INTRODUCTION TO ZEUS
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
 
 
                               
Pod integrated powertrain
 
Safety first
   
The full package
     
Performance
     
Unrivalled control
 
 
more
 

Zeus is a complete boat propulsion system, combining the engine, powertrain and all control systems including steering and helm interface in one optimized package. The development work at CMD has included the creation of the unique twisted-hexagon tunnel form – the most efficient for pod propulsion.

While the science and technical developments in Zeus represent the biggest advance in motor yacht propulsion of recent time, this is not just about the engineering. Zeus is all about the boater – making boating easier, safer and more enjoyable than ever before.

The Zeus pod features rear facing propellers. As they are sheltered by the torpedo in front of them, they are far less likely to suck underwater debris into themselves than in a forward facing arrangement. The propellers are further protected by the sacrificial skegs at the bottom of each pod, which prevent damage from those accidental little groundings that are all too easy when finding your way in tight anchorages and new harbours.

 

     

The propellers themselves are far less vulnerable than in other pod arrangements as they are recessed into the hexagonal tunnels, reducing how far they extend from the hull. With the torpedo the same depth as the keel, most floating objects will be deflected downwards by the keel or skeg without damaging the propellers. In addition, they are protected by a shear bearing in each pod, which sacrifices the pod in the event of a major underwater collision, while preserving the integrity of the hull.

Passive safety is increased as well and goes hand-in-hand with ease of use. For example, the automatic trim tabs ensure continual visibility during acceleration by adjusting the boat’s trim angle, and the greater low speed control offered by Zeus reduces the risks in close quarters manoeuvers, even in strong wind and currents.

     

Zeus is more than a propulsion package – every part of the drive and control systems on board, from the exhausts to the steering, are integrated in the system. Developed by people who really go boating, Zeus is the most intuitive and useful package around. The manoeuverability from the joystick controlled pods might not come as a surprise, but what about a Skyhook so the boat can hold its position and heading anywhere you like? Or automated trim tabs to optimize the performance every time you accelerate? All this, and much more can be monitored at the helm on the Smartcraft monitoring screen.

The same comprehensive philosophy extends to the engineering of the system itself, which includes features like hydraulic steering with back up, a trolling valve for improved low speed control, active galvanic corrosion protection in the pod, and the ability to change the oil in the pod without the need to lift the boat out of the water.

Propulsion is provided by Cummins exceptional common rail diesel engines which are well proven in pleasure craft and combine tremendous refinement with class-leading power to weight ratios. The 38 Sprint is powered by Cummins QSB 5.9 litre diesels, rated at 425hp for powerful performance and economical cruising.

     

Pod propulsion is more efficient than conventional rudder and shafts. The fewer underwater appendages mean less drag under the hull, so more of the power is going into performance. Additionally, as the pod propellers are parallel to the hull, rather than at an angle as on a shaft arrangement, more of the thrust is pushing the boat in the right direction. Zeus produces startling figures on the 38 Sprint – 20% more range at 25 knots, 15% higher top speed compared to shafts and rudders. Many of the Zeus developments improve on water performance, including the automated trim tabs which have been shown in tests to be 2.5 times more efficient than conventional tabs to the benefit of acceleration and mid-range economy.

The pod design itself has been refined for Zeus to enhance performance and reduce on board noise and vibration. Details like the through hub exhausts and counter rotating stainless steel propellers all help refinement on board. The rear facing propeller pod design has benefits over other systems in this area too, as they do not induce the form drag that is caused by the acceleration of water around the gear case, as found with any prop forward arrangement.

     

To say that Zeus is intuitive would be a huge understatement. The integration of steering, gear shift, throttle, trim tabs, joystick, GPS and autopilot in a single system gives a precision and ease of use that rewrites expectations of handling a modern motor yacht.

Out on the water, the performance is experienced more like a luxury sports car than a typical yacht. While the automatic trim tab system ensures perfect acceleration and improves visibility under power, the counter rotating props ensure dead straight tracking. The hydraulic power steering drives independently steering pods and is controlled by an electric self-centering wheel, giving fantastic feedback and perfect control. Like cruise control in a car, because all the control modes are part of one system, switching between them is far more straightforward. Spotted a lobster pot while on autopilot? Just give the wheel a turn to take back manual control.

At the dock, waiting for a lock or exploring a new anchorage, joystick control deals with all the worry – a simple turn of the wrist does it all. With one hand, you can spin the boat on a coin or track sideways and every possible manoeuvre in between. If you need to hang about for a fuel dock, want to sit bow into the current and cast a fishing line, or just stop for a moment to enjoy a great sea view, activate Skyhook and the station keeping function will keep your boat right where you are, even in strong currents and windy conditions.