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Advice on buying a 40 - 43 Boat and Volvo IPS Pods

Discussion in 'Props, Shafts & Seals' started by R L H, Oct 20, 2020.

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  1. R L H

    R L H New Member

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    I am looking into buying a 40-43 foot express cruiser although I may go a little larger. I have only been boating for a year and would like to get a boat with a couple of cabins. I currently have an Aviara Av32 day boat with two 350 mercury outboards. My boat has a joystick which has made docking a joy.

    I am thinking of getting a boat with Volvo IPS Pod drives, for the joystick. I see on this site people don’t seem to like the pod drives much. I know that pods cost more to buy and maintain, but it seems to be worth it. I am also looking into some boats with just a bow thruster which I am told just takes a little practice.

    I bought my boat at MarineMax and like their service and the fact that they have a captain that will train me as much as I want. They sell Galeon Boats, I was thinking about the 425 HTS (with Volvo IPS Pod drives) and the Galeon 420 fly (Which they do not sell with the IPS drives).

    I like the idea of a fly Bridge and may get a bow Thruster and add a Stern Thruster

    I do not plan to travel far; I live in southern New Jersey and will go between New York and Maryland at first.

    Any feedback is appreciated.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I suspect you're in a Marine Max that was not originally Marine Max and has established a history of customer service. If you were in other areas, you might well not feel the same.

    How many normally boat with you? How long are your cruises in terms of days? Do you anchor or use marinas?

    I encourage fly bridges because we love them. It greatly increases your outside space and much of boating is about enjoying the outside. I think having thrusters is wise. I know some will tell you they aren't necessary, but still they help. The other item you need to discuss is stabilization.

    I'm neither for or against IPS. Just be aware that joysticks can be put on any boat and while they won't function as well as pods, they'll do what you need.

    I'm not a huge Galeon fan, but I can see them serving your purposes well. I can't recommend size until you answer my above questions. I would encourage you to not focus solely on one brand or one dealer, even if you end up buying that brand from that dealer. Just do some comparison shopping. Certainly if a dealer is giving you good service that's a reason to strongly consider going back.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    First, I'm not a fan of buying new boats. A year to 3 or 4 later you'll avoid the dealer markup, have the new boat bugs worked out and have a bunch of equipment that the first owner paid for. They'll also have very low hours making many truly like new. But that's an individual choice.
    I do like IPS. It just makes docking incredibly easy. Sure they require more maintenance than shafts and are more expensive, but when you talk about adding a bow and stern thruster you've balanced out the cost.
    As for fly bridge boats they give you more space and better visibility, but there's a trade off. In all my years on the water I've never gotten used to the feeling of when a wave comes up under the quarter, and the higher you are the more pronounced that feeling. Personally my favorite boats have upper and lower helms, but I recognize they're not that common in boats that size.
    Galeon boats I'm completely unfamiliar with, but what I will say is think of the back end...when you try to resell. A lesser known brand won't bring you the return a more known brand will.
  4. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    I think first I'd look at every other kind of boat that's currently offered for sale (in your general size and price range)... and compare all those to the features you like on the Galeon models...

    And while you're at it, make notes about which features you find attractive (and why), which features might be useful, which features your do NOT want, etc.

    Bow and stern thrusters can almost always be added afterwards, if you choose, as can joystick control.

    It should be easy enough to find a training captain, if you end up choosing something from somewhere other than MarineMax.

    -Chris
  5. sgawiser

    sgawiser New Member

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    I guess I am really biased but we find the IPS system really terrific after now more than 10 years of owning and operating IPS boats. It is most critical that the boat was designed for the IPS system in order to provide the additional interior space.

    While the maintenance is higher on an annual basis, we think it is well worth it comparing our experience with our previous 5 boats.

    Down here, a key issue for the flybridge is the number of bridges you would have to wait for. Given the weather at the moment, it would make for a long slog inside waiting for a number of the bridges on the ICW.
  6. R L H

    R L H New Member

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    I am pleasantly surprised at the quick feedback. I hope to use the boat for long weekends to nearby sites this year.

    Next year I may send the boat down to the Jupiter Florida area for the winter and stay on it for up to a week at a time, which is why I am considering a 47 foot Galeon “ 470 Sky Bridge”. I am afraid I maybe jumping too big and be a little over my head.

    When my father in-law retired years ago he got his first boat a 42 footer with no bow thruster and Docking was always stressful.

    I will be going to the Fort Lauderdale boat show at the end of the month and will look at other boats. I am told this year will not be the best show because nobody has boats to show.

    I am also considering buying a used boat that is two or three year old, but there are not many available in my area and the ones that are seem to be asking a lot.
  7. jsschieff

    jsschieff Senior Member

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    The IPS makes docking even a big boat stress-free. I was on a 55-footer recently and we docked in a very tight spot with a pretty strong breeze to boot and it was a piece of cake with the joystick.
    if you are interested in a more traditional boat than the Galeon, there are a number of used Sabres on the market with Pod drives. They are good quality boat and hold their value well.
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    47' is no different than 42' in terms of handling and docking. In some ways easier. Only differences are bottom cleaning, painting, washing, and dockage vary by length. But for extended times, 47' definitely more comfortable, especially if you have 4 or 6 people on board, or more.

    I also have heard all good things from Sabre owners and they were one of the early adapters of pods.
  9. Worthy vessel

    Worthy vessel Member

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    I have had straight shaft boats and Volvo pods!
    Many manufactures are putting a bow thruster on their pod drives because you can not move just the bow with a pod, or just the stern for that matter.
    I prefer straight shaft with bow and stern thrusters- I am a weekend boater and would not be comfortable in heavy wind or current.
    I did not find any significant fuel advantage in similar size and weight boats. Had a 355 Carver Motor Yacht 19,000 lbs and a 42 Regal Sports coupe also about 19,000 lbs (both diesel) and there might have been one tenth of a mile better fuel economy with the Regal, albeit the Regal cruised at 29mph and the Carver 26 mph
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Once you get near the 50' mark your insurance company may require a captain which will greatly affect your budget. So check into that before you get too far along.
    Sgawiser gave you the word on Jupiter bridges. Sage advice. Also consider that with a bridge boat the operator often ends up as a chauffer while the party goes on down below.
    This year boats are hard to come by and the prices are high because people were buying them with their vacation budgets because there's nothing else relatively safe to do due to Covid. It's a seller's market, which means a lousy time to buy. Especially since you're in Jersey I'd spend the winter learning the boats and market, and start looking next spring. Depending what happens next month with the elections and during the winter with Covid I have a feeling there will be a lot of good buys on used boats next spring/summer when a lot of middle class owners without jobs look to unload their luxury toys.
    DK the Lauderdale show will offer you much compared to the risks (and I believe you'll face a 2 week quarantine when you return home). I think the boat you want will be found a lot closer to home.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sorry but you're incorrect in that. With IPS you can do every maneuver you can with thrusters and gears and more. The fuel saving is well documented in controlled tests, but so subjective due to operating styles and circumstances that it shouldn't be a big determining factor. The main reasons to choose IPS are the ease of maneuvering in close quarters and the space it frees up. Consider any fuel savings or an extra knot or 2 you might realize as a bonus.
  12. Worthy vessel

    Worthy vessel Member

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    Are you saying they do not put bow thrusters in pod boats?
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    R L H
    If you really want to study lots of different toods about IPS and thrusters, search YF for lots of good interesting reading.
    These topics have come up many times before.
    I think the last time we discussed the thruster issue, most agreed it is a nice option and nice to use but not the end of the world.

    <<--- I'm of the old school, owner/operating a 42 year old, 58 x 18. I do not have nor need any stinking thrusters. Never a problem.
    Just learned how to operate a boat long ago and never needed them.

    Thru the years as a delivery captain, I have played with the pods and joysticks.
    Never good at arcade games and never got the hang of the joysticks. I'd just center the pods and maneuver at will the old fashioned way.
    Never a problem.
  14. Slimshady

    Slimshady Active Member

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    You couldn't be more wrong. OP will struggle to maneuver ips boat when in strong current, when close to bulkheads or shallow water. Put over 1k hrs on my ips boat, so been there done that. Your slip mates won't appreciate all the thrust and mud being kicked up. Bow and stern thruster offer better control and less stress. Volvo reliability is terrible. Most techs are parts changers not true mechanics. Parts are very expensive and don't breakdown around year end. Volvo goes on a month vacation, forget trying to fly in parts for 4 weeks. Mine was lift kept and open checkbook maintenance. Never will I own a volvo again. Why have many builders dropped volvo?? Enquiring minds want to know????
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Thrusters on pod boats? Sure on some big yachts and commercial craft, but I've never seen them on boats in this size range.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    We'll agree to disagree on that, and in my thousands of hours transporting and teaching on IPS I've never had a complaint from a slip mate about propwash. Just awe at how maneuverable it is. I've never had the need to use a stern thruster and see them as amateur hour. Bow thrusters are handy on some boats and in some situations, but I seldom used them. My experience has been the when you need them most is when they fail. Volvo reliability is a different subject on a different thread. To me IPS would be my main reason for going with Volvo, not the other way around. Volvo is one of the most innovative companies in the marine market place and with innovation comes not always such good things.
  17. Slimshady

    Slimshady Active Member

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    How many hours do you have breaking free stuck blowers, bad turbos, bad pulley tensioner, replacing belts ect ect. I'll take a bow and stern thruster everyday and in every situation over ips.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You're welcome to your opinion.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Ok, you call him out for misinformation but you have your own. Just because you couldn't handle your IPS doesn't mean others can't. I do agree on still needing bow thrusters on a 47'. As to Volvo, more builders are adding than dropping. Many European and Asian builders using more heavily. I don't know when you had yours or where or what year it was but their parts in the US has improved in the last few years. Still wouldn't be my first choice, but better than you make them out to be.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Btw, one place I taught a lot of people to use IPS was on the Shinnecock Canal where the current often runs at up to 6 kts., and yes an eddy runs along the docks and bulkheads. Several of the people I taught never owned a boat before and almost all never ran IPS before. No problems.