CruiseCraft, an Australian fishing boat producer, is venturing into the sportsboat market with a new vessel that features Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive (FWD) propulsion system.

CruiseCraft says that its 6m R6S model will be the first new boat in Australia fitted with Volvo Penta FWD. The Brisbane-based company has chosen to move into the watersports market – in addition to continuing to produce its fishing boat series – because of the advantages offered by FWD.

“We’re known as one of the best producers of fishing boats in Australia,” says CruiseCraft director Nathan Nichols. “But we thought this would be a good chance to move into the sport boat market for waterskiing and wakesurfing, by taking advantage of Volvo Penta’s new Forward Drive propulsion system. One of the great things about Forward Drive is that you can create the wake you want.”

Volvo Penta FWD offers a combination of the company’s Sterndrive, Duoprop and IPS technology, leveraging decades of research and development. Engineered with two forward-facing counter-rotating propellers that pull the boat through the water rather than pushing it, FWD claims to offer small-craft leisure boaters excellent performance, efficiency, comfort and versatility.

CruiseCraft produced its prototype R6S earlier this year to gauge customer feedback and will launch it publicly on August 12 to coincide with the company’s 70-year anniversary.

“We’ve been going for 70 years, and have been using Volvo Penta engines for around 50 years,” says Nichols. “We have many loyal customers as we have a good pedigree and heritage, and it’s exciting for us to showcase this concept boat with a new propulsion system, to cross into a new market. It shows that we offer world-class boats and that we have a good partnership with Volvo Penta.”

Volvo Penta’s FWD has been incorporated into new boat models by a growing number of boatbuilders since its launch in 2015. At last year's Miami boat show, the new propulsion system picked up an Innovation Award in the “alternate drive technology” category.