America's Definitive Marine Engine Magazine
Mercury Marine's Verado family of four-strokes just became an even more tantalizing possibility for boaters contemplating a new installation or refit of twin, treble or quad outboard motors. Mercury's Joystick Piloting allows effortless steering of a multi-engine boat in any direction, including sideways, diagonally or spinning inside its own axis. Think 360-degrees. Doing so is no more complicated than pushing or twisting a joystick.
Obviously this characteristic significantly reduces the stress out of docking, maneuvering in tight spaces and operating in tight spaces. The learning curve is short. Anyone from an experienced captain to a novice can easily maneuver a large boat with confidence. The boat driver works the throttle, shifting and the steering with one hand. While the joystick independently steers each engine
Mercury's Joystick Piloting for Outboards includes a number of amenities including Skyhook virtual anchor; VesselView engine information display; as well as an integrated autopilot system. More particularly, Skyhook cuts, plots and fixes a boat's position by GPS. Firmware talking to both the GPS and the engines steers and shifts individual engines in and out of gear to precisely maintain position.
And Mercury Marine's Auto Heading and Waypoint Sequencing is a fancy way of saying the engines have an integral auto-pilot. As expected, a built-in digital compass clicked-on to Auto Heading maintains course. One-degree heading adjustments are made with a gentle tap on the joystick. For broader 10-degree course adjustments simply use the control panel. Waypoint Sequencing plots the boat's course using multiple waypoints.
Also part of the package, VesselView information display, recently redesigned, displays information on all of the boat systems in a single view. Data includes more than 30 engine parameters, including fuel level and range, oil temperature and pressure, water depth and more. Finally, Joystick Piloting for Outboards system is intended for boats powered by two to four, 250- or 300-horsepower outboards. -- © Copyright Timothy P. Banse --
Marine Engine Technician, Timothy Banse, has published articles in Popular Mechanics, All Chevy, Pickup Van & 4-Wheel Drive, Mecanica Popular, Motor Boating, Yachting, Mar y Vela and many other magazines and newspapers from around the world. He writes about cars, trucks and tow vehicles as well as automotive- and marine-engine technology.