Volvo Penta of the Americas Welcomes Volvo Ocean Race Fleet to Newport

Volvo Penta Is Official Supplier of Diesel Engines for Racing Sailboats, Gas Engines for Team RIBs, Power Generation Engine for Race Village
Volvo Penta of the Americas Welcomes Volvo Ocean Race Fleet to Newport

Volvo Penta is the official engine supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, the adrenaline-inducing, nine-month round-the-world endurance contest that makes its only North American appearance this week in Newport, Rhode Island.

Each of the identical one-class Volvo Ocean Race 65 racing boats is equipped with a Volvo Penta D2-75 hp diesel engine with S-Drive. The engines are used to produce electricity for the boats’ communications equipment, computers, watermakers, lighting and heating when underway. Race rules do not allow the engines to be used for propulsion when racing except in emergencies, but they can be used to motor in and out of the host-city ports.

“This is the sixth time Volvo Penta has supplied the auxiliary engines for the sailboats in the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas. “The grueling event puts our products to the ultimate test for durability and performance.”

Volvo Penta’s involvement in the Volvo Ocean Race extends beyond supplying and servicing the sailboat engines. For instance, Volvo Penta also supplied the V6-280 gasoline sterndrive engines that power the team RIBs to transport crew, equipment and guests during port stopovers. In addition, the Volvo Pavilion, which is a centerpiece in the 55,000-square-foot Race Village, gets its electricity from an industrial generator powered by a Volvo Penta TAD1651 diesel engine.

Providing technical support, maintenance and service for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is a tall order. The installed systems take a beating when sailing at extreme speeds under some of the world’s roughest sea conditions. To keep all the boats and their installed equipment operating throughout the race, the racers are supported by The Boatyard, a traveling workshop and maintenance facility that follows the fleet. Volvo Penta’s Technical Support Engineer Johannes Karlsson travels along with 50 other technical experts who support the boats and all the installed systems at The Boatyard during each port stopover. Armed with a full supply of spares and tools, the technicians can quickly assess and repair all systems, including electronics, rigging, sails and engines. Karlsson can also call on additional support from Volvo Penta’s worldwide dealer network at each stopover city.

“What we deliver at The Boatyard for the Volvo Ocean Race is similar to what we deliver every day through our global Volvo Penta network,” said Karlsson. “Many of our customers use their boats in extreme conditions or remote locations, relying on quick access to parts and service.”

Huibers noted that Volvo Penta of the Americas is a longtime supporter of the U.S. sailing industry. The company is a supporter of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, which inducted its Class of 2017 in Newport last September.

The Volvo Ocean Race will depart from Newport May 20, and the competition will conclude in June in The Hague. For details, and to follow up-to-the-minute race action, visit

Volvo Ocean Race Sailboat Engines – Technical Specifications

Engine                             Volvo Penta D2-75 with S-Drive
Crankshaft kW/hp             55/75
Rated rpm                        3,000
Cylinders                          4
Displacement, liters           2.2
Alternator                         12V 115A (with built-in charging sensor)

Volvo Penta Team RIB Engines – Technical Specifications

Engine                             Volvo Penta Aquamatic Gasoline Sterndrive Engine
Cylinders                          V6
kW/hp                               209/280
Rpm                                  5,800
Displacement, liters          4.3

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For further information, please contact:

Christine Carlson
Volvo Penta of the Americas
Phone: +1 (757) 382 4084
E-mail: christine [dot] carlson [at] volvo [dot] com