The PTA80 departed from Lavrio, Greece, this week, bringing the Volvo Penta IPS Med trip to a close – but we couldn’t end the blog without a final look back at everything this journey achieved.
Although this year’s journey will be the PTA80’s last tour around Europe — following the Channel trip last year and the Baltic trip in 2011 — the vessel leaves behind an important legacy.
Each of the Volvo Penta IPS trips has highlighted the benefits of using a hands-on approach to marketing and advertising the unique benefits of the inboard propulsion system. Especially within Volvo Penta’s Marine Commercial sector, the try-before-you-buy approach has played a huge part in allowing the company to present itself as a key player within the professional market.
“At the Seawork exhibition in Southampton this summer, we noticed significant growth in the number of boats fitted with Volvo Penta IPS compared to last year’s show,” Jan-Willem Vissers, Sales Director for Marine Commercial Europe, explains. “This lines up with the positive feedback we’ve been receiving from European customers who appreciate Volvo Penta’s efforts to bring the product to them. Something is obviously working.
“For me, the high point was hearing about the four Bulgarian customers who attended the stopover in Split, Croatia,” he continues. “The fact that they drove over 20 hours to be a part of the Volvo Penta IPS Med trip shows how popular this event really is.”
The unexpected stopover in Lavrio meant that participation at sea trials and seminars could be extended even further. Despite customers from Israel and Turkey being unable to attend due to the short-notice, initial interest from these regions was significant, proving that customers keen to experience Volvo Penta IPS extend beyond Europe.
Although the Med trip is now over, with no more scheduled tours planned for the region, Europe will continue to benefit from pin-pointed activities designed to continue targeting potential customers — proving that the practical approach works best when it comes to showcasing Volvo Penta IPS.
PTA80 left Lavrio on June 24th and she is now travelling home on a yacht transport, planned to arrive Kalundborg on July 6 th, where Klas and Björn will pick her up and go the last 120 d – 6 hour journey back safely home.
A last minute extension to the Volvo Penta IPS Med trip made the sea trial experience available to Israeli, Turkish and Greek customers in Lavrio, Greece, this week.
With only a few days to spare before the PTA80 was scheduled to make her way home from Lavrio, Greece, to Gothenburg, Sweden, on the yacht transport ship Mitiq, organizers decided to hold a spontaneous boat trial at the Greek port, allowing the Israeli, Turkish and Greek Marine Commercial markets a chance to experience the benefits of Volvo Penta IPS firsthand.
Despite having only a week and a half to prepare for the unexpected stopover, organizers managed to pull together an impressive event: the PTA80 was moored in Lavrio’s Olympic Marine, an excellent location for potential customers to make the most of the sea trials – and with a seminar room only a stone’s throw away, Marine business segment manager and one of the event’s organizers Grethe Loretan Yllö said she was satisfied with how things turned out.
“It’s a real testament to the reputation Volvo Penta IPS holds when in just over a week we can gather 30 potential customers together from this vast region, all of them eager to see for themselves the benefits of our unique inboard propulsion system,” Grethe noted. “I’m incredibly pleased with what we achieved in Lavrio.”
With designers, shipyards and operators in attendance, the electronic features of Volvo Penta IPS particularly intrigued those aboard the vessel. “They were all impressed by the joystick docking and the dynamic positioning capabilities of the PTA80,” Grethe explained after the sea trials were complete. “The event has given Volvo Penta some really interesting leads.”
On June 23 the PTA80 will travel back to Gothenburg, leaving behind beautiful (and sunny) Lavrio. Although this is farewell for now, the Med trip will hopefully return next year with another fantastic route.
Italy’s floating city provided a spectacular backdrop to the Volvo Penta IPS Med trip.
There’s an old saying in the Veneto region of Italy: All true Venetians are born with the ability to swim. Venice’s complex and intricate connections to water are renowned and stretch back centuries, making the ‘floating city’ a cornerstone of maritime history.
It was this aspect that made the Venice stopover an extra special one for the PTA80 and her crew. “It’s a beautiful city,” noted Volvo Penta product manager Andrea Piccione. “What better place to take our Med trip?”
The sea trials and seminars were some of the most successful yet, with a fantastic turn-out from many different potential customers, who made the journey from around the region to learn more about Volvo Penta IPS. With the Italian sun shimmering overhead, the PTA80 and her crew took to the open waters just off the island.
“The region boasts a thriving marine network,” Andrea says. “Our customers here have a real affinity for water, and I think that’s why the stopover was such a positive one.”
Visitors were highly impressed by the comfortable ride afforded by Volvo Penta IPS, not least because many were used to noisy or vibrating systems. With fire brigades, coastguards, shipyard investors and ferry boat operators in attendance, Volvo Penta IPS really rocked the boat in Venice.
The PTA80’s second-to-last stopover in Split, Croatia, attracted attendees from across Southeastern Europe. Visitors traveled from far and wide to attend the PTA80’s penultimate stopover in Split, Croatia, with guests from Hungary and Bulgaria driving over twenty hours to attend the first day of seminars.
PTA80 moored in Split City Harbour, Croatia
Many aboard the PTA80 during sea trials were initially unconvinced by her precise maneuvering capabilities—until the vessel moored at a 60-degree angle between two multi-million-euro yachts. Although many feared that this tricky positioning would end in disaster, the captain and crew managed to moor the PTA80 without a hitch. The Hansson brothers, Thomas and Tobias, will leave the PTA80 on her second day in Split, handing over the reins to Niclas Ebentbratt and Stefan Heineras. The new crew take over the second day of sea trials and will drive the boat from Split to Venice for a three day event first before heading for Lavrio in Greece, traveling through the Corinthian Channel en route.
The Volvo Penta IPS Med Trip made a quick stopover in the tiny Montenegrin resort town of Budva this week, seeing 20 guests before heading up the Adriatic Coast.
Budva, Montenegro, was one of the Med Trip’s shortest stopovers. With a tight schedule and no off-day scheduled between the Budva stopover on the 4th and the Split, Croatia, stopover the next day, the PTA80 and her crew left the Montenegrin port in a hurry on Wednesday. To make it to their next port in time, the crew held sea trials in the morning — rather than after lunch — and left port by 1 pm.
Though the stop was a quick one, the Volvo Penta team still managed to meet with 20 people from Montenegro and Serbia — as well as operators and representatives from a shipyard and the local Volvo Penta Center in Romania who made a lengthy two-day drive to attend the seminars. Attendees included maritime police, the Montenegrin ministry of defense, naval architects, journalists and municipal authorities.
But even though the stopover was a brief one, Volvo Penta IPS didn’t fail to make a big impression. The quote of the day came from a boat designer who said, “The IPS system is so easy, anyone can use it—and that’s a great benefit to our business.”
Stopover in Budva – a coastal town in Montenegro with around 20,000 inhabitants. The coastal area around Budva, called the Budvanska rivijera is the centre of Montenegro’s tourism and well known for its bright sandy beaches and Mediterranean architecture. Budva is 3,500 years old – one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic Sea coast.
The PTA80 and her crew pull into the bustling port of Messina for two more successful trials – and a taste of Sicilian cuisine.
The stopover in Messina began in true Sicilian fashion with a relaxed breakfast of granite al caffé con panna and briochas. Then it was off to the local sailing society club house for a presentation on the IPS and its many benefits. As there were no reference points outside the harbor on the open sea, the joystick maneuvering and docking demonstrations were carried out within the narrow harbor among the many fishing boats moored to the walls. The local fishermen were fascinated to see the 22m-long PTA80 moving sideways and rotating within a mere few feet of the other boats and mooring lines!
Volvo Penta IPS med trip stopover Sicily
Despite a strike which prevented a number of customers and senior Volvo Penta staff in Milan from attending the Riposto trials, two successful rounds were carried out in Messina on Friday and a follow-up test run for a Sicilian ferry operator on Saturday. They were well attended by representatives from the Volvo Penta Center, as well as local charter companies, yacht builders and ferry operators. Needless to say, they were all very impressed. One attendee couldn’t believe how easily the PTA80 maneuvered without a bowthruster. Another, so pleased with the performance of the vessel and the Volvo Penta IPS, asked if he could buy the boat!
With another strong performance under her belt, the PTA80 prepares to leave Messina – no doubt with a cargo of delicious Sicilian oranges and lemons – swapping the Ionian Sea for the Adriatic. She will next make port in Montenegro and Croatia, stopover Budva on June 4th, before heading back to Italy.
Sicily’s fiery volcano, Etna, fails to deter the PTA80 and her crew from continuing on their Mediterranean voyage.
Med trip Stopover in Porto dell’Etna
Situated on the eastern coast of Sicily, the 500,000-year-old active volcano Etna provides a striking backdrop to the Med trip’s eighth stopover in Porto dell’Etna. Existing in an almost constant state of activity, Etna frequently forces local authorities to display red signs that indicate the volcano is in imminent danger of erupting.
Coping with natural hazards is becoming something of a routine for the PTA80 – only last week the Med trip was brought to an abrupt halt when dangerously strong winds and severe storms forced the vessel and her crew to make an emergency stop at the south-west Corsican port of Propriano.
But for the PTA80 the show must go on. Despite red signs, this stopover will still be a perfect opportunity for customers from Messina and Catania to test the capabilities of the Volvo Penta IPS.