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Cummins vs Volvo pods

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by zen, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Iknownothing

    Iknownothing Member

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    Personal experience only, your mileage may vary.

    Recently ran a new boat with Zeus in the Pacific Northwest. Bunch of control system alarms popped up and finding a servicing dealer was impossible. Ran the boat despite the "return to port immediately" alarm on the assurance from a C/M dealer in Florida.

    I wasn't impressed with the dockside maneuvering compared to similar IPS boats I've run. Much more difficult to parallel park and bring the bow around. Overall the system just didn't feel smooth, movements were very jerky and abrupt. IPS was similar when it came out but has become much smoother over the years.

    Best joystick system I have ever run is the Twin Disc. Traditional shaft drives with proportional hydraulic bow and stern thrusters and since it uses their quick shift transmissions it's crazy smooth when clutching into gear. ZF, zenta, and yacht controller tried to copy the concept but they don't even come close on function.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The system was not setup by either the builder or the dealer if you were getting a bunch of alarms and the boat did not respond to the joystick properly and jerked around. I would blame the builder/dealer over the zues system. I ran a bunch of Cabo 40's with zues and did encounter one that the dealer did not program/set up the system. It did the exact same thing you're describing. It also depends on how much actual time the builder spends programming both the IPS or zues. Cabo put in 400 hours programming the software for the zues and refinining all of the parameters and they did respond excellently. I've run both zues and IPS that were setup extremely well, and I've run both systems that didn't respond to the joystick very well at all.
  3. Iknownothing

    Iknownothing Member

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    The errors were speed sensor faults, Cummins made 3 trips to perform the repairs. First trip they came up to troubleshoot, second trip they replaced the port sensor which they didn't bring on the first trip even though it was in stock, third trip they replaced the stbd sensor.

    The boat was commissioned before being shipped and everything was supposedly fine. Port cowling was missing 2 screws and had obviously been removed before, stbd one was missing one and the rest were partially backed out from vibration.

    I remember spending countless hours with a Vodia tool programming when a joystick was installed, it used to be an option with IPS packages.

    As for handling, I just don't think the Zeus will have the same control over the bow that IPS does. With Zeus you are nudging the stern around to move the bow similar to traditional in boards.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The Zeus moves the bow better than ips when programmed correctly.
  5. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    The operator experience depends on the quality of the integration between the builder and the Pod supplier. Low volume models with incidental pod installations will not behave like models that have a high pod order uptake. The Zeus pods have a slight edge in dockside handling over the IPS pods in my experience and I have never had a well integrated application in Zeus pods have any issue moving the bow around, in fact could do 360's at dockside with no problems and could make subtle moves going diagonally for great distances.

    Twin Disc or ZF joystick systems have not been able to maneuver at dockside as well as the Zeus or IPS products, they just can not give the same feel/position feedback with fixed propulsors.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    This and I have a lot of experience with the Cat 360 joystick on several boats (shafts and bow/stern thruster). The issue with them is if you're docking and want to move the bow over, if you twist the joystick to do so, the stern thruster also kicks the stern out in the opposite direction. No way to just move the bow over without kicking the stern out. They don't have the finesse or preciseness of the pods. Mainly I believe because the props are so violent.....when you bump a pod in gear the movement is very slow/gradual, when you bump a shaft in gear it's much faster movement due to the much larger diameter props.

    I agree Zues on a well setup boat has more finite close quarters movements than IPS. I've run several brands of boats with Zues and probably 30 boats from various brands with IPS.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The one thing i wish electronic control would have as an option is an automatic idle adjustment when splitting gears that would slightly raise idle on the Reversed engine so the boat doesn't creep forward...

    Splitting gears and a bow thruster is all you need
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree, I'll yank the forward engine out of gear for a second here and there. One amazing new break through on a new boat I ran with Palm Beach controls was that you couldn't use the controls and bow thruster at the same time unless you have three hands. They now put the bow thruster button on the actual palm beach control so you can just press on it with either thumb,.
  9. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Keep in mind that needs vary. A well seasoned operator like yourself has so much experience at the helm to meet all your docking/navigational requirements. You have developed that 5th sense that allows you to anticipate the necessary moves for smooth docking procedures and can pull it off like a pro.

    But skills vary and there is no greater equalizer amongst varied degrees of operator level than a Pod system. Less docking stress gets more people into boating, and if it proves reliable and has some sense of value to the boat owner, then may keep him around for awhile. Good for the Industry.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'm torn by this statement. I do agree that pods get more people into boating. BUT, with the advent of PODS or bow and stern thrusters, modern detailed chartplotters and the like. I see lots of new boaters, Captaining yachts 50-75' that they have no business Captaining. I've seen several people go from an under 30' boat straight to a 60' MY, 75' MY, etc. and skipping over the necessary 45'er in between. They do not know the safety aspects, they do not know how to mitigate a major risk such as fire control or sinking. They do not take the time to take courses to learn the rules of the road or proper navigation and many of them put themselves, their passengers, and many others at risk. They think it's easy, but don't realize between the horsepower and sheer tonnage, how much damage they can really do to other people while docking if they screw up.
  11. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    There is always risk in operating anything with an engine. And certainly risk increases with power/size, etc. It comes down to owner/operator judgment and decision making skills. Better to be safe than sorry, so I don't always jump at the chance to go onboard when I am not confident of the operators background/boating skills.

    But spend some time watching the launch ramp for some real thrills/spills!
  12. RB480

    RB480 Senior Member

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    I run a 2012 48 Sabre with QSC 600 Cummins and Zeus pods. The boat handles absolutely incredible in every situation and I personally feel like the Zeus is much more intuitive than the ips drives.

    We run this boat back and forth from Lake Michigan to Florida via the river system, it scares me to death running an ips boat on the river with the props facing forward. I don't care who you are or how vigilant you are on the river, you will hit a submerged log at some point if you do it long enough.

    I also run a 43 Tiara a lot with ips and the Sabre is much more responsive to small adjustments. Although I do prefer a boat that responds quicker to use inputs, nothing beats dropping a 50 Hatteras in gear with 3406 Cats.

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