Drive Your Boat With a Joystick

She looks a little angry about that joystick. What up with that?

Yamaha just announced a “technical agreement” with marine inboard folks Volvo Penta “for the joint development of control systems for boats with outboard motors.” What does that mean?

“The engine control systems that will be developed under the agreement include single remote control for outboard-powered boats. The new product will combine power and steering control in one easy-to-use, electronic device.”

Cool! Even though “the intention is to greatly improve maneuverability and ease of docking for larger boats that use outboard power” – because they’re already used on some yachts and I believe some giant ships – why not bassin’ boats?

Who needs a steering wheel and a Hot Foot? That’s so old-fashioned. Nix both for a huge LCD screen where the wheel was, more room under the dash and the “YVP” (Yamaha Volvo Penta) joystick.

All of a sudden it seems kind of…inevitable, maybe?

A real pic of a Volvo Penta joystick.



  1. Chad Keogh

    December 10, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Right now most tournament rules state: “All boats must be equipped with wheel steering; no other steering device will be permitted.” I guess if the joy stick steering catches on, the tournament organizers may have to adjust their rules, but I for one don’t like the joy stick for bass boats.

    I’ve competed in some pretty rough water at high speeds and I think keeping your hand on the joystick pictured in the article would be tough and unsafe in those conditions.

  2. BP

    December 11, 2010 at 2:23 am

    File under: I don’t think so.

    Surprised this wasn’t Bo’s idea

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