Vessel Control Systems News

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.

Mercury 9 9HP ProKicker Paired With Python Steering Control and iTroll

Gary Parsons of the Next Bite debuts the Mercury 9.9HP ProKicker Paired With Python Steering Control and iTroll. The Python remote powered kicker gives you convenience and adaptability while the iTroll digital speed device gives you the ultimate in throttle control.

Singles Match

Here’s good news for owners of boats powered by a single outboard. Those vessels now can be equipped with joystick docking control and a host of other features previously limited to multi-engine rigs with the introduction of the new Yamaha Helm Master EX system. Offered for single- to quad-engine boats, Helm Master EX will also be sold through Yamaha dealers, the first time an OEM joystick system has been available to retail customers for up-fitting or re-power applications.

CZone now integrates with Siren Marine

CZone now integrates with Siren Marine to further enhance the on‑ and off‑water experience for today’s boat owners. The newly created program has enabled smooth integration of CZone digital switching systems with Siren Marine’s remote connectivity.

Dometic Debuts Power Steering Unit

Electric Power Assist is designed for smaller single-outboard boats from 90 to 200 hp. Dometic Marine introduced its Electric Power Assist to the media Thursday. The power-steering system is designed for a range of boats, from pontoons and runabouts to RIBs and center consoles. Building on its Optimus Outboard Electric Steering Actuator, Dometic created a more affordable system for lower-price-point boats, as more newcomers get into boating, Dometic president Eric Fetchko said during a virtual debut.

Garmin announces OnDeck remote connectivity solution

Garmin International Inc. announced its new OnDeck™ System, a remote monitoring and management solution that gives boaters 24/7 access to critical and timely information about their vessel. When paired with the ActiveCaptain® app, OnDeck keeps users connected to their vessel by monitoring the boat’s battery status, bilge activity, door/hatch sensors, GPS location and more.