Joystick Piloting


Aug 9, 2017

Aquila and Mercury have recently collaborated to offer a joystick piloting application for a power catamaran with engines 9’ 6” apart. By angling the transoms, optimizing props, and taking advantage of new calibration strategies, the teams were able to install a joystick piloting system aboard the Aquila 36 that will enhance what is already a world-class vessel.

Mercury Marine’s next generation joystick piloting system takes the innovation and art of the joystick-enabled vessel to the next level. Mercury has combined many complex features with new contemporary styling in a very easy to use interface that provides 360-degree fingertip control over the boats steering and propulsion. Boaters now have more confidence when docking a boat or maneuvering at low speeds in the marina.

“Joystick Piloting for Outboards has been a very popular feature for dual, triple and quad applications,” said Rob Hackbarth, Mercury Marine Category Director. “Now working with Aquila, we were given the opportunity to install joystick piloting on a power catamaran. This will allow the boater to feel the power of the Verado engines but to also enjoy the ease of boating with joystick piloting.”

Advanced features that typically required multiple user interfaces are all in one location and are simplified. Visual and audible prompts provide intuitive and engaging guidance on how to use Mercury’s feature rich joystick system, giving boaters a pleasant and rewarding experience. Since its introduction almost ten years ago, Mercury’s engineering team has made a series of enhancements to the Joystick Piloting Skyhook System including three fantastic brand-new features close at hand: Heading Adjust, BowHook, and DriftHook.

Joystick Enabled VesselMercury’s SkyHook technology is now integrated onto the same technology suite as the joystick. The next generation joystick meets the requirements to enter Skyhook (control levers in neutral and vessel speed over ground below 5 mph), and then just press the button; visual and audible indications inform you when Skyhook is pending and when you have latched on to your position and heading; straight-forward, concise, and intuitive.

“Here at Aquila, we are very excited to have worked with Mercury in developing a ground-breaking joystick solution aboard the Aquila 36. Aquila is known for its innovation, quality, and design, and this is no different”, stated Harry Mountain, Aquila Brand Manager.

Aquila 36
The all-new Aquila 36 is a power catamaran that blends plentiful live aboard space and qualities perfect for socializing with rugged strength and control. Offering the conveniences of a large yacht, including topside summer kitchen with smokeless grill, the Aquila 36 has cockpit seating for over two dozen adults and two comfortable cabins with private en-suite heads. A hardtop is available with or without an opening sunroof. Powered by efficient and reliable twin 250 horsepower Mercury Verado outboards, the Aquila 36 provides spirited performance and excellent fuel economy. This boat also has the ability to sustain twin 300 or twin 350 horsepower Mercury Verado outboards. Add its open water capabilities, wide stance and twin sponsons, and the boat is remarkably stable making it exceptionally comfortable at speed or while at rest.

Aquila 36 Joystick Piloting“The Aquila 36 provided us with an opportunity to move in a direction of unknown waters due to the distance between the two Verado engines. Working closely between our teams at J&J Design, Mercury, Sino Eagle Yachts, and MarineMax we were able to integrate the Joystick Piloting onto the boat with outstanding performance”, stated Jean Raas, Sino Eagle Yachts USA CEO, “Every time I step onboard the Aquila 36 with Joystick Piloting installed, I am blown away at how efficient and effective the engines move in unison at the slightest movement of the Joystick control. The Aquila 36 is already an innovative and outstanding boat and now with the Joystick Piloting added, it makes it into a boater’s dream come true!”

Aquila is honored to have worked with Mercury to help develop this innovative technology. Looking forward, Aquila plans on continuing to push the boundaries of technology in their current and new models.

See the video showing the joystick docking:

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