YANMAR Marine Newsletter
Yanmar Marine chose Genoa Boat Show at the beginning of October to launch Zeus pod drive systems for use with its diesel engines in the power range 400–575mhp. There was considerable interest in the Zeus pod drive coupled to a 530mhp Yanmar 6CX530 at the Italian show. Yanmar Marine also announced to launch two smaller Pods, for engines of 450mhp and below. All are the result of co-operation with transmissions company ZF Marine.
The joystick-controlled Zeus 3500 and 3800 now offered by Yanmar bring about substantial improvements in wide-open throttle performance, cruising speed and fuel economy, depending on boat and operating conditions. Throttle response at all speeds is enhanced. Turning efficiency and slow-speed manoeuvring are simplified. Thrust from these pod drives is horizontal, allowing the full power from the Yanmar engines to drive the boat forward, instead of wastefully pushing down the bow. The hydrodynamic design of each pod and positioning aft of the counter-rotating propellers create far less drag. Rotational losses are eliminated, no lateral forces are produced and cavitation is reduced markedly. Increased blade dimensions permit larger gear ratios to be used.
Should a Zeus pod drive hit underwater debris, propellers are protected by the gearcase and skeg. Most floating objects will be deflected downwards and away, but two sacrificial pieces are incorporated, designed to break away in the case of harsh impact, thereby avoiding damage to the hull.