Posts Tagged ‘volvo-penta’

J & T sells and services Volvo marine diesels

Johnson & Towers is a powerful distributor of diesel products to boaters in the Mid Atlantic. Since 1926 they have done various brands like DDA (GM’s Detroit Diesel Allison), MTU (Mercedes Benz) and now, Volvo.

Over the years, each brand called on J&T to do different things as their distributor. For example, Seabuddy remembers when he was a boat dealer of over 38’ yachts where diesel was the preferred power. At that time, your DDA diesel engine supplier, literality finished the engine.  J&T like Covington and other distributors offered “their” version of a complete marine engine. Core GM diesel product was even “Hot Rodded” as well as marinized, particularly for battle wagon sport fishing boats. This was in addition to stocking engines and transmissions with various reduction gear sets. Plus, having a full parts inventory in stock. AND, have men in service trucks with tools, instruments, and properly trained techs to keep the yachts running smoothly. This was the top name in the business at that time.

Except for Volvo, each of these brands have been sold or reformulated in various ways over the years. Roughly; DDA was sold to Penske, a few years later he joint ventured his DDA brand with the MTU division of Mercedes Benz. That company is now called Tognum.

Walt Johnson and Joe Towers founded this company. They and their families have kept J and T at its high position within the marine industry, as well as, in the bus and truck industries. Think  of Johnson and Towers in power generation, fire trucks, construction, industrial, motor homes, medium and heavy-duty trucks, coaches, pleasure and commercial marine.

They have two locations in New Jersey and one in Maryland. They also have a network of authorized dealers to solidify proper parts and service support for marine, vehicles, and equipment.

MT. LAUREL, NJ, 856-234-6990; EGG HARBOR NJ, 609-272-1415; BALTIMORE, MD, 410-687-0500

What is the message here? The powerhouse distributor Johnson and Towers has Volvo Diesel engines, parts, and service.

volvo diesel d 13 in J & T booth at boat show

big power Volvo Marine Diesel at Boat Show in the J & T booth

Volvo Penta Marine Power – three new engines

725 horsepower, as well as 670 and 625 Hp marine diesel engines Look for these new power plants at the fall boat shows in the Volvo show booth.

Why Volvo? Clean power, less vibration, rapid boat acceleration, low fuel burn, all coupled with less engine noise. They are ideal for sport yachts, express cruisers, and flybridge boats.

These are six cylinder in-line engines of 10.84 liters. These 2,500 RPM WOT engines are offered in three power classes – 625, 670 and 725 hp. The new D11 engines provide more powerful low-end torque, improved drivability and reduced noise levels compared to other engines in their horsepower class. They are also very clean in regards to emissions, 40 % lower as compared to tier 2 power .

What is new? Improved engine block, new cylinder heads, updated turbocharging all in a new service friendly engine room package and other features while staying within the same package size and have excellent service points.

Volvo upgraded their Electronic Vessel Control with improved helmsmen functions, increased security and even more control to go with the new engines.

IPS installations now will allow for cruising speed adjustments, not just around fish fighting and within your marina. Joy Stick and IPS has been the world leader in pod propulsion since its introduction years ago. Shaft drives systems stay the same.

volvo penta diesel marine engine 725 boat photo image

2014 Volvo - Penta 725 Hp. engine

Cobalt Boats Sets the Runabout World on Fire with its New R 5 Model

Her hull is designed for big lakes, open sounds, and expansive bays. Her interior is especially “yachtesque” with a dance-floor-wide cockpit in a bow rider configuartion. Exceptional water and pier access has been designed-in, not offered as an option. The new R 5 Cobalt is a customer’s boat. Understanding functional luxury requires study of this boat.

fiberglass boat photo image cobalt r 5

The running surface of the new 2013 Cobalt R 5

Cobalt listens to its customers and then it designs a boat to meet their needs. This Cobalt boat has a 21 degree transom deadrise, narrowed strakes, a sharper bow entry angle, and a careful respect to boat balance. Take a ride, experience how a sport boat can perform on your waters.

A driving push for this boat is the cockpit experience for boat owner and guests alike. Take a look for yourself—Cobalt has done something way different here than others have done in the past. The main seating offers many surprises that delight all onboard. The bow cockpit seating is huge and provides a wonderful place to lounge in the sun on the water. Shade is available for the main cockpit. The on-board storage on this boat is outstanding The head is easy to enter and generously big once inside. This runabout defines “ergonomics” for this class of sport boat. Vinyl, leather, hi-tech fiberglass, custom crafted metal, and a touch of wood accent trim sets an ambiance that few can match, even when one compares this new boat model boat to a classic boat from the 1930s.

fiberglass inboard outboard cobalt boat photo image bow rider

The new R 5 Cobalt bow rider, factory boat photo

Cobalt’s new R 5 has a LOA of 25’ 8” with a beam of 8’ 6” and a weight of around 4,900 LBS. She is certified by the Coast Guard to carry 14 passengers or 2,250 LBS of passengers and gear. Cobalt offers a selection of engines from 300 to 430 horsepower.

seabuddy thanks Cobalt for its photos.

Thunderboat Row, Don Aronow, 188th Street, North Miami Beach, Aventura, FL, Thunderboat Row, 188th Street, North Miami Beach, Aventura, South Florida, Don Aronow, Jim Wynne, Walt Walters, Dave Stirrat, Buddy Smith, Jake Trotter, Alan “Brownie” Brown, Donzi Marine

Sometimes it is the second boat design that makes a boat building company. Don Aronow had a craving for a new design for an offshore racer. He had sold his prior design and company (Formula and its 233 boat model) on 188th Street. He was ready for step two of his plan. Don now made a new company and a new fiberglass boat. The company became Donzi Marine and the boat was a 28 foot deep vee offshore race boat. Don had Walt Walters design that boat, make its running surface a winner, and draw up the plans that caused it to be built.

donzi marine race boat photo image

Don Aronow driving his 28' race boat 008

He and his buddies made and raced several of these fiberglass boats. The most powerful had over 1,100 horsepower in its two Ford engines. That high level of power had to use vee drives at that time. No stern drive (I/O) could stay together, either for pleasure use or racing boat use.

Boat racers were larger-than-life heroes to worship, and they all seemed to come from two addresses: NE 188th Street in North Miami, FL. and Bertram’s Miami address near the airport. Don Aronow’s “Thunderboat Row” started to grow in stature and began to pull ahead of Dick Bertram’s efforts in time. But, not yet. The 28’ while successful, did not strike gold with pleasure boat buyers. Those “Damned Donzis” were heard on the race course, but not in the boat showrooms. It took a lake and bay boat that was nimble and easy to jump in and take off in for a fast ride to make Donzi. Now it was 1964 and that nimble boat really made Donzi Marine.

jim wynne wyn mill II boat photo image race boat driver designer inventor

Jim Wynne with his Wyn Mill II race boat


The Ski Sporter, or Donzi Sweet 16, made Donzi Boats into a company. That model boat was based on a shorten version of Jim Wynne’s winning race boat, the Wyn-Mill II. Wyn Mill II was Jim’s racer as designed by Walt Walters with input from Jim and perhaps others. Walt drew up the plans and it is his name that is on them. A friend recently shared a sheet of those boat building plans with seabuddy. In the past, seabuddy incorrectly said that Jim Wynne designed this racer. These facts, as it was helpfully explained to seabuddy, were incorrect. Jim had input, he was there, but Walt’s name is on the drawings that the boat was built from. He is the designer of record.

(As an aside, the free exchange of facts and the making of boating friends that today’s internet gives seabuddy continues to amaze him.)

That boat’s hull was shortened into a 16’ 71/2” long fiberglass boat. She had the same 7’ beam and 24 degree deep vee hull bottom. These Donzi boats were designed to be small, light, and a fun ride. This boat was originally called the Ski Sporter Donzi and later it was named the Donzi Sweet 16. With its first Volvo engine and out drive set-up its top speed was in the 41 to 43 MPH range. Now one can find Sweet 16s with V-6 and V-8 power. With souped up engines, a strong sterndrive I/O and a special prop, she can deliver more speed than a sane person would enjoy.

Sweet 16 Donzi Marine Ski Sporter cockpit boat photo image

Classic fiberglass Donzi Marine boat cockpit





Sea Ray Sundancer no longer

new 510 sea ray sundancer sunroom 2013

climate controlled extra inside cabin with roof, back sliding doors, and hard glass sides

It is to be a Sea Ray “SkyFlow Design (Sundancer). “SkyFlow Design dissolves the line between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing natural light into the boat like never before. Galley and salon connect with the enclosed cockpit beneath a long stretch of glass. Interiors are brightly lit and indoor dimensions see noticeable gains” now. Sea Ray Sundancers or sea ray Dancers are to be replaced a model at a time,  in 2013, 2014, and 2015. What used to be called a Sundancer s going to through a design change which drives the name change. The first size is a WINNER! Named the 510 Skyflow Design Sundancer, she is 50’ 10” with a beam of 14’ 8”. Fuel is 400 gallons of diesel, water is 110 gallons and waste is 60 gallons. One should expect a 22 ton sport yacht weight.

downstairs main cabin 2013 sea ray sundancer 51 foot

main cabin 51 foot sea ray sundancer sunroom 2013 model it is very airy

She is a 30 knot boat without the weight of gear, bedding, and cruising supplies onboard. The Sea Ray Sundancer or soon to be known as the 510 Sea Ray Skyflow Sundancer burns a lot of fuel (40 gallon an hour) with her cruising speed (similarly loaded as above) at 22 knots and 2,500 rpm. WOT throttle fuel burn is around 65 GPH at the 30 knots. Why the poor fuel mileage? These boats are coming down the line mostly as v-drive boats, not Mercury Zeus. Zeus pod drives parts and service is still not being talked about since the CMM dissolve ( the company that made them, trained the service staff for them, wrote the specs, warehoused,  etc.. for Sea Ray).  So order a boat only after you check out all the facts for yourself. Seabuddy does not have the answers and I cannot get hard facts out of my buddies at Sea Ray for you for now. Check out for yourself the Cummins, mercury Marine dissolve joint venture write-up.

Why Zeus? Number one is joystick. All engine and boat brands ordered with Joystick eliminate customer’s concerns about handling and docking. Joystick came to boats in 2006. Now seven years later there are a half dozen joystick systems and they are taking over the world of easy to handle/docking boating. Zeus also promoted 30% better fuel economy, 15% higher cruising speeds and all the leading edge value of a mega yacht style pod drive system, bigger interior owner’s aft cabin that is more generous within this given size hull. Get a in-stock Zeus, a ZF pod drive or a Volvo-Penta IPS system if you want this stuff. I love it. Systems are now made for outboards as well as inboards today.

cummins marine diesel boat yacht engine vee drive inboard

2013 Cummins Diesel engine

2013 Cummins Diesel

What size Sea Ray Sundancer will be discontinued for a new Sea Ray Skyflow Sundancer in July as 2014 model? Seabuddy thinks the 340 Sundancer should be next. Look for a 340 Sea Ray Skyflow Sundancer at the Newport R. I. boat show in the late summer-early fall. Then the 410 Sundancer should be expected to be officially dropped for a replacement 410 Skyflow Sundancer in time for the 2013 Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. Expect the Sea Ray Skyflow Sundancer name to very slowly replace the Sea Ray Sundancer and will  take several years. After all, the name Sea Ray Sundancer has been around since 1974.

new 2013 sea ray sundancer sunroom 51

note the aft bak sliding doors that enclose the upper helm station


New Volvo Penta Gas Marine Engine

gas 380  engine volvo penta chevy

Volvo Penta 380 horsepower latest Chevy Engine for marine use

She has 380 horsepower at high RPM and faster get-up-and-go via the first major marine use of the latest GM engine, the L96. Figure on 5,800 RPM and higher usable RPM in your boat. Count on all the proven, but “new” tricks that wake up an engine for marine use. Cam timing is, for the first time, variable (VVT) in a marine engine.This increases the power from idle or right out of the hole to 3,000 RPM. Couple that with the new gear ratios and you have a double whammy.  Anticipate your boat to gain a boat length early in any comparison acceleration test against a 8.2 engine powered boat in a heads up contest.

The heads are Aluminum to allow for better cooling and a component  lighter weight power package. Then, add the normal weight savings by NOT using a big block Chevy and your double whammy is multiplied even more. Weight savings should add up to 225 to 250 lbs. Now, add to all this a broader, higher RPM range and you spin a lesser pitch prop for quick low end response without a top speed penalty as one simply winds the new 380 horsepower Volvo-Penta to a higher rpm limit. I hear you can use 6,000 plus rpms as needed. Spin a lower pitch prop at higher rpms and the top speed is the same as a big block.

It is a four star engine; the best, cleanest available that has been tested for over 8,000 hours for its government approval only in May of this year. It is that new.

Did seabuddy say it is totally fresh water cooled? That even the exhaust manifolds will not rust as they are cooled by anti-freeze, not lake or ocean water? Look to a fall boat show and see this engine for yourselve. I know that there is a real engine on display at the Newport, RI Boat Show. More details here…

The new engine is a slightly bigger package. Most of the numbers are not that big, except the width is 4.5 inches wider and the total package weight looks to be about 50 lbs more than a 5.7 (350 cu. in. engine). Now, compare this new high-tech engine from Volvo-Penta to a 8.1 or a 8.2 big block engine and all the numbers favor the new engine. It is smaller. lighter, and more narrow. It looks like it will fit whereever a big block would have fit.


This one exciting engine!


Sea Ray, Brunswick going jet and outboard, not diesel

sea ray inboard runaboutBrunswick is a seriously shrunk down company and its secondary line, after Hatteras yachts, is Sea Ray. Sea Ray has been told to reshape itself, along with Mercury and Mercury Mercruiser marine engines and drives. Brunswick sales were $5,600 million in 2007. Now (2011) they are only $3,748 million. Cut to the bone, they are profitable per Michael Verdon.

When did you last see a new Sea Ray Laguna at your boat show? A Ski Ray? How about a Sea Rader? A Pachanga?  A 21’ – 23’ cuddy? A Brunswick Sealine? A Baja?

Plus, some boat sizes / models are no longer made in the USA. The cuddies are made in Europe and imported to here, if you want one. Sea Ray will make boats in Brazil, starting this fall.

Zeus is somewhat in limbo. Brunswick owns it, but top management have not yet decided on how to service and warrantee it going forward yet. This became a new problem when Cummins and Brunswick dissolved their CMD partnership this year.

Zeus never had the sales success that Volvo has had with its IPS, pod drive. While Volvo makes engines for their IPS power package, Brunswick relied on Cummins for their Mercury Mercruiser engines, via the CMD joint venture. Some Cummins packages are still available, it is said.  Plus, Mercury is bringing in engines sourced from South Korea, Italy, perhaps Brazil, and Hungary, depending on the horsepower in the future. Due your due diligence if you are thinking of buying a diesel powered Sea Ray. Know where your potential boat’s engines were made. Right now, while Cummins has a USA diesel manufacturing / finishing presence, Mercury Mercruiser does not. Any engines that come from outside the US and need any finishing for marine application go through Brunswick in Belgium and then to the USA. Mercury strictly has management staff for diesels  at Fond du Lac, MI, USA only.

So where is Sea Ray Boats going? Right now, for under 20’ boats, they are offering an I/O powered runabout with a Mexican made engine. For 21’ and 24’ boat sizes, look for 2013 jet drives, powered by German-made Weber Motor engines and water jet drives. For over 30 foot Sundancer mid and aft cabin cruisers, they will bring out a twin engine Mercury Vernado outboard powered design with a narrow beam.

So, at Sea Ray boats, the real money-maker at Brunswick, it is down with diesels and Zeus drives, up with jet boats and outboards, contract US production and jobs, and make more product offshore.

Jim Wynne, Donzi Sweet 16, and Holman Moody

Donzi Marine Sweet 16 Ski Sporter classic fiberglass boat image

Note the Ski Sporter name on the trailer for this Donzi Marine 16'

Jim Wynne first showed his (or Charlie Strang’s) new out drive with a Volvo engine at the New York Boat Show in January of 1959. This was the beginning of the modern stern drive. One of the first boats that Jim used to promote that stern drive was a wood 18 foot boat made by Woody Woodson. Wynne had success on the race course with that boat. Seeking a lighter boat to go with his small Volvo engine and now Volvo-Penta Aquamatic I/O he designed a 17’ boat in wood that he called the Wyn-Mill II. That boat but used a deep vee hull with a low profile and therefore was lighter than the Woodson made boat. He won eight marathon racing records with his new boat powered by an out-drive over the next few years. Most of the boats that he beat used far more horsepower than what Wynne had in his Volvo engine and Volvo stern drive powered 17’ boat. Jim by now worked for Don Aronow and he was a boat builder. One of his companies wanted a small sport boat to zip around and they thought that by using the Wyn-Mill II as a starting point for a new boat with a 110 Hp. Volvo gas engine and its Aquamatic drive. They did not splash it, as the final production boat had differences like were the strakes were located and they also shortened it to a 16’ 71/2” long with a 7’ beam and 24 degree deep vee hull bottom fiberglass boat. These Donzi boats were designed to be small, light, and a fun ride. This boat was originally called the Ski Sporter Donzi and later the Donzi Sweet 16. With the Volvo engine and out drive its top speed was in the 41 to 43 MPH range. Both Jim and Don were racers, however, and when Volvo did not come up with their own small block V-8, they got Volvo and Holman Moody Marine to match up one with their 16’ boats. For background, John Holman liked boats as his hobby while Ralph Moody was into airplanes. They got Dinny Phipps to run the H-M marine business out of Miami, FL. He led the marine engine program with a 300 cubic inch six cylinder engine and 289, 302, 351,427, and 460 cubic inch V-8 engines and perhaps other engines as special orders. These motors often made more power than the Aquamatic Volvo drive could handle, however, and they offered vee drive and inboard versions as well as the I/Os to cover all the bases. Holman Moody also became a US distributor for the Volvo stern drive. Seabuddy photos.

Sweet 16 Donzi Marine Ski Sporter cockpit boat photo image

Classic fiberglass Donzi Marine boat cockpit

2013 Luxury 44 sport yacht

Zeelander mini yacht with Volvo-Penta IPS running boat photo image

at cruising speed in the 2013 Zeelander 44 luxury sport yacht

A designed and made in Europe boat is now being made in Holland, MI after a multi-month long move of the boat tooling and parts from its prior European boat builder. This 2013 mini yacht is going to be shown by Bob Fritsky at some Marine Max locations. It would be best to contact him for more detailed information.

Set to sell for roughly 1.2 million with twin Volvo-Penta IPS 600 diesels for power, she is a stunner. The IPS 600 model name for the Volvo diesels relates to the speed they provide with the Volvo-Penta IPS system pod drive rather than a typical horsepower rating. Since the drive system is so efficient, a yachtsman uses less HP to save fuel while still getting the performance that she or he want in their boat. Volvo Penta does not hide the horsepower rating for these engines. They publish in their literature that these engines are 435 Horsepower each, or 870 combined in this boat model.

To get excellent performance, Franck Mulder, the naval architect for the Z 44 hull shape for Zeelander, chose a slightly narrow beam and Hi-Tec, light weight construction specification sheet to keep the boat light on the water. The balance of the design was done by Cor D. Rover.

S2 yachts (S2 = stands for Slikkers second company) is now the very capable boat builder for this yacht. S2 is better known as Tiara boats to most boaters and is still a privately held business within the founding Slikkers family. MarineMax is the retail sales dealer and Bob Fritsky is the contact person.

This boat is a four person sleeper in two berths mini-yacht originally conceived in 2005 and in production since the 2009 model year.

Check out boarding/accessibility from the float it is tied to and the garage storage for a dingy when you inspect this 2013 model year boat.

looking aft cockpit of 2013 Zeelander 44 luxury mini yacht boat photo

Cockpit of Zeelander 44 mini yacht 44 luxury boat sold at Marine Max

2012 Mercury Marine diesel engine specifications

audi 4.2 mercury marine 350 Hp TDI diesel boat yacht engine

2012 Marine Mercury Marine 4.2 TDI diesel engine

Audi and VW make an approx. 350 horsepower marine diesel engine. In a joint marketing agreement, Mercury Marine sells that engine packaged with a transmission (inboard or vee drive) or a stern drive (I/O). This is a sophisticated engine that can be found in some Audi A8 and 7 cars on the road.

It’s a high torque engine for good acceleration and low time to plane times for boats. This engine uses a 3.27 bore with a stroke of 3.76 inches. Using a 90 degree V-8 it is a Turbo-charged, Direct Injection (TDI) design, the guts of the marine Audi diesel engine is made in Gyor, Hungary by Audi . The crankshaft features 4 bolts to hold it in place (4 bolt main). The piston’s connecting rods are fracture split. Mahle aluminum pistons are used. The heads are also aluminum and of a 4 valve design. It’s properly called a common rail engine. Like seabuddy said, it is a sophisticated engine.

These engines offer the best of automotive-like quality and durability that a German engine maker brings to the marine marketplace. This is up-to-the-minute diesel expertise for a low or no smoke exhaust. It gives excellent milage.

Mercury Marine digital throttle and shift (DTS), Sea Core, and Axius systems are all available with this 252 cubic inch displacement (4.2 L) marine diesel engine. That 350 Hp. that this engine is rated at is more horsepower from a smaller displacement engine than the popular V-6 gas engine that both Volvo Penta and Mercury Marine offer. That is a milestone in seabuddy’s opinion.

Photo courtesy of Mercury Marine