The fear of a marina disaster can take the shine off a day on the water for any boater. Whether you are an experienced or novice captain, the knowledge that you may have to dock in a tight berth or in difficult conditions, without full control of your vessel, is unsettling.

For many years, the use of bow and stern thrusters have eliminated these stresses, offering sideways control to precisely position your boat. The captain gains responsive vessel control, even at low speed when navigating tight spaces.

Like thrusters, joystick technology for easy, fingertip adjustments are not a new concept for those the helm of a vessel.

However, there are now options to command both outboards and thrusters together, seamlessly operated with one control.

The good news for boat owners, and boatbuilders, is that this latest combined technology is available on the market. These integrated solutions ensure you are in full control, minimizing the prospect of damage or injury due to handling errors and mishaps. You can relax and trust the boat will manoeuvre as you wish, even in challenging conditions.

Enhance your bow thruster

Boaters are looking for a carefree experience on the water. New opportunities to turn this dream of a simplified, easy life when enjoying leisure time on your boat are becoming more accessible, with technology evolving to meet demand. Boat owners choosing onboard equipment can install reliable, innovative and integrated onboard systems to remove stress and increase confidence.

As safe, efficient manoeuvring is one of the most difficult skills to master in boating, it is clear that investment in the best boat docking systems is a perfect example of how technology can transform poise and capabilities at the helm.

At VETUS, we fulfil the demand to eliminate docking stresses with our unique BOW PRO thruster range – proportional thrusters with brushless AC motors and an unlimited runtime. Our customers appreciate the intuitive, precision control and the potential for intensive use with no possibility of overheating issues which can affect conventional thrusters.

We also understand that integration between onboard systems is becoming more important. VETUS has designed its own CAN-bus system, V-CAN, which is intended for VETUS products only. VETUS has also designed a range of products which will communicate between this proprietary V-CAN system and J1939 or NMEA2000. This feature provides the possibility to integrate the VETUS thruster, for example, with some Joystick Docking Systems and/or Multi-Functional Displays on board.

Thus, we have helped open the door for the next level of boater convenience. With our partners, we can now offer the benefits of solutions connecting outboards with a joystick system in combination with single or multiple bow thrusters. Whether docking, manoeuvring in tight spaces or position holding when fishing, the benefits of controlling your outboard and joystick at the same time is transformational.

Winning partnerships

VETUS facilities this new technology to ease the docking procedure by collaborating with leading partners, such as Mercury and Yamaha for outboard engines. Earlier VETUS has already connected its thrusters to YANMAR’s joystick control system for shaft drive inboard powerboat applications.

Delivering system integration with outboard engines, the joystick systems with full integration of a bow thruster provide the ability to manoeuvre larger vessels with the same precision as smaller joystickcontrolled boats.

The first example is VETUS’s collaboration with Mercury Marine® to enable the integration of BOW PRO thrusters with Mercury Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO). Offering a single joystick control for simultaneously operating both Mercury’s JPO and a VETUS bow thruster, the compatible systems join seamlessly to enhance the joystick piloting experience. The user just has to point the joystick where they want to go. The system will automatically and simultaneously apply the thruster power and outboard throttle, shift and steering to move the boat in the proper direction.

Meanwhile, our partnership with Yamaha connects the BOW PRO thruster range to the groundbreaking Helm Master® EX control system, improving the slow speed authority and easy of berthing, increasing safety and vessel usability. Again, a single intuitive joystick easily controls engine power and puts the boat where you want it. The solution is perfect for larger boats requiring additional control, enhancing lateral movement and pivoting by automatically engaging the bow thruster in variable speed to match operator input.

Dock and manoeuvre like a pro

The advantages of an integrated docking system for captains are significant, improving safety and decreasing the number of accidents.

When mooring or docking, it is much easier to move your boat sideways with one or multiple thrusters connected with your outboards. The ability to manoeuvre to the centimeter can make a huge difference for less experienced skippers.

A single intuitive joystick is a great benefit when manoeuvring in close quarters or unknown territory. By providing complete control of engine power, you can move the boat in any direction, regardless of sidewinds, tides and other environmental influences. This solution is particularly useful for larger vessels, opening boating to those who want to simplify the helm controls or where a heavy steering wheel may not be desirable or practical.

Especially desired when fishing, the integrated solution means boaters can make minor position adjustments while pulling boats into slips, steering onthefly while chasing a fish or circling a favorite fishing hole. Whether fishing, cruising or spending time with family and friends, access to a joystick system with integrated bow thruster control offers the ultimate ease in boat control. It will help you quickly gain more confidence to maximize carefree time and fun on the water.
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