Penta and Tiara had worked together prior to 2005, their relationship blossomed with the launch of Volvo Penta IPS. As an early adopter, Tiara realized immediately that the future of boating lay in the revolutionary pod propulsion system — a  unique alternative to the traditional shaft drive that offered unparalleled benefits.

With this in mind, Tiara developed the Sovran 43 to coincide with the launch of Volvo Penta IPS. It became an instant hit and Tiara sold more than 30 Sovran 43 units, installed with twin Volvo Penta IPS500, on the opening day of the 2005 Miami Boat Show. The Sovran 43 still stands as one of the company’s most successful product launches to date.

In the years leading up to these two milestone releases, Volvo Penta invited a select group of customers, including Tiara, to its Krossholmen Test Center in Gothenburg to trial the latest innovation and offer feedback.

“When Volvo Penta IPS was still in the prototype phase, I traveled with our executive team to Krossholmen for a sneak peek at this new system,” says Tom Slikkers, CEO of family-owned boat builder Tiara Yachts. “From the get-go, we could tell that this was going to be something special — we returned to the U.S excited and invigorated by what Volvo Penta IPS would mean for Tiara Yachts and our customers.”

Consisting of forward-facing, counter-rotating Duoprop propellers, the original design of Volvo Penta IPS was like nothing the industry had seen before. Emissions were reduced instantly: directing the boat’s exhausts underwater and away from the boat created an odor-free ride, and the lack of long shafts and hull-mounted struts helped reduce overall noise level.

The compact design reduced the engine room’s size, adding more space to the staterooms and living areas. In addition, handling and maneuvering were precise and responsive — thanks to the system’s joystick driving. Fuel consumption in the original Inboard Performance System was also greatly reduced, and the boat could achieve higher top speeds and faster acceleration, in comparison to traditional shaft drives.

Leading the way
Volvo Penta IPS was destined to change the face of boating forever, and Tiara seized the opportunity to become one of the first builders in the world to launch a yacht with this innovative Inboard Performance System.

“After we left Sweden, there was never any question that we were going to incorporate what we’d seen at Krossholmen into one of our yachts,” explains Slikkers. “It became very obvious very quickly that this was a propulsion system that was going to change the face of modern boating.”

He continues: “We wanted to be at the forefront of that innovation, to provide our customers with the same feeling of exhilaration we felt the first time we experienced Volvo Penta IPS. That’s why we decided to design a completely new yacht to accommodate this new system — and that’s when the Sovran 43 was born.”

“The relationship between Tiara and Volvo Penta is a solid one,” notes Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta the Americas. “That first boat launched with Volvo Penta IPS was a real sign of trust in each other. We were both relying on the industry to get behind our product and the boat. We saw the benefits, but would the market?”

Ten years on, still innovating
Over a decade later, Volvo Penta and Tiara regularly collaborate on new product launches.  Although Volvo Penta IPS is the company’s preferred and recommended system, Tiara still builds boats that contain a conventional shaft drive for its traditional customers. For Tiara, Volvo Penta is now far from just an engine supplier — it is a true partner in design.

“One of the best things about working with Volvo Penta is that we can get everything we need from one place,” says Slikkers. “Every vital component is provided for — from the joystick, Glass Cockpit and EVC options, to the propulsion unit and engine. Instead of dealing with 10 or 12 suppliers, we just deal with Volvo Penta. It’s so simple.”

This year, Tiara launched a new adventure yacht, the Q44 equipped with twin Volvo Penta IPS600 — and the all-new 39 Coupe with twin Volvo Penta IPS500 will debut during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Glass Cockpit and joystick driving and docking are included as standard in both models.

“Demand for our Volvo Penta IPS-powered products just keeps growing year on year,” Slikkers notes. “Our customers find the performance, maneuverability and handling of the pod system so impressive, they would never switch back to a standard inboard system. It’s a real pleasure to be able to offer them a truly unique boating experience thanks to Volvo Penta IPS.”

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
Tiara will display the Q 44 and the 39 Coupe, amongst other products, at this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, at C/D Dock 52-60. Volvo Penta will also be exhibiting at Fort Lauderdale in the Engine Tent at stand 1203-1204 and 1225-1226. On display will be a D13 engine, a Volvo Penta IPS 3 pod, the Glass Cockpit, a V8-300/350 with FWD and a D6-400 with DPH.

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