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Volvo Penta Coastal Series Crushes Five Sterndrive Myths

With the Coastal Series features and advanced marine-engine technology, Volvo Penta debunks these five long-held sterndrive myths.

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A decade of engineering innovation by Volvo Penta focused on performance and durability has produced the new Coastal Series Corrosion Protection Package for both the Volvo Penta Aquamatic and Forward Drive systems paired with V6 and V8 gasoline engines in North America. With the Coastal Series features and advanced marine-engine technology, Volvo Penta debunks these five long-held sterndrive myths. Learn how Volvo Penta sterndrive power has become an ideal choice for saltwater applications.

Regal 38 Fly cruising
The Regal 38 Fly is powered by Twin Volvo V8 430 EVC DP Joystick Cat. Garrett Cortese/Volvo Penta

Myth: The sterndrive was invented to power small boats in fresh water.

Busted: Just months after the Volvo Penta Aquamatic sterndrive was unveiled at the 1959 New York Boat Show, inventor Jim Wynne installed a prototype in a Thunderbird boat, entered the prestigious Miami-to-Nassau offshore race, won his class, and finished fourth overall—with a Boating Magazine editor as his co-pilot. From the beginning, the sterndrive was proven capable in salt water and demanding conditions.

Volvo Penta helm
Volvo Penta clutch features Silent Shift, which provides a seamless and soundless shifting, in and out of gear, making a more enjoyable experience on-board. Garrett Cortese/Volvo Penta

Myth: Sterndrives corrode in salt water.

Busted: Coastal Series drives are designed from the inside out to resist corrosion in salt water. The advanced titanium-ceramic coating is applied using a state-of-the-art electrodeposition process and covers the entire drive assembly for maximum protection of the aluminum castings against galvanic corrosion. The highly durable and flexible coating is chromate free and environmentally friendly. To further block galvanic corrosion, standard Active Corrosion Protection (ACP) applies impressed electrical currents through a transom unit. The system continually measures and automatically adjusts the electrical output for ideal protection in both brackish and salt water. A second active system uses sensors that monitor the quality of the drive gear’s lubricant and any presence of water in the bellows area. The sensors deliver audible and visual warnings to indicate potential marine corrosion in these areas. Volvo Penta is so confident in the corrosion protection offered by its Coastal Series package that it is backed by a seven-year/480-hour transferable extended protection package with full coverage of the engine, drive, transom shield and controls.

Volvo Penta sterndrive
Stop wrestling with that outboard cowl. Simply raise the hatch to see how Volvo Penta has located color-coded service points such as the oil and fuel filters, dipsticks, and coolant expansion tank, and the seawater pump high or in front of the engine. Garrett Cortese/Volvo Penta

Myth: Sterndrives are old technology, iron made.

Busted: Volvo Penta gasoline V6 and V8 engines are purpose-built with marine-specific aluminum block and exhaust manifolds, fresh water cooled standard, a water-separating fuel filter, and an engine calibrated to produce the low-end torque required to lift the heaviest boats on plane with ease. Technologies such as exhaust catalysts, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing broaden the powerband, make the most of every ounce of fuel, and minimize CO exhaust emissions at idle. Volvo Penta engines are also designed to resist corrosion in salt water. The block, heads and exhaust are aluminum, and standard freshwater cooling means salt water never touches internal engine components. Plus, the Volvo Penta clutch features Silent Shift, which provides a seamless and soundless shifting, in and out of gear, making a more enjoyable experience on-board.

Myth: Sterndrives are hard to service.

Busted: Stop wrestling with that outboard cowl. Simply raise the hatch to see how Volvo Penta has located color-coded service points such as the oil and fuel filters, dipsticks, coolant expansion tank, and the seawater pump high or in front of the engine. The engine flush and Easy Drain feature clear raw water from the cooling system with a push of a button. Available Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit and Engine Monitoring Displays offer diagnostics and constant monitoring of all vital functions on a color screen.

Myth: A sterndrive has a lower power-to-weight ratio.

Busted: Last time we looked, the fastest performance boats are all sterndrive-powered, for a reason. A sterndrive powertrain might weigh more than an outboard, but the sterndrive offers tremendous torque and centers engine mass within the boat for improved ride and handling in all conditions, leaving the transom uncluttered for easy access to the water and the dock. Contra-rotating Aquamatic Duoprop and Forward Drive propellers maximize thrust and deliver outstanding handling, control and efficiency.

Regal with Volvo Penta sterndrive near shore
A sterndrive powertrain might weigh more than an outboard, but the sterndrive offers tremendous torque and centers engine mass within the boat for improved ride and handling in all conditions, leaving the transom uncluttered for easy access to the water and the dock. Garrett Cortese/Volvo Penta

Experience confident corrosion resistance, outstanding performance and serviceability, and the convenience of a clean transom. Step into the future with a saltwater-ready drive featuring the Volvo Penta Coastal Series Corrosion Protection Package.

For more information on the Volvo Penta Coastal Series Corrosion Protection Package, visit volvopenta.com/en-us/marine/leisure-solutions/powerboat-solutions/coastal-series/. For the Regal 38 Fly, visit regalboats.com/model/38-fly-yacht/.

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