Volvo IPS POD Drives – What they are and how they work explained in simple terms



Volvo developed the IPS system to make boating easy.

It has transformed docking and close-quarter manoeuvring into a simple process. Instead of performing complicated shift, throttle and steering wheel combinations, drivers can just move the joystick in the desired direction and the boat will respond accordingly.
So how does this work?
First of all, IPS stands for Integrated Propulsion System. It’s both an engine and pod system, and IPS pod drives come in various sizes to accommodate different sized boats.
1-POD Drives - What they are and how they work - explained in simple terms
The first thing you will notice is the Props are forward facing. Why has this been done? There is nothing interrupting the flow of water on the props and there is more precise control because this part here (point to rudder part) is behind the props working like a rudder. With the props horizontal vs a traditional angled shaft drive, there is a greater transfer of power or increased efficiency to the props meaning a smaller engine can do the equivalent of a larger engine.
7-POD Drives - What they are and how they work - Explained in Simple Terms HD-005
An example is this engine here. It’s an IPS 600, equivalent to a 600hp engine with traditional shaft configuration. Because of the efficiency of the IPS system this engine is actually 435hp, which is smaller and lighter. It also allows the engines to be installed further back giving more room for living and accommodation spaces.
5-POD Drives - What they are and how they work - Explained in Simple Terms HD-003
While we are here it is worth pointing out the range of articulation with POD drives. They don’t spin right around, in fact, they turn to about 28 degrees either direction and this is all that is needed to move the boat in any direction all without a bow or stern thruster.
1-POD Drives - What they are and how they work - Explained in Simple Terms HD-007
This is where all the hard work by Volvo makes light work of boating, the joystick, it’s as simple as pushing the joystick in the direction you want to go and the boat goes there. We can move sideways, rotate on the same spot or what ever we need to manoeuvre.
So that’s a look at one aspect of the IPS setup, Volvo really is focused on their Mantra of Easy Boating. The following are some of the key benefits of choosing IPS.
  1. Ease of manoeuvring
  2. Noise reduction
  3. More living space
  4. Reduced fuel consumption
  5. 5 years engine and drive warranty