Mercury Joystick Piloting for Single-Outboard Pontoons

New joystick system makes docking pontoon boats much easier.
Courtesy Mercury Marine Mercury delivers a joystick-control option for single-outboard pontoon boats.

Large, single-engine pontoon boats rank as one of the most difficult craft to maneuver at slow speeds, thanks to their shallow draft and excessive windage. Mercury’s Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) for single-engine pontoons can ease the angst.

The system uses bow-and-stern-steerable electric thruster motors along with the outboard to ­provide 360-degree joystick control. It’s available on new pontoons powered by 175 to 600 hp Mercury ­outboards with Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS). Move the joystick to propel the boat in any direction. When not in use, the stern motor retracts into a pod. The bow motor tilts up into a high-strength bracket.

Courtesy Mercury Marine The system uses bow-and-stern steerable electric thruster motors along with the outboard to provide 360-degree joystick control.

JPO for pontoons comes in two versions: basic, for Mercury FourStroke, Pro XS and SeaPro outboards; and premium, designed for Mercury Verados. Premium also includes an integrated digital compass, which, when combined with a Mercury VesselView display, enables the Auto Heading features to maintain the boat’s course while underway. Premium can also navigate to a waypoint on a compatible chart plotter. Mercury expects some builders to offer the system soon at costs from $16,000 to $20,000.


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