Volvo Penta: DPI Aquamatic now also on bigger boats

Volvo Penta DPI Aquamatic stern drive is now on the market as a triple installation. This new configuration will allow fitting on even the largest boats – both commercial and leisure.

The Aquamatic, launched in 1959. Designed by Jim Wynne, it was the solution that combined an automotive engine with a transmission similar to that used in boats. It marked the beginning of a new era for the nautical world, which until then had only used two propulsion systems: outboard or inboard shaft drive.

volvo penta aquamatic

Since then, the Aquamatic has undergone continuous upgrades – with innovations such as the Duoprop, electric rudder and joystick. In 2019, Volvo Penta released its latest generation of Aquamatic units, the DPI, which maximises comfort, manoeuvrability and performance, as well as reduced maintenance. Now the company now wants to offer the benefits of the Aquamatic DPI to boats up to 60 feet, thanks to the introduction of triple installation.

The DPI system features a hydraulic clutch that ensures silent and smooth shifting, as well as slip at low engine speeds, resulting in greater manoeuvrability and comfort at lower boat speeds. And together with the electric steering, which is standard, the joystick functionality is incredibly precise. The Aquamatic DPI also has the option of the Dynamic Positioning System (DPS), which automatically maintains the direction and position of the boat, even in strong currents or wind – ideal when preparing to dock.

Volvo Penta’s D4 and D6 engines make planing easier with impressive torque at low revs. When the boat reaches higher revs, the turbo takes over to ensure that speed can be maintained regardless of load or sea state. The Duoprop transmission and propellers are designed to transmit all that torque to the water, making tight turns and manoeuvring in the harbour easier.

There is a difference, and you can feel it

Two years ago Volvo Penta and boat builder Marell set new standards for high-speed boats with the launch of the Marell M15, powered by a twin Volvo Penta D6-440 DPI. Now Marell is launching a new Marell M15 patrol boat with a triple DPI installation.

“When we originally launched the Marell M15 it had a top speed of around 40 knots,” explains Jonas Karnerfors, Sales Project Manager, Volvo Penta. “Now, with the triple DPI, we have increased the top speed by 10 knots and increased the acceleration, while keeping the fuel consumption at 40 knots. These are just some of the many benefits we intend to offer, with this new trim, to both boat owners and operators. Now, regardless of the application of sterndrive, customers can rest assured that their expectations of optimum comfort and smooth control at the helm will be met.”

(Volvo Penta: Aquamatic DPI now also on larger boats – – July 2021)