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Yachting | Electronics
Yachts with cable controls have long been the neglected siblings of their electronic control counterparts, especially when it came to the benefits of remote control maneuvering. Such was the case until Yacht Controller, LLC formed an alliance with Glendenning Marine Products, Inc. to develop an interface for cable-controlled vessels. The result of this partnership is the Yacht Controller Manual Actuator System (YAMAS).
"Yamas fills the needs of yachtsmen with five year old boats, two year old boats, even new boats that were built with cable controls to save on production costs, all of whom wish to have wireless remote-control maneuvering," says Jerry Berton, president of Yacht Controller.
The system is actually less expensive and easier to install than converting a yacht from cable to electronic controls. The end of the cable controls is simply routed through the YAMAS actuator box instead of the boat's transmission. Another cable then connects the actuator box to a manual transmission, or in the case of an electronic transmission, a wire connector is used. The transmission is then connected to the central control. "Once the cable controls are wired inot the Yacht Controller system, all it takes is the push of a button," Berton explains. "This disengages the cable controls, rather like an electronic clutch. The Yacht Controller receiver box then controls all functions remotely." The result is the ability to run the system from anywhere on the boat for significantly improved docking and close-quarters maneuvering. In addition, the traditional struggle with cables is eliminated. YAMAS also functions as a back-up system in case a cable breaks
"The alternative is to convert cable controls to electronic ones," explains Bertons. "This involves removing all the cables and rewiring the boat. Of course, the wires probably don't create an exact fit where the cables were, so fiberglass repair is needed as well. The YAMAS unit is only $1,500 more than the regular Yacht Controller system. A yacht owner can't convert cable controls to their electronic counterparts for this ammount." The typical YAMAS installation also provides significant timesavings, on average 4-5 hours installation time vs. days for a cable to electronic controller conversion. Once installed, the YAMAS module allows the Yacht Controller to "bump" the boat along in minimal increments for precise handling. Traditional cable controls are hard to shift and virtually impossible to "bump" a boat in the short bursts needed to seamlessly nestle a vessel neatly into a dock. The Yacht Controller lever is intentionally tiny so it can be flicked for as few as 20-40 prop revolutions to just nudge the boat into position. All of this can be accomplished single-handedly without lines, even in wind and current. The remote control unit works anywhere on board, meaning that the driver can stand in the cockpit for maximum visibility or on the boat's swim platform or passarelle for stern-to docking. The user can the simply step off the boat with a line.
"What our system does is pair up impulses," says Berton. "It verifies that this is what you want it to do before it actually does anything. The situation is rather similar to going from analog telephones to digital. It's all about the control heads. The cables are plugged from their control box and into ours." All this technology is based on the sophisticated eighth generation Yacht Controller whether one is dealing with analog controls such as those from Mather, or a can bus, such as from Glendenning or Caterpillar. As well as engine transmissions, the Yacht Controller incorporates bow and stern thrusters as well as anchors. When the system is turned off, the mechanical controls work as usual. The components are portable so they can be easily taken off the existing boat and reinstalled on an owner's next boat. The bulletproof workings include an acoustical alarm that sounds when the system is on but the transmitter does not communicate with the receiver. The remote unit is highly waterproof. Should something untoward happen to it, the yacht is left in neutral for safety. Berton reports that only one person has ever dropped the remote overboard, in 2,000 satisfied customers.
Maintenance is simple, just changing the remote's battery once a year as recommended by the manufacturer, though batteries normally last longer as there is no real draw on them. A low battery warning light is included
Simply put, Berton summarizes, "I expect a revolution to happen as yachtsmen switch over. YAMAS is another step toward making boating more enjoyable and user-friendly for our customers."
Even a boater with minimal experience can dock like a pro with Yacht Controller. Newly available in the United States, the Yacht Controller consists of a wireless receiver that is hard-wired into your boats electronics, and a mobile transmitter that's about the size of a small phone. Instead of being stuck at the helm where visibility can be poor, especially for docking, you can control the engines, stern thruster, bow thruster, anchor and other operations from just about anywhere on your boat.
Yacht controller works on any boat, from 36 feet to as long as 123 feet, as long as the vessel has electronic controls.
Many people have had trouble maneuvering their boat in tight spaces, especially around the docks or at a mooring. Communication difficulties between the helm and crew increase the problems. Yacht Controller can reduce these problems, and is available for all boats using electronic engine controls, bow thrusters and stern thrusters. The unit uses an intuitive panel that allows the operator to move four small joysticks to expertly maneuver the boat. At all times the helm controls will override the Yacht Controller. If the controller malfunctions, or if communication breaks down between the controller and electronic receiver, an acoustic warning signal will sound, and all functions will return to neutral or safe mode.
With the addition of our new Yacht Controller, docking the KE52' has become even easier and, in reasonable conditions, even the average yachtsmen should be able to single hand her. For those of you not familiar with this clever little device, Yacht Controller is a wireless remote that allows the captain to operate the transmissions and thrusters from anywhere on the boat. In the case of Daystar, our company show boat, this means that we can walk to the cockpit, gain unimpaired, close up views of the dock, and carefully maneuver the 52' fore and aft, port and starboard, and guide her carefully into her berth. Daystar is equipped with both bow (standard) and stern (optional) thrusters from Side Power, and her twin Yanmar diesels move her with authority.
John is shown here bringing Daystar in on his first try with the new Yacht Controller. His initial impressions are that the system is very easy to use and operates exactly as expected. We've had many prospects ask about a 3rd station for docking, but John says that we'll now be able to offer something much better because close quarters handling can be done from the very best vantage point, wherever that may be.
We're often asked about the availability of pod drive systems like IPS and Zeus, and while we can't offer joystick control, with twin engines and both bow and stern thrusters, maneuverability closely approximates those systems. Couple this with the Yacht Controller, which decouples the captain from the helm so he or she can move about the boat, and we think this is a very viable alternative that actually offers some real advantages over the pod drive.
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The most impressive aspect of the new wireless Yacht Controller is the felling of power you have when using it. I’m standing in the port corner of the aft deck of a 70-foot yacht, maneuvering it toward the dock with a remote control about the size of my cell phone (3” x 1.5” x 6”). Sure, you’ve heard of remote controls that allow a helmsman to leave the wheel, but this one is wireless. I can go anywhere on the boat and still be in full control. I could actually control the boat from the dock, but that would be not only dangerous, but probably illegal as well.
Having brought the aft corner of the boat to the dock using the small switches that control the gears and thrusters, I stroll forward while ringing the bow in. When the boat is parallel to the dock, I back it up with the remote, which is powered by just two AAA batteries, to position it for tying up. I could never so precisely position the boat from the helm – especially if I were tying up on the opposite side from an off-center station. I lift the lines off the pilings and cleat the boat fast, still in full control. On my first try I’ve docked and tied up a 70-footer with help from no one. Never done that before.
There are plenty of fail-safes built in. The system must be activated from the helm station and the remote switched on. A beep indicates that the receivers is on but is getting no signal. A beep on the remote sounds if the signal is lost, which automatically shifts the boat into neutral. You should always first test the remote before leaving the helm. A unique code prevents interference. The remote shuts off and must be reactivated after four minutes without use. The 12 or 24-volt receiver, which measures a compact 3” x 5.3” x 1.7” and is wired into the electronic controls at the helm (the Yacht Controller does not work with mechanical controls), uses solid state, computer microchip technology.
Tying to a mooring and anchoring can also be performed single-handedly with this breakthrough remote control. It can be interfaced with the electronic controls on boats of any size, with or without bow or stern thrusters. Maneuvering during a battle wit a hooked fish or when tagging and releasing a fish are other times when this remote control can be so useful that it’s like having an extra hand aboard.
Yacht Controllers come in various configurations, from a basic system with two functions (engine gears only) up to a 12-function model (engine gears, engine on/off, bow thruster, stern thruster, stern thruster height, two anchor winches and two warping winches). In between these configurations are three, four and five-function controls.
Glendinning Marine Products and Yacht Controller LLC have formed a strategic partnership to offer Glendinning's Complete Controls Electronic Engine Control system with Yacht Controller's wireless remote yacht command system. Glendinning vice president David Wollard made the announcement.
Glendinning's Complete Controls system offers an attractive control head, complete feature set, easy "plug and play" installation and an optional automatic backup control capability. Yacht Controller's wireless remote allows a vessel's captain to control the yacht's gears, bow and stern thrusters and anchor from anywhere on board, eliminating all sightline problems.
According to Wollard, the combination of the two systems results in user-friendly, precision control of a yacht, no matter if the owner or the professional captain is operating the vessel. "This is another advance by Glendinning to bring more people into boating by making it easier for them to operate their own craft," Wollard said.
Gerry Berton, president of Yacht Controller agreed. "Both companies want to make boating easier and more enjoyable through the use of technology," he said. "There are efforts underway to introduce additional co-operative products in the near future with the same goal."
Glendinning manufactures a complete family of electronic shift and throttle controls which work with both electronic and mechanical propulsion systems. Yacht Controller eliminates all the frantic activities normally associated with docking. Yacht Controller is a winner of the NMMA Innovation Award and is certified by the FCC and patented by the US Patent Office.
Contact Yacht Controller LLC, 444 Brickell Ave., Suite 51, Miami, FL 33131; Phone: 888-898-8608
Contact Glendinning Marine Products, Inc., 740 Century Circle, Conway, SC 29526; Phone: 800-500-2381; Fax: 843-399-5005; GlendinningProds.com
Please check out our featured listing in the Electronics section of PassageMaker.com
Arguably the greatest invention since the dawn of civilization is the hand-held television remote control. Just sit back in a comfortable chair, and you can scan 120 of your favorite channels until you find the one that's playing "Monster's Garage."
If you've ever wished you could operate your boat with the same kind of convenient hand-held control, your dream just came true.
The new wireless Yacht Controller gives owners of boats with electronic engine controls at the helm the ability to control forward, reverse and (if the boat has bow and/or stern thrusters) sideways movement at the push of a button. An optional anchor windlass control is also available.
The Yacht Controller is particularly convenient for use during tight docking maneuvers, anchoring and mooring, since it allows you to operate the boat from any location aboard. You can even wear the remote on a wrist strap or around your neck, if you need to keep your hands free for line handling.
Prices vary, depending on whether you want only engine controls or want to add thruster and anchor windlass operation to the remote.
A new product offered by Yacht Controller is set to make maneuvering yachts in tight situations easier than ever, especially in port or when mooring. The Yacht Controller is a hand-held wireless device that operates a yachts engines and thrusters with the push of a button. This portable device can command the yacht's movements from anywhere onboard. The Yacht Controller can also be used at the bow while anchoring to control the descent of the anchor and check that it is set properly.
Wireless yacht control for your customers. Winner of the 2004 Innovation award NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association). Become a yacht controller dealer. Complete wireless control of any yacht with electronic controls from anywhere on board, including engines, bow and stern thruster, anchor, etc. Completely safe and easy to use with instant neutral and automatic shut off. Makes maneuvering, docking and tying up, a simple, pleasant task with little effort and with total control for even an inexperienced captain. Eliminates all shouting and on-board confusion. Sold with dealer installation (requires no modifications to existing yacht).
Yacht Controller - The Silent Third Mate! A perfect profit opportunity to enhance your business.
These new electronic remote controls allow you to roam the boat as you supervise the docking process. This means you can run the boat, work the lines, and never need to yell at the crew.
If you have ever wanted to be in two places at once, chances are it was as you single-handedly maneuvered your boat into a tight dockage. If this sounds familiar, we may have the solution to your dilemma of being at the helm, as well as various other points on the boat to supervise lines coming aboard.
The answer is a remote control module. While you can't yet convert your boat to radio control unless you have Bill Gate's disposable income, this may be the next best thing. The basics are simple: a hand held unit which contains controls for the thruster and throttles. The wireless design allows you to freely roam the boat while remaining in control.
We'll now take a closer look at Yacht Controller. The Yacht Controller is a wireless unit which can be worn on the wrist or hung around the neck, incorporating the controls for the thrusters, throttles, and anchor windlass.
Once installed, the unit provides full control of these functions from virtually any point on the boat. The system is designed to work in an area equivalent to the size of the boat. The boat's controls will instantly override the Yacht Controller, and in the event of a unit failure, the Yacht Controller will go into a safe or neutral mode. Additionally, each Yacht Controller is configured for use on a specific vessel, thus negating the effects of another Yacht Controller on a nearby vessel.
The system allows a user to be at the bow or stern, monitoring the approach to a dock, while remaining in full control of the vessel. If used at a mooring, the ability to activate the windlass greatly enhances the ability of one person to get even a large vessel anchored or underway all on their own. It is also useful when supervising crew or passengers assisting in the docking process, as it avoids the need to yell instructions, which is all by itself a huge improvement in the docking process.
This wireless remote-control unit (about the size of a Palm Pilot) allows a captain to operate a vessel as though he's in two places at once. When boating alone or with novices, a captain must often tend dock lines. However, he also needs to maneuver the boat carefully when approaching a slip or a tight anchorage.
Yacht Controller allows a captain to move about the boat while maintaining total command. Use the device to manage forward and reverse propulsion (single or dual engines), as well as forward and aft thrusters, if installed. It can also control a vessel's anchoring system. A captain can always override the Yacht Controller by using the boat's helm controls.
This unique device won the National Marine Manufacturers Association Innovation Award at the 2004 Miami International Boat Show.
Bosch Rexroth AG and Yacht Controller S.r.l. signed an agreement to work together using an integrated system between the wireless Yacht Controller Dual Band and the electronic control heads produced by Bosch Rexroth.
Germany's Bosch Rexroth will produce and supply Yacht Controller, of Italy, with an exclusive interface, through which Yacht Controller's Dual Band can integrate the Bosch Rexroth electronic system.
"For Bosch Rexroth, the agreement follows their corporate philosophy, which constantly focuses toward the most reliable and innovative solutions," the companies said in a statement. "For Yacht Controller, being a partner of a world giant such as Bosch confirms and strengthens the credibility and the standing of the Italian company in the international nautical world."
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You've got the wide screen television, the VCR, and the DVD on board. You can tell because the remotes are all there with the cell phone, laptop, and GPS. But what's missing here.
Well, of course. It's the remote control for the yacht.
In case you've been seeking that missing link, contact the people at Yacht Controller, Inc. Immediately.
Actually, the Yacht Controller can be a vital link with a boat's forward and reverse engine controls (and forward and aft thruster if installed) to give you complete control of a boat's movements in any direction. Mounted on a wrist or lanyard, this allows you to stand anywhere on the boat to control movements in tight situations often found in ports or marinas. The controller allows you to keep your hands free to help with ropes.
The Yacht Controller also allows you to remotely control the movements of the anchor speed and direction (up or down) to correctly position your boat for mooring.
Being in position to see other vessels, docks, and people, can prevent damage and, potentially, even injury.
Several years ago, new remote controls were introduced at boat shows for separate functions ranging from opening and closing of a power vent in a windshield, to dropping and retrieving the anchor. I had teased a colleague already encumbered with a cell phone, pager and compact VHF at his waist that the number of wireless boat controls he might take aboard these days threatened to surpass the available clip-on storage space on his belt.
In reality, these new remote controls solved very specific problems of access. I have seen designs with windshields raked so far aft and set so far ahead of the helm console that only by crawling on your belly could you hope to operate a manual vent. To increase interior cabin volume, some boatbuilders have narrowed side decks to little more than a tightrope walker’s training facility, making it tougher than ever to get forward to handle basic anchoring duties.
With the advent of electronically controlled engines and thrusters, it didn’t take long for the technology wizards to consider how to transform and improve the fine art of docking. Their rationale was reasonable: Even if you provided a competent helmsman with bridge wing control stations or one in the cockpit, there was always the chance of damage to the hull or, worse, injury to an inexperienced crew member or guest because you couldn’t see all sides easily. Numerous design factors also complicate docking scenarios: The full-length boat deck that covers the cockpit and makes alfresco dining so pleasant becomes a barrier to visibility aft.
Tethered control boxes plugged into weatherproofed receptacles on the foredeck or aft allow the helmsman more flexibility rather than trapping him in the pilothouse or on the flying bridge, by letting him walk from side to side and see the situation at water level. As he backs the boat into a slip, he can spy details unseen from the flying bridge—the errant nail or bolt sticking out that could destroy paint or gelcoat, or exactly how much space remains between the end of the hydraulic-lift swim platform and the concrete bulkhead.
When the Yacht Controller was introduced at the Miami International Boat Show two years ago, dock watchers marveled as an operator roamed from side deck to bow to swim platform, pivoting and backing and filling a 50-footer with the thumb (tumbler) switches of this innovative wireless device. He controlled electronic engine shifting, as well as bow and stern thruster direction, wirelessly. Suddenly there was no need to yell back and forth to crew on the bow trying to pick up a mooring line, or listen for warnings from crew in the aft cockpit as the boat closed too rapidly on a concrete piling. With the Yacht Controller in hand, the operator simply walks to the bow and bumps the yacht forward in idle just enough to make mooring line retrieval easy for the crew, or for the operator alone. And what better place to be standing when, in your judgment, the boat is in position, clear of other boats, to step on a windlass button and let go the anchor? In fact, an anchoring control is optionally available with the Yacht Controller. For safety, all actions return to neutral when the switch is released and, should a loss of signal occur between the handheld transmitter and its receiver, control returns to shipboard systems.
You glance at an approaching motor yacht as she heads toward a pier, her pilothouse, wing and cockpit stations empty. A single crewmember is on the bow. You scratch your head as the yacht makes a perfect, uneventful docking. A closer look a the lone occupant reveals that he is using a wireless remote control about the size of a cell phone.
The wireless remote is the Yacht Controller, a unit that links, by a series of color-code wires, to any engine with electronic controls. The transmitter, powered by two AAA batteries, has tumbler switches that engage up to two engines; this enables forward and reverse movement. Controls for your bow thruster, stern thruster and anchor windlass also are available.
If a malfunction occurs, the Yacht Controller emits a signal, and the controls automatically return to “safe” mode. Helm-station controls will override the remote. To prevent malfunction, the system is coded to eliminate interference from similarly equipped yachts.
According to the makers of Yacht Controller, the system will provide savings to yachtsmen, as it is designed to eliminate multiple, expensive steering stations used only during docking. It should also aid those who find themselves single-handed or stuck in emergency situations.
Wireless controls have proven a reliable way to maneuver a boat and are increasingly part of a well-equipped vessel. Yacht Controller recently launched their newest model. The compact Dual Band unit, which fits in the palm of the hand, allows captains to wirelessly maneuver from anywhere onboard and, because the controller simultaneiously transmits on two frequencies, it is immune from signal interruption from others using the radio frequency bands. The system's five microprocessors and 10 relays offer command reliability. The remote's switches, designed by Porsche, provide easy and intuitive contol in any direction. This is a plug-and-play system, perfectly suited to the marine environment as it is waterproof and the reciever even floats.