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An ‘emergency brake at sea’

The “GPS Anchor” is described by Volvo as an emergency brake at sea. When a vessel is equipped with IPS and joystick control, the optional GPS Anchor feature allows the individually steered and electronically controlled drive units to be interfaced with a special GPS receiver supplying positioning data to the EVC system. The system then uses the data to calculate engine rpm,

Read the other story in this package: Volvo shows off new technology

gear settings and drive unit direction required to hold the boat in position. The GPS Anchor would be useful at bridge openings, locks, when fishing and even preparing the boat to dock as you deal with fenders and lines. The system can be retrofitted to existing IPS installations.

The “docking station” option provides additional control stations that have no steering wheel or controls other than the IPS joystick. Docking stations can be installed in positions that afford the operator the best possible view while maneuvering in close quarters. Up to four control stations can be installed on a boat, three of which can be docking stations.

The “low speed mode” option — previously available for inboard shaft installations — enables the boat to be driven at very low speeds with standard controls, very useful for trolling and close-quarters maneuvering. It also makes the joystick even more pleasant to use.

In “sport fish mode,” the IPS pods are directed outward toward the gunwales. As the operator puts one engine forward and the other astern, the torque moves the stern sideways. The movement is similar to that of a stern thruster, but the power being applied moves the stern around so quickly and accurately that it cannot be fully appreciated unless you are on board.

I was able to experience the feature on a Bavaria 42 with twin IPS 600s. I have been on many fishing boats operated by seasoned captains, and I’ve never been as impressed with a vessel’s ability to maneuver in reverse or back down in any direction to follow fish.