GEAR | Volvo Penta powers fleet of boats in South America’s demanding Beagle Channel

MEPS WEEK

Los Yámanas, which offers sea excursions in the Beagle Channel, is using Volvo Penta to power two of its tour boats.

Tours start from Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, an island at the southern tip of South America. It’s long been known as the southernmost city on Earth and is one of Argentina’s top destinations.

“We have a fleet of four boats,” said the company’s President, Constante Moreno Preto, “with capacities of up to 170 passengers. All are powered by Volvo Penta, with two of our catamarans [being] powered by Volvo Penta IPS 900 packages, rating 3.”

Moreno’s fleet mainly operates in the Beagle Channel – one of three navigable routes linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the southern tip of South America.

“On a good day the water is calm but on a bad day the sea can get terrifying. It can really feel like a matter of life or death,” said Moreno. “When conditions are bad it is vital that boats are reliable and that captains can maneuver them to safety easily. Volvo Penta’s individually steerable IPS drives are linked to the onboard joystick giving captains more control of the vessel especially when doing tight maneuvers or docking.”

The Beagle Channel is named after HMS Beagle, the ship which carried Charles Darwin to the area in 1831. Darwin was amazed at the flora and fauna in the region and tourists still flock to see the marine birds and mammals that reside here.

Protecting this environment is high on Los Yámanas’ priorities. The Volvo Penta IPS package delivers up to 30 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions than an inboard shaft. “This results in a reduced impact on the environment and that matters to us and the future of our business,” said Moreno.

Volvo Penta IPS also reduces noise and vibration levels by up to 50 percent which is important when operating in marine mammal habitats. Low noise and vibration also mean that passengers have a more comfortable experience and can feel even closer to the sights.

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Baird Maritime Gear Editor

The latest maritime gear and service news from across the globe.