Assisted Docking retrofit – the game changer for all skill levels

We asked an experienced boater to put Volvo Penta’s new Assisted Docking system to the test, increasing the capabilities of her Princess Flybridge 50-foot yacht. The verdict? “My boat’s performance is now more advanced, and my confidence has grown too.”

Maria Ronger is the proud owner of Maija, a 50-foot Princess Flybridge yacht. Maria already utilizes the Volvo Penta IPS system onboard her yacht. Now, she has upgraded her experience by testing a retrofit of the Volvo Penta Assisted Docking boat docking system.

Assisted Docking gives you better control when docking a boat by automating your intentions, compensating for dynamic variables such as wind and current, and helping your boat stay on its intended course.

The system helps maintain your course and lets you navigate with more precision in crowded marinas or tight slips. The Assisted Docking system is now available for retrofit on boats powered by Volvo Penta IPS, unlocking an easier docking experience for owners of D6-IPS, D8-IPS and D11-IPS packages – from model year 2012 for EVCE and EVC2.

Maria is excited for the season ahead and brimming with confidence. She is an experienced seagoer – born in Marstrand, a harbor town on the west coast of Sweden. Her boating experience started as a child sailing and competing. Her childhood interest in boating was rekindled in adulthood when she got her husband interested in driving motorboats.

Together they advanced to progressively bigger vessels until 2019, when they decided to sell their company and experience the total freedom that a larger boat brings, with the intention of cruising to Denmark, Norway, Germany, and beyond. But a large boat like Maija can be a lot to handle. And for Maria, it is important that she can sail it with confidence – for deeply personal reasons.

“I’ve always had a connection to the sea,” Maria says. “When we ordered this Princess, there was a one-year delivery time. By the time we’d sold our company, the boat hadn’t arrived. Then, unfortunately, my husband got sick. He passed away a month later. Two weeks after his death, the boat was delivered.”

“The first question was, of course: do you want to keep the boat? I decided to keep it for the summer and then I’d think about it during winter. I have so many friends and experts around me; they came to me and said, ‘If you want to keep the boat, Maria, we’ll help you.’ So, we tried. And at the end of that summer, I said: ‘I can handle this.’”

Maria’s experience, and her motivation, put her in good stead to take control.

“To be the captain of the ship was a new thing for me because I always took care of the ropes and stayed on the deck working, before. But I got more and more confident with it, and I like it. It’s fun,” she says with a smile.

Now, Assisted Docking adds a new dimension of control and enjoyment to piloting the Princess. “Assisted Docking is very helpful. Even if you’re good, and you’ve been brought up on boats, you feel comfortable when you know you can handle the situation. Even if it’s windy, and even if there are a lot of other boats out. I think it’s going to be a big help for many people.”

As well as the enhanced safety and ease of use that Assisted Docking provides, it might also add a pinch of self-confidence, too: something which can increase the enjoyment and freedom of boating even more.

Maria reflects on her own experiences: “When there’s a lot of people watching, and you approach the harbor and it’s windy, then you want to make sure that everything is well-prepared and that you’re going to do the right thing.”

“You want to be really good,” she says. “Now, I can be.”

Learn more about Volvo Penta's Assisted Docking system here.