Marseille’s distinction as the European Culture Capital in 2013, along with its quick links to Corsica, Italy and Africa, makes it a hive of activity with a high turnover of visitors, many of whom arrive via cruise vessels. Such a busy atmosphere made Marseille the perfect third stopover on the 2014 Volvo Penta IPS Med trip.
With the PTA80 well-positioned in the main port, and a conference room close by, Volvo Penta France and Volvo Penta’s local dealer SMMI in Marseille helped host a successful two days of seminars and boat trials for important potential customers based in the region.
Visitors from marine safety authorities, French navy communications, tug boat, ferry boat and crew boat operators, representatives from various shipyards, and naval architecture companies turned out in Marseille to learn more about the Volvo Penta IPS system.
Altogether, 25 people were able to test the PTA80 in rough sea conditions outside the port of Marseille — though they were lucky enough to experience the test drive while in sight of the beautiful Iles du Frioul. The test drivers also had no problem crabbing, and thanks to the dynamic positioning function on the PTA80, the vessel kept steady and managed to retain her position, despite the strong wind.
For many, it was the first time experiencing the Volvo Penta IPS; sales project manager Gerard Törneman noted that ‘participants were very impressed by the well-balanced engine speed while the engine was in joystick mode, as well as the low levels of noise and vibration compared with other joystick systems.’ In addition Volvo Penta’s joystick system also offers high-speed steering, a function more efficient than that of its competitors.
In the strong winds just off the coast of Marseille, the PTA80 remained extremely stable and a delight to control; the ease of joystick driving meant that all test-drivers agreed that no steering wheel was needed.
One of the officials in attendance, French Naval Captain Frédéric Paillat, stated that the experience aboard the PTA80 was a ‘very friendly and rewarding one’, adding that he considered the Volvo Penta IPS system to be highly reliable.
In the evening, the Volvo Penta Center in Marseille hosted a lovely evening on a large catamaran boat equipped with D4 propulsion engines. The winds were gentle, and guests were able to enjoy a tour of Marseille’s large harbor, as always in a vessel safely powered by Volvo Penta.