ZF Marine Debuts 4600 POD Propulsion System
Marine driveline specialist ZF announced it will premier its new 4600 POD Propulsion System for large vessels for the first time in North American markets during this week’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show (FLIBS).
Engineered for large recreational and commercial vessels with planing and semi-displacement hulls measuring from 80 up to 130 feet, the 4600 POD Propulsion system first set sail in the Grande 26M motor yacht by Azimut last fall, but has been unavailable outside of European markets until now. The system is compatible with all main OEM engines up to 1,700 hp at a maximum of 2,450 rpm.
The 4600 POD Propulsion system can be configured in a twin unit installation (for vessels measuring 80 to 100 feet) and triple unit layout (for ships measuring up to 130 feet), depending on the application. For recreational vessels, this includes both planing and semi-displacement yachts; commercial applications include pilot boats, supply vessels, small ferries as well as patrol and rescue boats.
The 4600 POD possess an optimized hydrodynamic shape which significantly reduces the drag of the submerged parts, ZF said, noting this supports contra-rotating propellers and improves the overall horizontal thrust of the propulsion system.
Featured inside the 4600 POD newly designed gearing. Its 2.434:1 gear reduction allows for larger propellers (up to 38.5” diameter). Compared to other pod systems on the market, the 4600 POD System is up to twice as powerful while still consuming up to 15% less fuel than a traditional shaftline propulsion system, the manufacturer said. On larger vessels, the 4600 POD system allows designers to reduce the number of POD units typically required to reach the desired speed, reducing the complexity of onboard systems as well as the vessel’s drag. All in all, the streamlined design and contra-rotating propellers of the system are optimized for maximum speeds between 20 and 32 knots.
ZF noted the 4600 POD Propulsion System also gives shipbuilders more freedom during the design phase. The engines can be mounted further aft, reducing the engine room length, and thus increasing available space for accommodations on recreational vessels and providing larger working areas on commercial vessels. Compared to conventional shaftline systems, the 4600 POD’s mounting solution with large rubber seals reduces structural vibrations and consequently, structural noise. The engine can also be installed on softer elastic mounts since it does not have to absorb the propeller thrust.
The system comes with an integrated exhaust and clutch which eliminates the need for an additional gearbox. ZF also supplies integrated hydraulic steering and state-of-the-art TotalCommand controls which includes the dynamic positioning feature iAnchor. Furthermore, the PODs are hybrid-ready – a highly desired feature in times of more stringent emission regulations in ports and other waterways.