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Old 05-31-2013, 10:25 AM
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Default IPS -V- Zeus - new boat

I am considering having a new boat built soon and really like the Release Boatworks 46 and the Sea Vea 430.. Two very different boats, but either would suit my needs well for years to come..

The Sea Vee tricked out to the same level is almost $500K less so that would have sealed the deal, but I am not sure on the Volvo IPS system and most of what I searched on this forum is a little dated.

Really keen to get away from outboards and love the concept of the pods over shafts, struts and rudders..

Having done some internet research, the Zeus / Cummins comes off better than the IPS system and has more features as standard. But given that the internet has plenty of bad information and rumors amongst the good info out there, I would be interested to hear the opinions of actual owners, regardless of boat builder, or anyone who has practical experience of either or both of these systems..

Thanks in advance..
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:42 AM
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which motor do you have better mechanical support for down in the turks? that would answer the question pretty quick.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:01 AM
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I own an IPS600 boat and have driven Zeus boats.
I guess the biggest thing is that when a Zeus boat has mechanical problems you will have ZF and the engine manufacturer pointing fingers at each other as to who's problem it is.
IPS is all Volvo's problem, one phone call. Their support has been nothing but amazing.
The newer units have better clutches, oil coolers on the drives, and electronic galvanization protection.
I have about 2800 hours.
I do think the IPS gives better fuel economy and handles more sporty.
Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:29 AM
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I've had a great deal of experience with Zeus.....not so much with Volvo. The Zeus props face in a normal direction (rearward) which gives the props greater protection. When running aground with IPS, it sort of screws itself into the sand, rocks or whatever you encounter.
You will find that Cummins (Zeus) give excellent customer service and the engine is American made. ZF (Zeus) is a long time manufacturer of transmissions and they build the best in the world.
Actually I did go to England to test an IPS, in a 42 Sea Line. Out in the English Channel, I got a warning that the "port steering has failed". Not long after I got the warning that the Stbd steering had failed. It was November and it was windy and cold out there. Someone suggested I shut down and "re-boot". I refused to do that, for fear they wouldn't re-start, and got back to a dock using the throttles. Shutting down the system and re-booting eliminated the issue, but it scared me.
At the Miami Boat Show, an IPS powered boat, with a number of Volvo and press aboard, ran aground on an oyster bar, and instead of breaking off cleanly like it is supposed to, the boat (running 35 mph) stopped in it's own length and hurt some people.
I saw the Zeus drives purposely broken off and recovering the drive and simply replacing the short splined shaft in the top of the drive, it was put back on an reused. All good!!
Zeus would be my choice, by far.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:46 AM
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I can not imagine anyone paying all that money on either a Zeus or IPS drive system for a boat that is going to stay in the water (saltwater) year round. I know you will spend more time in the yard working on them than you will be underway enjoying them. Talk to anyone that has outdrives and keep their boats in the water (not on a lift or trailer) and how much extra maintenance and time out for problems/issues related to the outdrives. The Zeus & IPS are not more that outdrives mounted under the boat rather than on the back.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by flbluerunner View Post
I own an IPS600 boat and have driven Zeus boats.
I guess the biggest thing is that when a Zeus boat has mechanical problems you will have ZF and the engine manufacturer pointing fingers at each other as to who's problem it is.
IPS is all Volvo's problem, one phone call. Their support has been nothing but amazing.
The newer units have better clutches, oil coolers on the drives, and electronic galvanization protection.
I have about 2800 hours.
I do think the IPS gives better fuel economy and handles more sporty.
Good luck.
2800 hours on the IPS.. Has there been any major issues during that time? Or just the usual expected minor stuff and maintenance?

We are getting a new $100M dollar marina this year and there will be full workshop and mechanical support, just not sure who is going to be running it and what brands they will be trained on..

Grounding is less of an issue for me, we have abyssal depths 200 yards offshore, no sand banks or skinny water anywhere other than inside the reef..
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:59 PM
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the release is considerably more boat than the seavee. suprised to see how these could be considered side by side -- two extremely different boats, capabilities, qualities, and costs.

release will make the boat however you want, pods or no pods.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:09 PM
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the release is considerably more boat than the seavee. suprised to see how these could be considered side by side -- two extremely different boats, capabilities, qualities, and costs.

release will make the boat however you want, pods or no pods.
I realize the release is a lot more boat and a pretty series piece of hardware, just not sure it is $500K more boat, I did not say I was comparing them, just that I was interested in both.. I can get the sea vee with inboard shaft, pods or outboards, triple or quad too.. The Sea Vee is also well made but maybe not as hard core as the release..

I am kind of sold on the idea of the pods and they have had a few years to sort themselves out now.. It is the reliability/practicality of one brand of pod versus the other which is what I am really interested in here.. Two similar sized boats offering the two main brands..
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:30 PM
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I can not imagine anyone paying all that money on either a Zeus or IPS drive system for a boat that is going to stay in the water (saltwater) year round. I know you will spend more time in the yard working on them than you will be underway enjoying them. Talk to anyone that has outdrives and keep their boats in the water (not on a lift or trailer) and how much extra maintenance and time out for problems/issues related to the outdrives. The Zeus & IPS are not more that outdrives mounted under the boat rather than on the back.
x10.......They have been around since donkey's ages very well proven.Straight shafts + gearboxes can be used Twin Disc or ZF joysticks these days.
Is it true that IPS boats needs to be hauled out for oil changes? Nothing can compare to the longevity of Shafts,you will never regret it.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:23 PM
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I had some issue early on, new boat and new system. Volvo worked through the issues.
I would say that periodically replacing the clutches in the drives is a pain as the pods have to come off to replace them. It appears that they last about 1000 hours.
I am in the yard as we speak putting new clutches in both drives. Volvo contends that what is being put in now will be much more durable.
They are also adding the oil coolers which should slow wear down.
The motors have been outstanding.
My next boat will be an IPS boat.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:26 PM
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I do find that I am much more alert to the bottom with IPS. The Keys and Bahamas are lot's or coral and it comes up fast from the bottom.
Crab traps are another pain to be careful of, my last shaft boat had cutters. The cutters that Volvo offers seem to be more for fishing line.
Due to the traps I find that I don't fish as much at night.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flbluerunner View Post
I had some issue early on, new boat and new system. Volvo worked through the issues.
I would say that periodically replacing the clutches in the drives is a pain as the pods have to come off to replace them. It appears that they last about 1000 hours.
I am in the yard as we speak putting new clutches in both drives. Volvo contends that what is being put in now will be much more durable.
They are also adding the oil coolers which should slow wear down.
The motors have been outstanding.
My next boat will be an IPS boat.
Thanks.. That is the type of info I was looking for... It is good the hear they have developed the system and improved hardware like clutches so they last longer; I understand they ar eon the third generation system now.. Not too concerned with crab pots and the like as they are non existent here.. I guess getting used to the idea of having props that face forward takes a while and I still prefer the idea of the Zeus in this regard.. Also good to hear your next boat will be an IPS too!
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
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I can not imagine anyone paying all that money on either a Zeus or IPS drive system for a boat that is going to stay in the water (saltwater) year round. I know you will spend more time in the yard working on them than you will be underway enjoying them. Talk to anyone that has outdrives and keep their boats in the water (not on a lift or trailer) and how much extra maintenance and time out for problems/issues related to the outdrives. The Zeus & IPS are not more that outdrives mounted under the boat rather than on the back.
What would you call a boat that has inboards with shafts and props. (nothing more than a I/O)? The ZF and IPS are the same in retrospect as inboards except they allow side maneuverability. But you probably being an outboard person wouldn't know this.I think you have the Axius mixed up with the Zeus.
If i had the choice between the two it would be the Zeus just for the reason the props are protected somewhat where the Volvo's lead
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:00 PM
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What would you call a boat that has inboards with shafts and props. (nothing more than a I/O)? The ZF and IPS are the same in retrospect as inboards except they allow side maneuverability. But you probably being an outboard person wouldn't know this.I think you have the Axius mixed up with the Zeus.
If i had the choice between the two it would be the Zeus just for the reason the props are protected somewhat where the Volvo's lead
Pods go way beyond just side maneuverability.. I can move my twin outboard manually perfectly sideways .. dynamic positioning is another useful feature I would definitely use when deep dropping. I have also owned shaft drive boats, I/O boats and even a jet boat, in fact my current boat is the first outboard powered boat I have ever owned, so yes I would know that! ..

Having the drives parallel to the water surface makes them more efficient than an angled shaft.. Marine Tugs and larger vessels like cruise ships have been trading shafts for pods over the last several years for a good reason.. They offer some advantages over a system that has remained largely unchanged for over 100 years..

I like the fact Volvo offer a complete package of engine and drive,; not sure about the forward facing propellers like an aircraft and not keen on the mounting angle fixed with the dead rise of the hull.. I prefer that Zeus runs in a tunnel and is parallel to the boat / water surface and Zeus offers more features as standard and having Cummins power is a bonus over volvo IMHO.. But not sure I want to spend another $500K tog e the release CUmmins..

Although life is never that easy, the best option for me would be if Sea Vee were to offer the Cummins Zeuss package too.. I understand Zeuss can even supply the forms for the mould to accommodate the tunnels at lay up..
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:35 PM
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Sea vee did the only zf drive single engine set up on a 34 so I imagine if u ask they should be able to do it in a 43 or 39. I'd prob go for the 39 cc ips boat or the zf drive.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:48 PM
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I clean 5 boats here in Miami with the ips and they are way easier to clean than shaft driven. Also the captain for these boats raves about the ips!
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
What would you call a boat that has inboards with shafts and props. (nothing more than a I/O)? The ZF and IPS are the same in retrospect as inboards except they allow side maneuverability. But you probably being an outboard person wouldn't know this.I think you have the Axius mixed up with the Zeus.
If i had the choice between the two it would be the Zeus just for the reason the props are protected somewhat where the Volvo's lead
No, you guessed wrong, I have twin Volvo DPE on the back of my boat and most all of my previous boats have be straight inboards.
And I still hold that the IPS and Zeus are nothing more than outdrive bolted to the bottom of the boat. Not saying they don't work well, just saying they have all the same pitfalls of an outdrive. Like a piece of fishing line or a small section of net floating in a weed line taking out your output shaft seal. I would much rather have a straight inboard with shafts, studs and rudders. Cheaper & easier to maintenance and to replace.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:14 PM
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Viking 42???? Come ride on one of mine.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:41 PM
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Having the drives parallel to the water surface makes them more efficient than an angled shaft.. Marine Tugs and larger vessels like cruise ships have been trading shafts for pods over the last several years for a good reason.. They offer some advantages over a system that has remained largely unchanged for over 100 years..

I like the fact Volvo offer a complete package of engine and drive,; not sure about the forward facing propellers like an aircraft and not keen on the mounting angle fixed with the dead rise of the hull.. I prefer that Zeus runs in a tunnel and is parallel to the boat / water surface and Zeus offers more features as standard and having Cummins power is a bonus over volvo IMHO.. But not sure I want to spend another $500K tog e the release CUmmins..

Although life is never that easy, the best option for me would be if Sea Vee were to offer the Cummins Zeuss package too.. I understand Zeuss can even supply the forms for the mould to accommodate the tunnels at lay up..
Not arguing just clarifying some things here. So there is no need to flame. (too many boards that way)

In the work boat market Z-drives (commercial lingo for your "pods") have mixed opinions and their successes are very application specific. High horsepower, high maneuverability, applications they do well but higher maintenance and more chances for high dollar repairs come as the trade offs. No brown water boats survive with them as they drag the bottom too much, blue water guys you see more.

The tractor prop (forward facing propellers) were actually outlawed from racing back in the day because one came loose and went through a guys boat. (that isn't going to happen with tip speed you see here, just one of the reasons development stopped.) They are more efficient, but they require stronger shafts and bearings over a standard set up. Think of running your outboard in reverse all the time. That is what the IPS does. So if you are in open water, IPS has its advantages

ZF does not "provide you" tunnels, they "mandate you use" their tunnels. This may have changed in the last 18 months but that was that last I knew. Boat Builders don't like having their nice hydrodynamic hulls chopped up to use a system that they can use something else. The finger pointing has been a complaint from not only customers but boat builders alike. Neither the gear guy nor the engine guy wants to shell out any more money in the competitive market the world is.

In the end, it is all very application specific.

IMHO I would use Volvo IPS. As it has been said here before, no finger pointing and one call service.

Good luck no matter what you choose.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:44 PM
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The biggest difference for me would be being 'married' to Volvo whilst you own it. From my experience that is like taking on a mistress whose sole intention is to empty your bank account whilst providing just enough fun to keep you hooked. Once you finally get tired of buying diamond rings and gold bracelets to keep it running, you will eventually shift it on with a sigh of relief and wonder why you were ever so stupid in the first place. End result is the same in both cases though. Empty bank account and a permanent worry that your wife ever finds out how much you spent, and on what you spent it.
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