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Mercury Marine to highlight new and improved Joystick Piloting for Outboards system at 2018 Miami International Boat Show

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (Feb. 9, 2018) – Mercury Marine's next generation joystick piloting system takes the innovation and art of a joystick-enabled vessel to the next level. In 2013, Mercury introduced Joystick Piloting for Outboards, the first of its kind in the marine marketplace. It remains the most precise system on the market and the only system from helm to stern designed to work with a Mercury engine.

Mercury's new and improved Joystick Piloting for Outboards will be on display and available for demo on multiple boats during the 2018 Miami International Boat Show. Advanced features that typically require complex user interfaces with third-party systems are fully integrated into one location on the Mercury system. As the leader in innovation and systems development, Mercury has ensured an outstanding boating experience that benefits the OEMs, dealers and the end consumer. Boaters now have more confidence when docking a boat or maneuvering at low speeds in the marina.

"Mercury continues to advance its leadership position with our fully integrated joystick control system and no one else in the market can integrate its system technology with the engine like we can," said Rob Hackbarth, Mercury Marine director of controls and rigging. "Boaters who use Mercury's Joystick Piloting for Outboards enjoy more control of their boat, quieter operation, steering that is far more responsive than any other system on the market and an aesthetically pleasing design that has an integrated autopilot and autoheading for ease of boating."

"Not all joystick systems are created equally, and boaters are looking for a manufacturer that can provide them integrated technology that pairs with their engine," said Dan Balogh, Mercury Marine director of electrical, electronics and software engineering. "No other outboard joystick control system offers the same set of advanced features as Mercury's Joystick Piloting for Outboards, which includes Skyhook virtual anchor, VesselView engine information display, and an integrated autopilot system."

Mercury's engineering team recently made several evolutionary improvements to the Joystick Piloting System, which is part of the SmartCraft digital technology suite. Together, these enhancements will take boaters to an entirely new level of driving ease and enjoyment. Some of the new and improved features exclusive to Mercury:

  • New advanced Skyhook modes
    • Drifthook: Maintain heading while allowing boat to drift; perfect for kite fishing
    • Bowhook: Maintain position while allowing heading to change
    • Skyhook Adjust: Adjust skyhook heading in 1 and 10-degree increments
  • Significant improvements in steering capacity, reverse thrust, side-to-side translation speed, rotational spinning
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Improved diagnostics
  • Improved system intelligence

"We have been able to provide the boater an improved joystick experience with 40 percent more available reverse thrust," said Balogh. "Boaters want an integrated system and what sets our joystick apart from any other in the marketplace is that our remote controls, steering, joystick and engine are all designed to work together."

These improvements are in addition to the improvements made in 2016 including new contemporary styling, integrated Precision Pilot Pad functionality, LED light ring that changes color to indicate status of Joystick operating mode and the award winning Electronic Steering Helm that replaces the electric steering motor, and provides the operator more intuitive feedback on boat speed, steering angle, wheel turning rate and acceleration. This technology has been widely adopted by Mercury's boat builder partners who value high precision, responsive steering for their Verado powered joystick boats vs an aftermarket joystick steering system.