Why Volvo Penta’s Coastal Series Won a Marine Power Innovation Award

For advancing the state of the art in marine propulsion and, in doing so, changing the recreational boating experience for the better.

Sterndrive propulsion has a lot going for it in terms of boating aesthetics. With the engine hidden in a compartment (or room) and the drives hidden below the waterline at the transom or underneath a swim platform, sterndrives allow for prettier lines and better water access. The perceived knock against sterndrives, though, has always been that they don’t hold up in salt water. Volvo Penta’s innovative new Coastal Series uses technology, materials and engineering to protect its sterndrives from corrosion.

The Coastal Series is available for Volvo Penta’s 300 to 430 hp V-8 DPS and FWD gasoline sterndrives, which are popular as single applications in smaller runabouts or twin installations in larger dayboats and cruisers, making them all suited for coastal or offshore use.

Volvo Penta Coastal Series sterndrive
An all-aluminum engine and drive specially coated to thwart corrosion. Courtesy Volvo Penta

The main issue with sterndrives in salt is that they can’t be trimmed out of the water, so anyone leaving their boat in a slip or on a mooring is exposing the drives to corrosion 24-7. Volvo Penta uses a cutting-edge electro-deposition process to apply a titanium-ceramic coating to the entire drive assembly, protecting the aluminum from the galvanic corrosion process responsible for causing so many corrosion problems in traditional sterndrives. The coating is rugged and durable and meant to hold up in a harsh marine environment.

Volvo Penta Coastal Series Easy Drain
Closeup of Volvo Penta Easy Drain system, one of many easy maintenance features found with Coastal Series engines and drives. Courtesy Volvo Penta

The protection doesn’t stop there. Volvo Penta also uses a system called Active Corrosion Protection (ACP) that applies impressed electrical currents to the drive through a transom unit. The system continually measures and automatically adjusts the electrical output to prevent a corrosion-causing imbalance from interaction with salt water. The Coastal Series also features a monitoring system that checks for water intrusion in vulnerable areas such as the fuel filter, exhaust bellows and lower unit gearcase. If you trailer your boat or keep it on a lift, easily accessible flush points on the engine and the drive allow you to clear the system with freshwater after every use.

For providing coastal boaters a reason to fall in love with sterndrive power in saltwater, giving those boaters another trusted power option, we awarded Volvo Penta a Marine Power Innovation Award.