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."
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