Mercury Marine officially announced the launch of Joystick Piloting for Inboards (JPI), a new feature offered on single-engine tow sport boats.
The joystick technology allows the engine to work with bow and stern thrusters to provide enhanced vessel control for consumers. The system is designed to work with the tow sports variants of Mercury’s new range of purpose-built marine inboard as well as sterndrive engines.
“The migration of our joystick technology, specifically Joystick Piloting for Inboards, is intended to disrupt a segment of the market that has never seen this technology before,” said David Foulkes, Mercury Marine Vice President of product development, engineering and Racing as well as Brunswick Corporation’s Chief Technology Officer. “This is the latest in our evolution of our Joystick Piloting system, which began in 2007 and continues to evolve much to the delight of boaters around the world.”
Mercury says JPI will enable boaters to execute a ‘power turn’ to quickly turn around to pick up a tow sports rider.
“We have done extensive testing and VOC with consumers, OEMs and dealers, and the feedback has been universal – this product is exactly what the tow sports market needed,” says Foulkes. “We expanded on our award-winning Joystick Piloting platform, and created a product that we feel will greatly enhance the tow sports experience.”
The JPI system is compatible with gasoline or diesel propulsion systems. It’s also compatible with Vetus or Side Power brand thrusters. This allows for ease of integration at the OEM level and allows boaters to enjoy Joystick Piloting for Inboards with almost any inboard boat package they choose.
Joystick Piloting for Inboards will be on display during the 2017 boat show season beginning with the Houston Boat Show. Mercury will also continue to display its next-generation Joystick Piloting System for Verado outboards, Axius gas and diesel sterndrives and Zeus pod drives that was released at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show.
Smart Tow Enhanced for Wake Surfing
Additionally, Mercury says it has improved its Smart Tow feature to accommodate the lower speeds sought by wake surfers. This feature allows tow sports boaters to choose a preset launch profile and cruise speed, providing a consistent, perfect ride for the wake surfer or wake boarder.