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The Marquis 500 offers top notch styling in sports couple or sports bridge versions, and a triple Volvo IPS system for a speedy and fuel efficient ride WORDS DIANE M. BYRNE 192



Diane M. Byrne is a freelance writer specializing in the yacht market and the owner and editor of the Megayacht News Web site,


With its new series of 500 Sports Bridge and Sport Coupe models, Marquis Yachts offers a triple treat to boat owners. Sure, the American-built yachts exude styling sophistication that appeals to buyers worldwide, something not always easily achieved. And like the rest of the Marquis line, they’re certified to CE-Class A specifications, the European Union’s toughest standards category. But more than this, the models incorporate the triple Volvo Penta IPS propulsion system. Volvo’s IPS systems have been around for a number of years, with the triple drive introduced in 2006. The IPS, owing to its forward-facing props and swivelling, horizontal drives, offers better speed, fuel efficiency and easy operation. And while other yachts have begun to incorporate the triple drive IPS, most are backfitting their boats with the triple IPS. Marquis has designed its 500 sports bridge with the IPS from the beginning. The IPS gets its improved efficiency because its forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers operate in undisturbed water as the boat moves forward. Efficiency is also due to the prop shafts being parallel to the boat bottom, not at a down angle, which means more power goes into moving the hull forward. And with the Electronic Vessel Control system, operators enjoy ease of use, with joystick control. IPS engines “communicate” with one another and operate as a cohesive unit thanks to the EVC, Volvo Penta’s proprietary electronic platform, which makes systems more reliable and installation easier. According to Volvo Penta, these developments mean that compared to conventional inboards, IPS can boost top speed by up to 20 percent and cut fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent.

Marquis worked with Volvo Penta to tailor the running bottom for the 500 Sport Coupe and 500 Sport Bridge to maximise the benefits of the IPS setup. Marquis then gave that information to the Nuvolari-Lenard team, designers for the entire Marquis line, and Donald L. Blount & Associates, a naval architecture/marine engineering firm tapped for additional expertise. Even though IPS can be retrofitted to an existing hull form, Marquis Yachts felt this multi-team approach would take full advantage of the yacht’s performance and handling, ultimately making modifications based on all input. The end result is a boat with speed to match its style. Marquis wanted its 500 boats to have a cruising speed of at least 30 knots, something that a triple drive on a 50-footer can certainly deliver. According to Randy Peterson, head systems engineer for Genmar Yacht Group, Marquis’ parent



“Style is a matter that proves successful if customers appreciate it, not if managers like it,” says Carlo Nuvolari. “Marquis sells very well, and this is proof that the style interprets the desire of the market.” Clearly, Marquis Yachts is onto something. It has adapted to increasing concern over fuel consumption without forcing boaters to forego a thrilling ride or ease of operation. “Speed and efficiency are the driving factors,” Peterson says, and he and Bering see them continuing to have utmost importance in buyers’ minds. Both men also see the triple IPS installation sticking around. Marquis Yachts have made heavy use of Italian design pedigree matched with US build, and the sleek styling on the exterior combined with the sharp look on the inside will certainly appeal to those who want boats with visual panache. On the back deck, the transom features a hydraulic lift for launching and recovering a tender, while the cockpit settee transforms into a sunbed. For the sunbathing fanatics, there are sun pads on the coachroof of the bow.

Up top, the flybridge offers plenty of space and a relaxing, Mediterranean style to guests and owner. Marquis includes two options for the flybridge layout – one with a single helm seat, and one with a double seat. On the single seat option, the sunpad is positioned forward and is big enough for two. On the double seat option, the sunpad is positioned further aft and surrounds a pleasant bridge table. Down below on the aft cockpit and swim platform area, the transom lounge moves aft over a foot, creating more space as needed. On the port side of this area, there is a handy wet bar with sink and optional grill. Below deck, there are three cabins, with a handsome-looking forward master cabin. The master has an ensuite bathroom with marble decks, whie the other two cabins share a head. But most likely, there won’t be much inclination by guests or owners to spend much time below. After all, this is a yacht that’s meant to go fast, and boaters will want to be up top for the thrills of a triple engine performance. In Asia:


company, the 500 would have needed twin 900-horsepower diesels to meet that kind of speed requirement. With a triple IPS engines, the same can be achieved with three 435-horsepower drives, for a total of 1305-horsepower, less than the 1800 of the twin diesels, and therefore certainly more efficient. Buyers can opt for a smaller triple set of engines at 370-horsepower each. Sea-trial results conducted on the 500 Sport Coupe and 500 Sport Bridge bore that out. With the 500 Sport Bridge fitted with the higher-horsepower IPS, the engines consumed a total of 53 gallons per hour at the 3300-RPM cruise speed of 32 knots. At 35 knots, fuel consumption stood at 66 gallons per hour in one-foot chop, with winds of ten to 15 knots. An added advantage of the IPS system is the underwater exhaust, as there’s no “stationwagon effect” with fumes, plus noise levels are dropped in the yacht’s cockpit, bridge, and saloon. During sea trials, the 500 Sports Bridge had recorded sound levels of 81 decibels at the helm at cruise speed, and 83 at top speed. “On a typical inboard, 81 would be reached by cruise speed, and wide-open throttle would be the upper 80s to low 90s,” Peterson explains. To put these numbers into perspective even further, the level of normal conversation is 60 decibels, city street traffic is 80, and a lawnmower is 90. The 500 offers additional space compared to a similar hull size, given that the overall engine size is actually decreased, with the three engines positioned farther aft thatn a traditional inboard diesel engine. This means more usable space in living areas. In addition, the middle engine is installed in a tunnel to keep its underwater gear at the same level as the outer engines, which permits draft to be a consistent 1.14 metres. On the interior, the 500 has a single-level living concept from Nuvolari-Lenard, which means everything on the main deck is on one level. Throughout the interiors, the design team has sought to create a “global yacht concept”. Marquis clearly wants to offer a differentiated product, and they largely succeed. This concept involves the use of zebrano and cherry joinery as well as door hardware and other elements more commonly found on superyachts. You’ll also find two-metre headroom in the cabin.


Length Overall 15.09 m




Alternative engines

Beam 4.7 m

Fly-by Wire Volvo steering

Engine oil change system

13 KW Kohler generator

Cockpit joystick control

Draft loaded 1m

Automatic engine synchronization

Cable master for shore power

IPS joystick control

20 KW generator

Bridge clearance 5m

32” LCD TV

Tropical air-conditioning

Ipod docking system


Displacement 20,185 kg


Navigation package – chart plotter and radar

Microwave oven/grill

Cockpit wet bar

Fuel capacity 1915 l

2-ring electric hob

Hydraulic swim platform

Draw style fridge /freezer


Water capacity 605 l Cabin headroom 2m

Teak decking Electric windlass RPM SPEED SOUND

Electric capstans Sunroof







Power actuated saloon table




Bed conversion in saloon




Propulsion IPS Drives




Design Nuvolari and Lenard










Engines 3 x 435 hp Volvo Penta diesels Optional engines 3 x 370 hp Volvo Penta diesels 3 x 330 hp Volvo Penta diesels

Builder Marquis Yachts

Upgraded Hifi systems

Spa shower in master Cabin TVs and Ipod systems Washer/dryer Central vacuum system Readings recorded on the Savannah River with the wind at 7 knots and calm seas. Half fuel and half water and 4 people on board.


500 Marquis Sport Bridge: A Triple Threat  
500 Marquis Sport Bridge: A Triple Threat  

500 Marquis on the cover of Asia Pacific Boating