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Old 04-10-2017, 11:23 AM   #1
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Volvo 435 IPS

Hi Folks,
Dmooch here...new to the trawler world. My wife and I are heading to NC for a weeks training and them will be looking to purchase our used trawler.

I've been drooling over all the beauties on yachworld and keep coming back to boats with the Volvo 435 IPS drives. Have they been around long enough that most of the marinas could service them? Or would you suggest that we look more seriously toward the twin diesel? Any advice for a rookie?

We hope to be crusing in the NY area, ICW and(if we're brave enough) to the Islands!

We are also looking at Mainships 43', Island Pilots, and Beneteau 42'.

We have 5 kids and 8 grand babies that expect to join us from time to time...so we'll need the space!
I'm sure we'll have lots of other questions...thank for your patience!
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:35 AM   #2
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IPS does not work to its best advantage in our slow trawlers. If you are wanting a planing vessel where cruise speed is +20 knots then the pros and cons can be discussed.

If IPS is the direction you want to go suggest the same question be posted on the GB owners site and boat diesel. You'll get an ear full.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:24 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! The further you go from civilization (mechanics), the less exotic your equipment should be.

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Old 04-10-2017, 07:15 PM   #4
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A few IPS owners have had quite a bit to say at boatdiesel.com, too. Their real life experiences with this system might surprise you.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:53 PM   #5
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You'll hear a lot about IPS and it has it's share of detractors. A couple of things to note. Some builders are more experienced in using them and their attributes and minimizing the negatives. Beneteau would be one. Grand Banks is mentioned and they decidedly are not. IPS has some advantages. They handle well and they're very efficient at speed. Now, the efficiency is really only a plus to you if you intend to run them at a nice cruising speed of 15 knots or more. If you intend to run at trawler or displacement speeds then you're buying a benefit you're not using.

Yes, there are fewer who know how to service and repair them, but in your cruising area there are quite a few with experience. However, this means using a major shipyard, not a mechanic the friend of a friend recommends.

They are exposed in shallow waters. On some boats they have greater draft. On Beneteau Swift Trawlers the draft is very good, only 3'5" on the 44'. On the 52', 3'11".

IPS isn't my first choice. The selling feature of joystick can be duplicated without IPS and with thrusters, you can match the handling with traditional shafts. However, I wouldn't necessarily run away from them. If that's what the boat I loved has, I'd consider them.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:26 PM   #6
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While I don't have IPS drives I do have Zeus, which BTW Grand Banks has now dropped. The only problem I've had I'd the auto pilot is crap and there is no replacement. We have also lost 200 -250 rpm at top end but still maintain our original speed at other than WOT. I decided to try new technology but if I had a chance to do it again I would use shafts that I used for 40 years. The maintenance is also about $1k more per engine. Very maneuverable but as BandB states thrusters on either end would do the same thing.

It probably is the wave of the future and I'm sure will get better. The only problems I e had are the auto pilot and loss of top end rpm and speed (which I might correct by turning up the HP via computer on the Cummins).
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
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While I don't have IPS drives I do have Zeus, which BTW Grand Banks has now dropped. The only problem I've had I'd the auto pilot is crap and there is no replacement. We have also lost 200 -250 rpm at top end but still maintain our original speed at other than WOT. I decided to try new technology but if I had a chance to do it again I would use shafts that I used for 40 years. The maintenance is also about $1k more per engine. Very maneuverable but as BandB states thrusters on either end would do the same thing.

It probably is the wave of the future and I'm sure will get better. The only problems I e had are the auto pilot and loss of top end rpm and speed (which I might correct by turning up the HP via computer on the Cummins).
Grand Banks really didn't have the experience with them and I'm happy yours have worked reasonably well. It's far from new technology, just was new to Grand Banks. IPS and Zeus have both been around quite a while now and pods, in general, far longer.

Now, your loss of RPM at the top has nothing to do with them being Zeus, that I can think of. That's an engine issue, a Cummins issue, unless props are damaged or boat really needs cleaning or something of that sort.

I would consider IPS on boats like Swift Trawlers or Sabre or Delta or other boats that have really worked with them. For a builder that uses almost all conventional drives, I would never go IPS or Zeus. Now, had we gone IPS on our Sunseeker we would have been significantly more efficient and I drove one and it was very nice. I'm just too conservative to make that move though, especially considering how we intended to use the boat. One small point on Sunseeker using them and I suspect the same with Grand Banks. Although space savings can be a significant plus for IPS or Zeus, as they just put them in existing boats, they didn't pick up any usable space. In fact, Sunseeker had less space for fuel.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:55 PM   #8
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We share ownership over a Swift 50 with IPS... Our experience was not good... Replace drive seals was really a pain in the lower area and expensive..
After find same trouble a couple time on same year, we drop the boat for a more conventional system with shaft. I would love to tried zeus pod but when technology come in a more common way... for now, still exotic and forbidden for the average joe
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:08 PM   #9
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I respect you opinion more than some on this forum. So I'll add more detail. The Zeus are out of warranty. Mercury claims it's not their problem but a problem for Cummins to write a new profile for this boat. Cummins says it's not their problem. Grand Banks has tried to fix it but now it's out of warranty. It is certainly something I can live will as I can keep the auto pilot swing to 15 degrees and I usually cruise at 2600 to 2750 roms anyway. I can turn up the HP on the Cummins QSB 6.7 from 480 HP to 550 HP which will get back so e RPMs on top end.

I know pods have been in use for a long time in ships but nor sure it is the way to go on our little boats.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:40 PM   #10
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I respect you opinion more than some on this forum. So I'll add more detail. The Zeus are out of warranty. Mercury claims it's not their problem but a problem for Cummins to write a new profile for this boat. Cummins says it's not their problem. Grand Banks has tried to fix it but now it's out of warranty. It is certainly something I can live will as I can keep the auto pilot swing to 15 degrees and I usually cruise at 2600 to 2750 roms anyway. I can turn up the HP on the Cummins QSB 6.7 from 480 HP to 550 HP which will get back so e RPMs on top end.

I know pods have been in use for a long time in ships but nor sure it is the way to go on our little boats.
IPS is now 12 years old. Zeus a bit newer as Brunswick didn't believe IPS would be successful at first and then got scared. If IPS took off, what could they do as they clearly couldn't offer Volvo products in their boats. lol

Your first sentences sum up my feelings. It isn't new to the industry but was to Grand Banks. Then ultimately no one stood behind it. Trying to fix isn't enough, Grand Banks should have gotten it fixed one way or the other. Glad you can live with it, but you got a raw deal. While not new to the industry, it was experimental to Grand Banks and the experiment failed.

The fact it initially got the RPM, tells me it's something with the engines that has changed. Still getting it corrected doesn't seem possible to you.

I also expect builders to hold their suppliers accountable. Grand Banks should have done whatever it took to get it fixed. But here's a critical bit of information. Since Palm Beach is the predominant brand for Grand Banks now and their previous owner now the Grand Banks CEO, it is worth noting that Palm Beach uses Volvo IPS on 100% of their boats. Think perhaps their relationship with Mercury isn't so good? They still offer Cummins and Zeus on the old Grand Banks models but aren't really selling any.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:07 PM   #11
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Correct, GB is now using just shafts while PB is using IPS. My investigation led me to believe that Zeus was better so I took the plunge. Viking uses Zeus and I've heard of a few problems. The only thing (the bottom is clean) that could effect top RPM is added weight from various items we have added. However we still have the same speed at the same RPM, just the top RPM (and speed) is down.

Here's the rub, I spoke with a maritime attorney in Ft. Lauderdale and he is of the opinion that we could get GB to buy the boat back for what I paid however his fees would be more that what I would lose selling it on the open market. So this becomes a catch 22. 😳
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:19 PM   #12
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Here's the rub, I spoke with a maritime attorney in Ft. Lauderdale and he is of the opinion that we could get GB to buy the boat back for what I paid however his fees would be more that what I would lose selling it on the open market. So this becomes a catch 22. 😳
Seldom are such suits won and when they are it's very expensive to do so. The lack of a lemon law sure doesn't help. Plus there's the matter of who you even bought the boat from. I suspect it's a sales only entity with no assets and not responsible for building the boat, which another entity built it. And, the builder probably has no US presence. I've seen this quagmire chased as in Kakawi vs. Marlow, but a lot of time, a lot of court sessions.

Sounds like, other than this top end issue, you've got a good boat, so just enjoy.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:20 PM   #13
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It was purchased from HMY an agent for Grand Banks.

We are enjoying the boat and your right, other than a few issues GB has corrected all the problems. I'll run the HP up and that should correct the low RPM at WOT and not effect the longevity of the Cummins. We shall see. Thanks.

I wonder if there is a formula to predict the increase of RPM by a HP change like the formula for RPM change by changing diameter and pitch of a prop. I don't even know where to research it.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:30 PM   #14
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It was purchased from HMY an agent for Grand Banks.
See that just adds to the situation. Since that time, Grand Banks has eliminated all dealers and gone to direct sales only.

I hope Grand Banks has settled down from some of the turmoil of the last few years and ends up with a product line of some sort, but so far it just looks like Palm Beach all the time.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:40 PM   #15
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Very true. I'm still in touch with GB, the HMY agent who so,d me the boat now works as an sales agent for GB.

I also agree that GB has lost its identity and is becoming a Palm Beach model. I have nothing against PB (they make great boats) but I like the look of a GB. Hence, why we are looking into a Marlow 52 with shafts and thrusters. 😁
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:33 PM   #16
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Very true. I'm still in touch with GB, the HMY agent who so,d me the boat now works as an sales agent for GB.

I also agree that GB has lost its identity and is becoming a Palm Beach model. I have nothing against PB (they make great boats) but I like the look of a GB. Hence, why we are looking into a Marlow 52 with shafts and thrusters. 😁
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:51 PM   #17
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It was purchased from HMY an agent for Grand Banks.

We are enjoying the boat and your right, other than a few issues GB has corrected all the problems. I'll run the HP up and that should correct the low RPM at WOT and not effect the longevity of the Cummins. We shall see. Thanks.

I wonder if there is a formula to predict the increase of RPM by a HP change like the formula for RPM change by changing diameter and pitch of a prop. I don't even know where to research it.
If you added weight, and lost wot rpm, yet kept the similar speed/rpm ratio, the issue may be simply that you added weight. Boats take more power to push when they are heavier. Probably not worth a lawsuit to sort that out, more in the engineering realm.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:33 AM   #18
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You correct of course, we all add weight to our boats and I will admit to that. My question is since I've lost 250 rpms at top end is there a formula that can predict how much HP needs to be added to regain those rpms?
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:37 AM   #19
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did both engines loose the same rpm???
Are all filters new?
Have you had the boat hauled and bottom cleaned and props inspected?

IMO you could not gain anything by suing until you prove the problem.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:14 AM   #20
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Yes both engines have reduced rom and speed at top end but maintain the same speed as when new at cruising speed.
Racist are changed and the Botton is clean.

It is about $1500.00 to turn up the HP but I'm not sure I'll get back the lost RPMs.

I'm not going to bring a law suit because economically it is not a win.
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