We’re aboard a ’98 model Caribbean sedan formerly fitted with twin 200HP EFI Mercruisers. The classic old girl was recently refitted with twin 240HP Volvo Penta Aquamatics. They also feature duo-props. Four stainless steel propellers (12 blades in total) push the classic Caribbean along at 44 knots (82km/h), more than 10 knots faster than the previous donks. Cruising is also more efficient — at 4500 revs, the engines use 60L per hour combined, almost half the consumption of the old Mercruisers.
The Volvo Penta features an all-alloy block and heads with freshwater cooling, reducing the corrosion issues inherent with cast-iron models. They also save weight, each configuration (engine, leg and props) weighing 80kg less than the old model Mercuisers. The Volvo Penta tech guys have added tricks such as direct injection.
Matt takes up the tale: “Fuel pressure is around 2000psi and fired directly into the cylinder for a controlled, efficient burn — and the variable camshaft timing delivers consistent power right through the rev range.” He reckons the improved fuel system and catalytic converter eliminate some of old bad habits, such as fuel smell at low speeds.
We verify Matt’s claim, doing our best Snoopy impersonation on the back deck, while running at high and low speeds. On the emissions Matt says: “An oxygen sensor connected to a computer constantly monitors the gasses and adjusts the fuel ratios to give optimum performance.”