Earlier in November, Kevin Burns, Vice President of Design and Product Development at Sabre Yachts, attended a Design Seminar hosted by Volvo Penta in Gotenborg, Sweden. The seminar was attended by naval architects and engineers from around the world in addition to Volvo Penta distributors. The seminar lasted a few days and included multiple presentations from Volvo's development and engineering staff, Sweden's Coast Guard, and other shipbuilding customers. A highlight of the trip was a tour aboard a Sweden Coast Guard vessel powered by a Volvo IPS engine. This being of special interest to us should come as no surprise, as Kevin is a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Presentation topics ranged from hull form optimization for IPS to classification 'Type Approval' for commercial applications. In addition to the presentations, attendees visited several Volvo facilities including the Marine Testing Center, Volvo Design Department, and the Volvo Museum.
"Volvo has been an important partner for Sabre Yachts over the years, and they continue to stand out among others in the industry for their dedication to finding creative ways to make boating easier and more fun for our owners. This visit to Sweden was an excellent opportunity for us to interact directly with the folks at Volvo who are on the front lines of evolving the current engines, controls, and drive systems as well as envisioning the next generation of Volvo marine products. Our ability to discuss and receive feedback on hull forms, design details, control systems, and economics is critical in terms of advocating for the needs of our owners and their ownership experience. Ultimately, that's what it's all about."
Some new features for the IPS system were able to be tested in the water, including Volvo's integrated Autopilot and Dynamic Positioning systems. Along with these new features, the Volvo development team unveiled the 'Future Helm' concept, consisting of a modular helm unit which incorporated the latest thinking on the 'glass cockpit'. Volvo is spending a lot of time on what is referred to as HMI, or Human Machine Interface -- which translates into a pleasant boating experience for our owners. There is another 'soon to be available' technology that was introduced and should be available to the public very soon.
Of course a visit to Sweden wouldn't be complete with trying some local flavors. Burns and crew visited quite a number of seafood restaurants while visiting Gotenborg, and he reports that the Seafood Platter at Fiskekrogen Restaurant to be his favorite while in Sweden. Although the trip was short, Burns says: "It is a beautiful place that warrants a lot more time spent roaming along the shore." The locals recommend he come back during the summer months. Sounds familiar doesn't it? We Mainers often give the same advice in regard to visiting Maine -- You're always welcome, but shoot for July!