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Volvo Penta IPS joystick

In the beginning Volvo Penta unveiled the IPS, a diesel propulsion package that revolutionized the way inboard boats are powered. With a swiveling drive leg (an azipod) below the hull, counter-rotating, forward-facing propellers move the boat forward, backward or sideways. IPS azipod improves top speed, acceleration, fuel economy and maneuverability.

More recently Volvo Penta introduced a joystick control for its IPS system, and this control makes docking a boat even simpler. Here's how it works: Twist the knob to turn the boat in a tight radius; nudge the lever forward to move the boat forward; push it diagonally to move the boat on a sideways course. The engine is locked at 600 rpm, although it can be upped to 1200 rpm to deal with wind or current. The result: A boat equipped with this system doesn't need bow or stern thrusters. The IPS joystick is an option on new boats, and can be retrofitted to existing IPS packages.