FOR anyone considering boating as a hobby, the good news is that it’s becoming a lot easier to take control - all because of the joystick.
Traditionally, you’d find a steering wheel at a boat’s helm. But as joystick technology is increasingly being adopted by boat designers, the experience of steering a boat is becoming much more intuitive.
It means that newly confident boat owners are moving up to boats they wouldn’t have considered in the past - because of how joysticks can make bigger boats feel like smaller crafts when steering.
Whilst there’s no substitute for knowledge and experience, joystick control can make it easier for less experienced boaters to control their engines even in high winds, currents, or when negotiating tight spaces.
Brazilian yacht-builder Schaefer recently launched a 58-foot model without a wheel at the main helm at all, using a joystick for control. The company believe that joystick-only steering just makes it easier to get out on the water.
(The flybridge helm still has a wheel - for the traditionalists and sceptics - but joystick use in boats is definitely on the rise.)
Joystick control can also make boating more accessible for those who have a disability - the new technology offers more power and control to those who find more traditional methods of steering a boat quite physically challenging.
Boats using a joystick need two engines; and there are systems that can even be used with outboard engines. Joystick steering can take some experience, and it’s best to practice before fully committing to this system in a difficult situation.
But it’s definitely a growing market - so it’s no surprise that you’ll find Nexus supplier Ruffy Controls ready to help, and listed in the pages of Professional Boatbuilder magazine.
Ruffy is an emerging leader and innovator in the joystick industry. Its founding team has over 100 years combined experience in the joystick industry, and works hard to develop products that meet an increasing demand for innovation and product line expansion.
They - along with Nexus - are well placed to offer product customisation to help customers create just the right solution for their needs.
The company’s HE2 series joysticks were developed for harsh environments, and are all sealed to a minimum of IP67.
Constructed using a robust stainless steel shaft and brass gimbal, the joysticks are ideal for marine, crane, or other industrial applications which need a precision controller which can withstand hard use.
And the HE3 series were developed for systems which require an added level of safety, and all models are sealed to a minimum of IP67.
For more information on Ruffy’s joystick range, speak to Nexus.
Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash