Inner drive

eet the captain of Sherpa XL, the latest Volvo Penta powered explorer yacht.

30 October 2019


Born in Naples, Italy, Mario De Camillis has been a captain for 20 years now. His boating journey began at the age of four when he would race sailboats in regattas.

De Camillis is now Service Manager and Fleet Captain at Arcadia Yachts.  the latest addition from the Italian boatbuilder Arcadia Yachts. The Sherpa XL is a explorer superyacht, powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS1050 or IPS1350. 

De Camillis knows what makes a good boat, and he’s no novice when it comes to Volvo Penta’s Inboard Performance System (IPS).

“The first time I drove a boat with Volvo Penta IPS was in 2015. I remember thinking it was like jumping into a different world. The joystick took me back to my childhood days of video gaming, only with an added layer of responsibility,” De Camillis chuckles. “And now I get to experience all that again with the Sherpa XL.”

With steerable drive units and forward-facing, twin counter-rotating propellers, the IPS system provides up to 30 percent lower fuel consumption and 20 percent higher top speed compared with traditional shaft installations in the 85-90-foot segment.


“The combination of Arcadia’s unique semi-planning fibreglass hull design and Volvo Penta’s IPS is perfect to create a fuel-efficient yacht,” explains De Camillis.

“In terms of manoeuvrability, the Sherpa XL is one of the most precise vessels of its class I’ve ever captained.”

“Using the joystick control, I can make exact movements in crowded marinas with millimetre accuracy. When you are trying to dock a boat of this size in tricky conditions – with the owners watching your every move – the IPS’ precision is an advantage.”

Thanks to exhaust fumes being released through the pod, the low vibration of the twin counter-rotating propellers and effective suspension, vibrations and noise levels are significantly reduced – by up to 50 percent – thus increasing onboard comfort for passengers and crew.

Comfort is also enhanced by the compact layout of the IPS installation, which creates a smaller engine room, resulting in considerably more usable space onboard. “Crew comfort is at the heart of this yacht,” comments De Camillis. “The fact that the IPS is so compact means there is additional space for cabins.”

The Arcadia Sherpa XL and the Volvo Penta IPS are a perfect match and that has not gone unnoticed. At this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival – where it was first revealed – the Sherpa XL won the Best Innovation Trophy.


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