ZF Marine Introduces Two Transmissions Specifically for Watersports

September 12, 2016

The ZF Group’s Marine business unit unveiled two new watersports specific transmissions at the 2016 Surf Expo show in Orlando this week.

Based on long standing products with proven reliability, ZF Marine’s new 48IV and 68IV transmissions have been introduced to meet the increasing power ratings and the heavy loads of today’s watersports boats.

The transmissions were unveiled on the first day of the 2016 Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida. Surf Expo is billed as the world’s largest and longest running board sports and beach/resort lifestyle tradeshow. ZF Marine Propulsion Systems Miramar, LLC, the North American arm of the global ZF Marine business unit, revealed the transmissions in their booth at the show.


The evolution of watersports from water skiing to wakeboarding and now wakesurfing has significantly increased the demands expected from today’s propulsion systems. Today’s enthusiasts are looking for the largest wake possible to enjoy these wake-based pastimes. Watersports boat manufacturers have answered this demand by providing sophisticated systems which load the boats with literally tons of water as well as other wake generating technology – all to increase the size and quality of the wake generated for watersports enthusiasts.

The performance requirements to move boats with 10,000 lbs of ballast have demanded higher horsepower engines which produce driveline loads previously never seen.

ZF Marine, a long standing supplier of transmissions to the watersports marketplace, recognized the need for a more robust solution to meet the demands of these extreme applications. Taking two proven products that have been the backbone of the watersports market for many years, ZF Marine engineers went back to the drawing board and reevaluated how these products could be improved to meet the new demands of the market.


The result is the 48IV and 68IV transmissions. Transmissions designed to handle the unique demands of watersports.

boat transmissions
ZF Marine 48IV Transmission ZF

The 48IV’s technical improvements include:

  • Increased horsepower capacity for today’s High Output Engines
  • Available Ratios: 1.2, 1.46, and 1.73
  • New hydraulics
  • Reinforced housing and strengthened internal components for long-life durability
  • Pass-through shaft design for easy installation and service
boat transmissions
ZF Marine 68IV Transmission ZF

The 68IV’s technical improvements include:

  • Available Ratios: 1.5, 1.75, and 2.0
  • Sensor Ready (plug and play sensors for transmission monitoring)
  • PTO (Accepts auxiliary pumps for ballast and hydraulic applications)
  • New case is optimized for lower sound levels
  • Can be driven full-power fwd or rev for twin-engine installations.
  • Smooth-Shift hydraulics for precise clutch control
  • Robust Design to withstand the demands of watersports

“Watersports is continually evolving as enthusiasts push for bigger, cleaner wake generation. The boats we see in the marketplace today have completely different performance requirements compared to boats manufactured a few short years ago“ said Keith Stanley – Pleasure Craft Product Line Manager, ZF Marine Propulsion Systems Miramar, LLC. “The 48IV and 68IV transmissions are the result of working with key OEMs, industry professionals and athletes to build the best product possible for watersports customers,” Stanley continued.

Official product release will be in the First Quarter 2017.


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