Leading propulsion manufacturer Mercury Marine and luxury boatbuilder Sea Ray, along with parent company Brunswick Corporation, have launched JoystickBoatControl.com, a cutting-edge consumer Web site that provides information on these revolutionary technologies and updates viewers on this summer’s nationwide demonstration tour.
JoystickBoatControl.com provides information regarding Mercury’s Axius sterndrive propulsion system and Cummins MerCruiser Diesel’s (CMD) Zeus pod propulsion system — both equipped with state-of-the-art joystick functionality — as well as boats that are equipped with Zeus or Axius.
JoystickBoatControl.com also details the 2009 Axius to Zeus Joystick Boat Control Tour, which is barnstorming the country to show people how easy and enjoyable boating becomes when the intimidation of docking and tight maneuvering is removed. The tour has already made multiple successful stops in the South and is slated for at least 14 more locations from Missouri to Boston.
Mercury Marine and Sea Ray are owned by Brunswick Corporation. CMD is a joint venture between Mercury Marine and diesel-engine icon Cummins Inc.
The 2009 Axius to Zeus Tour will include three special stops specifically dealing with the media. Those cities are Knoxville, Tenn.; New York City; and Chicago. JoystickBoatControl.com will report on those events, as well as the weekly locations, with video, photos and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
Mercury’s award-winning Axius propulsion system combines drive-by-wire steering, throttle and shifting with a twin sterndrive package. The result is a system that allows boaters unprecedented vessel control by virtue of an intuitive joystick. Simple hand movements allow the driver to move the boat sideways — like we all wish our cars could do — diagonally, and to spin within its own length. The enhanced tight-quarter maneuverability obliterates the stress of docking, even in wind and current. Axius is available with MerCruiser gasoline engines ranging from 260 to 425 hp (per engine) as well as CMD engines from 220 to 350 hp to fit boats up to about 40 feet in length.
CMD’s Zeus system provides the same incredible features and functionality, but is designed for larger boats — from 30 feet to more than 100 feet in length — that typically use conventional straight-shaft propulsion. The system consists of two, three or four Cummins MerCruiser Diesel engines, each mated to a steerable, tunnel-mounted pod. Engine options start at 355 hp and go up to 715 hp. There are 12 possible Zeus power nodes from 710 hp (2 x 355 hp) up to 2,860 hp (4 x 715 hp).
Four different Sea Ray Sundancer sportyachts from 38 to 54 feet in length are available with Zeus propulsion systems. Zeus has also been integrated into a plethora of other models from world-class boat brands, including motoryachts, trawlers and sportfishing boats.