Yacht Controller

By Andy Adams

Comfort and convenience are important factors both to keep boaters enjoying boating as well as to attract new people into boat ownership.

Perhaps the most significant regular challenges for all boaters are docking and close quarters manoeuvering. Getting in and out of your slip or into the fuel dock on a busy day can be tricky, especially if the wind is up or currents are running.

In 2005, Volvo Penta introduced their revolutionary IPS drive systems that included an industry first - joystick docking.

Suddenly, the challenge of docking a big boat became child's play–literally! The technology was very similar to playing a videogame and manoeuvering a big yacht became almost intuitive using these new systems. The joystick option was enthusiastically embraced by many new yacht buyers, but at first this great technology was only available on new high-end big boats.

Predictably, with such a desirable feature, joystick docking systems became more widely available, extending similar functionality through the electronic steering and digital control systems of new twin stern drive equipped boats and then later, twin or multiple outboard engine equipped boats.

Yacht ControllerThis has just been great for new boat buyers, but what about the large fleet of existing boats?

And, what if you have a single-engine boat, a sailboat or a smaller size boat? Wouldn't it be great to have this new level of docking control?

So, along came Gerald Burton and Yacht Controller, a system that can be installed on almost any new boat as original equipment by the manufacturer, but more importantly, a Yacht Controller system can be added to existing boats.

Recently, we caught up with the inventor of the Yacht Controller, Gerald Burton at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and we interviewed him on video. He gave us a brief history of his own background in boating (which was quite impressive) which led him to the idea of the Yacht Controller system.

Yacht ControllerThe Yacht Controller system gives wireless control of the boat for docking in close quarters, manoeuvers using a handheld device that you could carry to the side of the boat, to the cockpit, or even out onto the dock, allowing you to maneuver your boat without even being on board yourself!

We don't recommend that, but the Yacht Controller system does make it possible. Here is what Gerry Burton told us. 

First, he explained that it allows you to manoeuver your boat safely and with precision at any point in the docking procedure and from anywhere on board.

This means that you don't have to look over your shoulder to estimate or guess how far you might be from the dock or another boat, you can actually go to where you can see it clearly with the Yacht Controller in your hand.

He emphasized that using the Yacht Controller, you can literally move the boat as little as a matter of a few inches if need be.

Understandably, this device has taken off and as of today, the company has more than 10,000 systems installed in boats in the field without having any incidents with the units. To date, it's been installed on various boats from 30 feet up to 150 feet.

Yacht ControllerThe hand controller itself is waterproof and it floats (in the event that you lose your grip on it); it's ruggedly built and also commercially certified.

We asked if you had to buy a Yacht Controller system new as original equipment from the manufacturer, or if it could be retrofitted to a boat. Burton told us that over 90% of the installations so far, have been retrofit. As the system has gained in popularity, it's now available as an option on 30 models of new boats according to Burton.

Builders realize that adding Yacht Controller is comparatively affordable and when it helps customers to be able to easily handle their boat, the purchase decision becomes pretty simple.

The hand controller itself and the buttons are sealed using silicon and Burton tells us that he had the unit designed by Porsche. The layout of the controls makes it extremely easy to realize which way you're directing the boat as you press a button. It's also worth mentioning that the switches have a very good tactile feeling to help you relate to the boat’s movements.

Yacht ControllerNext, we asked Burton what the requirements are, for a boat owner to retrofit their existing boat. He told us they do single-engine boats, twin-engine boats and all sorts of sizes.

He also mentioned that he can use both with electronic controls and also older boats that have cable controls, or mechanical controls. They have developed ways of adapting their system to virtually any boat but one of the key elements is having bow and stern thrusters.

Luckily, even some of the very oldest boats out there have had bow and stern thrusters installed, so that does not curtail opportunities for many boats at all.

They integrate with more than 26 different types of manufacturer’s control heads and all brands of thrusters. He mentions that they can even make things work for people with jet drive boats, so you know this is very adaptable.

To get first-hand experience with this, we went to Jon Moles of Toronto Yacht Services who recently installed a Yacht Controller system on a 55 Marquis. 

Jon told us that the Marquis already had bow and stern thrusters, but owner still found it difficult to dock the big boat with just himself and his wife onboard, especially because the dock at his slip was on the port side and his helm was on the port side too, making it difficult for him to see.

Yacht ControllerFrom there, all that needed to be added was the Yacht Controller receiver and the remote. The receiver has to be mounted behind dash and the on/off switch for receiver is then mounted on the dash near the helm.   

The receiver was connected to 12 v DC power and then was connected to the Volvo Penta electronic shift control system through a custom wiring harness, so that was all that had to be added.

Jon told us that he encountered no complications and the installation for the Marquis took approximately 10-12 hours. The total cost of system, including installation was approximately $13,000 before taxes.  

More importantly, the owner was very happy with result.

So, if you have a boat that merits this sort of investment and if that investment can keep you boating comfortably and often, it certainly seems like a good idea. On top of that, we suspect the Yacht Controller system might increase the resale value of the boat, in a sense, further reducing the cost.

 

Yachtcontroller.com

Torontoyachtservices.com

 

 

 

 

Destinations

  • Prev
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.
The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) invites all sailors to join a cruising rally from the ...
Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked ...
We did breakfast yesterday in the Greek port of Piraeus, just outside Athens:strong coffee, crisp ...
After much speculation Prince Harry finally popped the question to American actress and longtime ...

 Killarney

KillarneyStory and Photos by: Jennifer Harker

We’re aboard Attigouatan, a Pursuit 2260 that normally lives life as a friend’s cottage boat, running back and forth from dock to dock. This will be her longest run in four years, travelling the approximately 120 kilometres (80 miles) northwest from Parry Sound to Killarney, threading our way through the northern reaches of the stunning 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay’s eastern shoreline.

Her name evokes an early indigenous name for Lake Huron – Spirit Lake. 

Read more about Killarney....

  

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This photo from a CPS member shows how talented boaters are. Brenda Cochrane from Kelowna BC, a ...
The first part of this blog will show that not every day is blue sky and sunshine in the Bahamas!
This beauty came our way from Reel Deal Yachts in Bahia Mar, Florida. Why not charter for the ...
This new legislation from Washington State Department of Fisheries applies to boats launched in ...
Don’t miss this brilliant photo double header
In honour of Launch Day, our POTW this time comes from Wendy Loat in Port Credit. This shot, taken ...
Our favorite, Man-O-War Cay, is home to the Albury Boat Building empire. They have been building ...
On the Easter Weekend, the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club from Vancouver Island, had its first ...
We were finally able to get a SIM card and data plan on our phone Monday morning. We could now ...
It’s Friday afternoon at the Newport Yacht Club in Stoney Creek, and that can only mean one thing - ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...
Jeanneau’s newest NC model is the NC 33, and it’s an exciting and innovative inboard cruiser ...
The Four Winns H290OB combines two of the most popular new big boat trends to come up with a great ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...

 

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440By Zuzana Prochazka

There are few things more satisfying than watching someone thumb their nose at tradition and introduce something revolutionary that kicks convention to the curb. French designer, Philippe Briand, has done just that for Jenneau’s new line of Sun Odyssey family cruisers. By starting with a clean sheet, Briand re-thought how we move about on deck and below, and the results on the Jeanneau 440 are game changing.

Jeanneau unveiled the first hull of their 440 in Annapolis with dramatic flair. On command, the plastic that sheathed half the boat...

Read more about the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440....

 

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.
The 2018 Northwest Boat Travel Guide just arrived. This time of the year is the perfect time for ...
We are all looking to gain a little more time these days, and technology is often the route we ...
While they are no longer a part of the CPS Flare Program, Fogh Boat Supplies and Fogh Marine, both ...
We have all had the experience of heading down below on a nice boat only to encounter an unpleasant ...