Late weekend greetings from the citrus isle

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

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.

The show must go on

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

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.


Out with the old, in with the new

After two successful days of seminars and sea trials in Napoli, the PTA80 bids farewell to her old crew and welcomes aboard a new skipper and crew.

Medtrip_NaplesAn eventful voyage from Marseille to Napoli ended with fond farewells from Aniko Holm and Arne Wettesten, as the vessel welcomed new captain Marco Derossi and new crew members Thomas and Tobias Hansson.

The two days of seminars and sea trials saw another excellent turnout, with many local and regional customers travelling to Napoli to experience first-hand the wonders of Volvo Penta IPS.

‘There was a mixture of attendees at the seminars,’ reflected Björn Säljö, VP product manager for Marine Commercial, ‘We saw that representatives from both the leisure and commercial segments of the marine industry were interested in learning more about Volvo Penta IPS.’

With Marine Leisure being established for over a decade, customers were interested in the latest features of Volvo Penta IPS, such as the joystick driving. Alternatively, customers from Marine Commercial were asking more conceptual questions in an attempt to get to grips with Volvo Penta IPS.

Once everyone got out of the seminar room and on to the water, however, opinion was unanimous – commercial and leisure customers were all in agreement that the inboard propulsion system was highly fuel efficient and an expert in maneuverability.

As the PTA80 continues on her Mediterranean voyage, one thing is becoming ever clearer – whether customers are from a commercial or leisure background, Volvo Penta IPS never ceases to impress and surprise.

PTA80 gathers crowds at Bonifacio harbor

Having weathered a few storms, the PTA80 and her crew were back to plain sailing, with two days of successful sea trials conducted in and around the Bonifacio harbor.

Med trip BonifacioWith the vessel making up for lost time on her journey from Propriano to Bonifacio, the crew saw their early arrival as the perfect opportunity to begin a preliminary round of sea trials.

A plain sea but strong winds made for excellent test-driving conditions, when the dynamic positioning system and docking capabilities of Volvo Penta IPS were really put to the test. Despite forceful gusts the joystick kept the boat in a precise position.

Those participating in the sea trials aboard the PTA80 included ferry drivers from the Bonifacio area. “During the high season, these drivers transport over 7,000 passengers a day,” says Volvo Penta product manager Andrea Piccione. “It’s really important that they have a system which is durable and reliable. Everyone was very impressed by the on-board comfort and quiet engine.”

Mr Pepe, responsible for Bonifacio’s commercial harbor, and Mr Mallori, responsible for the town’s leisure marina, were both in attendance during the second day of sea trials – along with the rest of Bonifacio!

“Many people from the town came to watch the PTA80 out on the water – with a narrow, crowded harbor, the precise maneuvering of the vessel was an impressive sight,” reported Andrea Piccione.

The Volvo Penta crew

The Volvo Penta team

PTA80 is back on track

After an impromptu stopover in the southwestern Corsican port of Propriano yesterday, the PTA80 and her crew have been given the all-clear to continue 35 miles south to their destination of Bonifacio.

With winds stilling and the seas looking considerably calmer, the PTA80 and her crew are getting the Volvo Penta IPS Med trip back on track.

Although this emergency stop was a first on the vessel’s Mediterranean voyage, it was hardly a surprise. “We knew the PTA80 had the potential to run into difficulty when we planned this portion of the route,” says Volvo Penta product manager Andrea Piccione. With the southern waters of Corsica notorious for extreme sea conditions, Andrea and the other crew members allowed themselves an extra day, in anticipation of a possible squall.

“At Volvo Penta, it is really important that we are reliable for our customers,” he says. “By giving ourselves some extra latitude, we could ensure that – even with a disruption – we would be in Bonifacio on time ready for the sea trials and seminars.”


Back on track!

PTA80 forced to make emergency stopover

Despite the PTA80’s early departure from Genova this morning to avoid poor incoming weather, her efforts were in vain — and the vessel and her crew were forced to make an emergency stopover on the west coast of Corsica.

medtrip_stormThe crew of the PTA80 decided to make an unexpected stopover this afternoon, as conditions at sea put a halt to the boat’s journey to Bonifacio. A first-time occurrence on the Volvo Penta IPS Med Trip, the vessel and her crew resigned themselves to an emergency mooring at the western Corsican port of Propriano until weather in the southern region begins to calm.

With dangerously strong winds and waves almost five meters high, the coast guard deemed conditions too severe for the PTA80 to continue on her journey.

Volvo Penta product manager Andrea Piccione made assurances that the Volvo Penta IPS Med trip would attempt to continue on to Bonifacio in the morning. “We’ve been told conditions should improve around noon tomorrow, so until then, we’re going to stay safe in Propriano and wait for the storm to pass,” he says.