Vessel Control Systems News

Mercury introduces its next‑generation Digital Throttle & Shift system

The Next Gen DTS sytem comes with all the best attributes of the successful DTS system that Mercury launched in 2004, including smooth and ultra‑responsive throttle performance with zero hesitation and full integration with SmartCraft digital technologies. Representing a major step in the product’s evolution, the Next Gen DTS system brings together an enhanced operating system, improved ergonomic designs for the electronic remote controls (ERC) and additional user‑friendly features.

Boat Fix now standard on 2021 Vision Marine electric boats

Boat Fix, the 24/7 marine customer service company, has signed an agreement with Vision Marine Technologies (VMT) to deliver a custom, white-labeled telematics solution to be included with all model year 2021 electric boats. Boat Fix will supply VMT telematics hardware and monitoring software with an accompanying app, along with its 24/7 customer support and services. Boat Fix will also provide a solution to all of VMT’s OEM customers through 2023. The telematics technology is intended to monitor the health of the vessel, as well as the battery consumption of the ePropulsion electric motors installed on specific vessels in production.

Yamaha Updates F250 and F300 Outboards

For 2021, Yamaha has upgraded its F250 and F300 V6 Offshore Digital Electronic Control four-stroke outboards. They feature built-in Digital Electric Steering (DES), Thrust Enhancing Reverse Exhaust (TERE) and other features derived from the company’s 425-hp flagship outboard, the XTO Offshore.

Metal Shark to provide autonomous vessel system to the Marines

Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has been contracted to develop and implement the Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessel (LRUSV) System for the U.S. Marine Corps. The LRUSV System will usher in a new era of naval technology while increasing the lethality of U.S. forces, with a network of unmanned vessels traveling autonomously for extended ranges and transporting loitering munitions to address targets at sea and on land. This tiered, scalable weapons system will provide the ability to accurately track and destroy targets at range throughout the battle space. While fully autonomous, the vessels may be optionally manned and they will carry multiple payloads, which they will be capable of autonomously launching and retrieving. Metal Shark has enlisted autonomous technology developer Spatial Integrated Systems (SIS), recently acquired by Huntington Ingalls Industries, to provide the autonomy solution for the LRUSV system. SIS is a leader in the development of multivessel collaborative “swarming” autonomous capabilities, sensor fusion and perception.

Three ways that autonomy is affecting the maritime and offshore service industry

With rapidly evolving autonomous technology spanning everything from advanced sensors to navigation systems, the maritime industry is embracing emerging technology for its cost effectiveness, safety, and fuel efficiency. With recent advances in autonomous technology ranging from communication technologies to zero-emission autonomous ships, autonomy is affecting how the maritime and offshore industry operate.

What is SmartCraft® and How Does it Work?

Twenty years ago, a boat was essentially a collection of individual components, many of which operated independently. Then, in the early 2000s, Mercury Marine® introduced its revolutionary SmartCraft® digital technology suite, which integrated the engine(s) with other onboard systems and equipment, providing owners with a higher level of control over their boats. The SmartCraft suite has continued to grow ever since, with Mercury adding new functions and features that help make boating much easier and more enjoyable.

Volvo Penta Announces Assisted Docking

Volvo Penta announced an Assisted Docking system for its IPS pod drives. This new feature integrates with Volvo’s joystick technology and adds automated functionality that compensates for such conditions as tide, wind and current when approaching a dock. Volvo Penta will display the system during the virtual Consumer Electronics Show, slated for Jan. 11-14.The Assisted Docking system uses software developed with the company’s GPS-based Dynamic Positioning System to work with the IPS joystick. The package includes a “human-machine interface,” or HMI, at the helm, electronics via the engine, propulsion, sensors and navigation processing power for a smoother docking experience.

Cutting the Hoses

The automotive industry leads the way today when it comes to non-hull marine tech, but in 1931, it was the shipping industry that inspired Pierce-Arrow engineer Francis Davis to develop a power steering system for cars. Surprisingly, it took two decades after that before the first automotive hydraulic power steering system — the Hydraglide — made its commercial debut on the 1951 Chrysler Imperial.

Brunswick completes another investment in Sea Machines Robotics

Brunswick Corporation announced it has completed a second investment in Sea Machines Robotics, Inc., a Boston-based autonomous technology company that specializes in advanced control technology for workboats and other commercial surface vessels. Details of the investment were not disclosed.

Raymarine Makes First Factory-Install of DockSense

FLIR Systems’ Raymarine brand announced the first factory installation of the DockSense assisted docking system. The installation was a collaboration with Monte Carlo Yachts and its MCY 76 Skylounge. DockSense works in concert with the yacht’s joystick and fly-by-wire steering, integrating with five FLIR cameras placed around the vessel. The cameras are optimized for 3-D motion sensing in all lighting conditions, with imagery broadcast on the Skylounge’s Raymarine Axiom XL MFDs.