The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race is the sixth race with Volvo Penta as official engine supplier. Last edition, a new generation of one-design race boat, the Volvo Ocean 65, came equipped with a brand new setup for diesel power onboard – the Volvo Penta D2-75 with S-drive.
An essential part of life onboard – producing electricity for the communications equipment, computers, lights and heating throughout the 45,000 nautical-mile, eight-month marathon – as well as in emergency situations and the ability to motor in and out of the Host Cities, the D2-75 is a single engine for both auxiliary and propulsion.
Additionally, the canting keel, which provides extra counterweight when racing, allowing the boats to heel at more extreme angles, is moved by powerful hydraulic cylinders powered by an engine-driven hydraulic pump.
The main stress to the engines comes from the enormous G-forces induced by the very high speeds and violent motion of these race boats. At times the forces match those experienced by military aircraft, well above the conditions in which sailboats and engines normally operate.
Travelling technical expert supporting the Volvo Ocean Race