Proven Success: Tropic Star Lodge

Only accessible by boat or small plane, the Tropic Star Lodge is a world-renowned fishing resort. It is located in Piñas Bay, Panama, and has a fleet of 14 Bertram fishing boats ready to provide billfish anglers a unique fishing experience. Ursula Marais, chief executive officer of the Tropic Star Lodge, began a full-scale engine repower project two years ago. The project involves plans to repower and refurbish all 14 boats in the fleet. Now, the fishing is only getting better with twin Volvo Penta D4 marine diesel engines powering some of the boats.

“In 2016, we began researching engines for the fleet, and decided to move from mechanical engines to electronic diesel engines,” said Marais while reminiscing about how it all started. “Being in a remote location, we needed our mechanics trained on the new engines. The local Volvo Penta dealer promised us training, that marine parts and supplies would be readily available, and timely responsiveness from the company. It’s worked out well so far.”

To get everyone up to speed, Marais sent one of Tropic Star’s mechanics to Volvo Penta in Virginia for complete training; he then trained her staff. With six boats already completed, the benefits of repowering are clear. The company is seeing improved fuel consumption, low engine noise and more power.

“We also like how the engines fit nicely in the boats. With a 60% or more reduction in noise, our customers are really enjoying their experience on the water,” said Marais. “Our boats are going further and faster, and we are able to get to the fishing grounds more quickly.”

“I was out on one of the fishing boats, and it was very pleasurable. You can have a conversation, it’s not noisy,” said Marais. “The engines were smooth and quiet. I couldn’t believe it. It was only Volvo Penta, no other way to get that.”

Marais is experiencing 26 percent less fuel consumption. Their boats run about 1,100-1,500 hours per year, with two hundred days per year out on the water, for about 7-8 hours at a time. The boat operators say the boats are handling well, they love the speed and performance and are learning the electronic systems through on-the-job experience and training.

Sportfishing has long since been a favorite pastime of fishermen with a passion for outdoor recreational activities. Serious anglers know the significance of a powerful sports fishing boat for venturing on the water, particularly popular in Piñas Bay, Panama.

About the D4 Engine:

Reliability is a key element for sports fishing boats and marine commercial operations of all kinds. Volvo Penta’s high performance marine engine meets this with high uptime, diesel fuel efficiency and power – known for its robust cast iron cylinder block and head. It injects fuel for high pressure and performance. The D4 is designed for low fuel consumption, emission levels and noise levels when running.

The low maintenance costs also benefit the total cost of ownership, making them a prime choice for repowers. This marine diesel engine offers unique marine torque for high cruising speed with quick acceleration and maneuvering functionality in all conditions. Torque also has a positive impacts the longevity of the engine.

Integrated Marine Propulsion System

Volvo Penta engines that are paired with our Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) system can operate with more ease and accessibility. EVC integrates with the engines, electronics and unique optional functions all in one platform. Workboats of all kinds can benefit from key features enabled through EVC such as Joystick DockingDynamic Positioning System and Glass Cockpit. EVC provides marine professionals with a seamless operator interface and maneuvering capability, with easy ownership options and efficient power management.

Emission Friendly, Sustainable Solutions

Volvo Penta meets the stringent EPA and IMO emission regulations for marine commercial operations, within the United States and outside of it. Depending on the workboat, our propulsion solutions are equipped to meet the emission standard for the specific application. Volvo Penta offers a specific IMO III engine range for IPS, inboard, genset and auxiliary applications under 800 hp. The SCR exhaust aftertreatment technology with our robust engines result in a power solution to achieve low emissions.

Right for the Job

In sportfishing, where vessels need reliability and onboard comfort for an enjoyable fishing experience, Volvo Penta’s high performance diesel engines offer advanced, emission friendly and reliable technology to get the job done.

Volvo Penta has over 100 years of experience working together with marine commercial experts both in the United States and across the globe. The company has the knowledge, worldwide support and services to equip marine commercial professionals with the engine technology needed for a successful workboat operation.

Sportfishing vessel owners and other marine industry professionals can benefit from the variety of Volvo Penta’s marine commercial offerings, including propulsion, auxiliary equipment and comprehensive marine generator sets. These solutions are specifically designed to benefit vessels for newbuilds or repowers, no matter the application.

Interested in repowering your own workboat application? Volvo Penta’s authorized service dealers can help. Find a dealer near me: Dealer Locator.

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