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Oil sample results on Zeus Pods on Survey

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by TACBULDOG, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Cruz

    Cruz Member

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    Several manufacturers still offer Zeus on new builds, Prestige among them.
    On a note of positive feedback for the OP if you are committing to a boat with Zeus, we owned a boat equipped with Zeus pods for four years and absolutely loved them. We owned the boat from new so there wasn't a mystery with maintenance and our experience was quite positive. Separate from the obvious benefits of precision close quarters maneuvering, efficiency and reduced noise levels and vibration, we found the Skyhook and Precision Pilot systems to be exceptional. For how and where we cruised at the time we were very happy with our decision.
  2. tusindtak

    tusindtak Member

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    To Scott M,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with Zeus and insight into Zeus current production. Would you mind sharing what boat you had them on?
  3. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Current Prestige website shows Zeus Pod or Shaft drive with Cummins engine in only the 590F and 590S, all others show IPS or shaft.
    I wonder why the 590 is the only hull offering the Zeus, does Prestige just have some left over Zeus pods on the rack that pair with the Cummins 8.3 power plants?
    Interesting.
    I see on the Mercury Marine site that the Murcury 6.7 Diesel is paired with a Zeus Pod:https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/us/engines/diesel/mercury-diesel/67l-tier-3/

    I run Zeus on my 2009 Navigator Californian Veneti 50 (one off vessel for Navigator) So far so good. I am the second owner and after some wiring/and sacrificial zinc updates they have been flawless. I am on track with the original manufacturing maintenance schedule. I have not done oil or fluid analysis. I will if and when the maintenance schedule calls for it of it survey is ordered.

    Would I do it again? Let's put it this way, I would not seek them out, especially now that most modern drive trains can be set with thruster and shaft drive joy stick systems. I use the joystick but 90% I am on the gears and props, just because I like to learn to operate that way. I only have about 200 hours under my belt on this set up.

    It is kind of fun to set the Sky Hook feature in the middle of a 3-5 knot current and have the boat sit on a heading and position.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You won't find oil analysis on a maintenance schedule, but it should be done at every change. One analysis doesn't tell you near as much as a series of them does. Interesting that Prestige rigs with IPS and one model with Zeus. Maybe Zeus is being fazed out. Makes sense they'd be silent on that until inventory is sold. No way I'd buy at this time without further assurance. Not fun owning a boat with a system that's no longer supported, or trying to sell one.
  5. Cruz

    Cruz Member

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    This has actually been the case since the 550 was first introduced years ago (which the 590 presumably replaced).
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, they always offered only Zues in the 55' and IPS in the 50', 62' and everything else. I guess it just fit better or performed better, or something. Prestige being European would naturally favor Volvo over Zues just because it's from a neighboring country.
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I don't have a lot of experience with Zeus, but I spent an entire day demonstrating one. I have run a lot of IPS. To me IPS just felt more solid (if that translates). The skyhook thing I could have used in some of the commercial work I did, but on a recreational boat it just seems like a gimmick I'd rarely if ever use. As for which is better that's a debate which goes on for pages in another thread, but it does sound like Zeus is winding down. For me the pods are great in some commercial work, but for recreational boats I see them more a thing to attract new buyers. Anything that makes docking easier is a great selling point. For me, once you go over about 50' I'd prefer shafts. You can limp home on (and almost any yard can work on) bent props. You're not going anywhere if you leave your pods on a sandbar. And someone to fix it???
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The entire problem with Zues was it was a partnership between Mercury (electronics and lower unit), ZF (transmission +upper drive) and Cummins (engines). If you had a warranty issue somewhere in between, everyone kept pointing the finger at each other. I preferred Zues over IPS for a few reasons: props in the rear of the drive, can go straight to joystick or back to helm without having to press any buttons and access it, integrated autopilot (standard) was more precise, joystick was much more precise, and well the engine is Cummins.......not Volvo. Aside from the manueverability, both pods are very smooth compared to shafts as far as vibration goes, also no smoke on the transom when running at cruise, 30% better fuel economy, on the SF like the 40' Cabo, idle speed was a manageable speed versus having to take 1 out of gear and counter steer with the shaft boat. Another plus is some manufacturers really take advantage of the extra space the smaller engines afford. I would not want a triple or quad engine/pod boat at any cost.

    The hitting things depends. I was doing a delivery and another crew was delivering a 58' Meridian with Zues down to the carribbean. Between T+C and St. thomas they hit a log, the one pod sheered 2 bolts but the other 2 held, they were able to have the bolts flown in and they fixed it themselves with no other damage to the running gear. With shafts they would've at least had to send the prop out. I also watched a 45' Searay at cruise run over the sand bar on the North side of hillsboro inlet, it left both zues pods on the sandbar and skidded into the lagoon where a seatow boat just happened to be sitting there.......and took the boat to Merritts.......they came out and retrieved both pods and bolted them right back on without too much fan fare from what I'm told. If you lose a pod, you just ship one in and it's 4 bolts to put it on.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Yep, never been a fan of pace the buck situations. That's a big advantage for Volvo. They're definitely great technology and very useful in some situations. The extra space is great also. But the benefits wane as the boat gets bigger and the skipper more experienced.
    Yeah but I'm thinking about the guy mentioned here who knocked off his pod twice.:oops:
  10. Fixinbones

    Fixinbones Member

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    I’d look elsewhere and at a shaft driven boat. I’ve heard too many expensive pod stories.