Apr 17, 2017
In response to market demand, Seastar Solutions, the leader in electronic marine steering and control systems, has announced that owners of Mercury® Verado™ outboards can now replace their existing factory electro-hydraulic steering system with SeaStar Solutions’ Optimus Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and take full advantage of SeaStars’ advanced drive-by-wire technology. Optimus EPS provides an unparalleled boat handling experience so the skipper can relax and enjoy the drive.
“Our Optimus EPS system has become very popular, not only with boat builders, but with boat owners that want to upgrade to power steering and improve the handling of their boats,” said Tom Douglass, vice president of sales and marketing for SeaStar Solutions. “Now, we can extend the benefits of Optimus EPS to more boaters that are looking for ways to make driving a little easier – and a lot more fun.”
In addition to the overall ease of Optimus power steering, skippers will appreciate the move up to Optimus’ speed-adaptive technology – a feature not available on their original factory systems. For instance, steering resistance can be programmed to increase or decrease with engine rpm, providing reduced steering effort at slow speeds when maneuvering in the marina. In open water, running at higher cruising speeds, steering effort increases to help maintain a straight course line.
Lock to lock turn ratios can also be programmed to adapt to boat speed. Again, at slow speeds in the marina, steering can be set to four turns lock-to-lock, allowing for precise maneuvering in close quarters. When running in open waters, the system will automatically increase the steering to six turns lock-to-lock so smaller movements of the steering wheel do not result in major course corrections.
It is worth noting that the Optimus EPS system employs an on-demand pump system, so skippers will realize immediate power savings over an “always on” system.
Because the Optimus EPS is an electronic system, adding a second station is a simple matter of wiring in a second Optimus electronic helm. Adding a new “drive-by-wire”-compatible autopilot (available from Garmin®, Raymarine® or SIMRAD®) is also much easier and requires no secondary autopilot hydraulic pump.
This new Optimus EPS system has been engineered to seamlessly fit with the Verado™ outboard’s built-in steering cylinder. A specially-designed SmartStick sensor and magnet fit on the hydraulic steering cylinder for a clean, unobtrusive install. Importantly, the sensor assembly does not affect existing clearances for tilt and trim in the transom area.
Installation requires removal of the factory helm, hoses and power assist pump and replacement with the Optimus electronic helm, NMEA2000® harnesses, CANtrak display, hoses and hydraulic pump. Systems for single and twin outboards are now available, with systems for triple or quad outboard installations available in early Summer.
For more information on Optimus EPS or any of SeaStar Solutions’ advanced boat command and control systems, visit www.seastarsolutions.com.
Mercury® and Verado™ are trademarks of Brunswick Corporation.