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Old 07-21-2010, 10:15 PM
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This formula is a sport cruiser though. It bet it would get to 55 or 60 though.

Yes it still has a steering wheel, and regular shifters and throttles. Not really sure how it works, but he can sure dock that thing
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:19 PM
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the merc site has a video of it
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:10 AM
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Joystick controls were first introduced on pod-type drives, like Volvo Penta's IPS packages. From there, the technology has been transferred to stern drives, first with Mercury's Axius system, and now with Volvo Penta's sterndrive system. All are low-speed, idle-only systems intended for docking and other low-speed manuevering.
The critical part is that each drive must be free to move independently of the other(s). In order to crab a boat sideways or spin it in a circle, the drives have to point in different directions and/or be in different gears, i.e. one in forward and one in reverse. This pretty much eliminates the use of a physical tie bar in the system.
That being said, fly-by-wire technology is getting increasingly mainstream these days, and has been on the military's planes for decades. Given the development of high-accuracy and high-reliability position sensors and hydraulic actuators, there is no reason that driving a high-perfomance boat could not eventually be done with a joystick. The important thing would be to decrease the sensitivity of the stick as speed increases, as is done in aircraft. The driver would have to be well-supported (probably sit-down only) so that his arm did not get bounced around excessively.
One interesting aspect of a proper fly-by wire system is that you could have active toe-in/out control. Not only could the drives be adjusted for best top-end speed, you could also experiment with toe-in change in turns. In cars this is known as Ackerman, where the inside tire turns in more than the outside one. Given the wide turn radius of most boating maneuvers, this might not be a big gain.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by C_Spray View Post
Joystick controls were first introduced on pod-type drives, like Volvo Penta's IPS packages. From there, the technology has been transferred to stern drives, first with Mercury's Axius system, and now with Volvo Penta's sterndrive system. All are low-speed, idle-only systems intended for docking and other low-speed manuevering.
The critical part is that each drive must be free to move independently of the other(s). In order to crab a boat sideways or spin it in a circle, the drives have to point in different directions and/or be in different gears, i.e. one in forward and one in reverse. This pretty much eliminates the use of a physical tie bar in the system.
That being said, fly-by-wire technology is getting increasingly mainstream these days, and has been on the military's planes for decades. Given the development of high-accuracy and high-reliability position sensors and hydraulic actuators, there is no reason that driving a high-perfomance boat could not eventually be done with a joystick. The important thing would be to decrease the sensitivity of the stick as speed increases, as is done in aircraft. The driver would have to be well-supported (probably sit-down only) so that his arm did not get bounced around excessively.
One interesting aspect of a proper fly-by wire system is that you could have active toe-in/out control. Not only could the drives be adjusted for best top-end speed, you could also experiment with toe-in change in turns. In cars this is known as Ackerman, where the inside tire turns in more than the outside one. Given the wide turn radius of most boating maneuvers, this might not be a big gain.
Now thats a good answer.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:43 PM
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I watched them demo the Axius down in Florida a few years ago. They were taking random people who had never used it. They had them put the nose of the boat about 1 foot from the wall, then walk the boat sideways for as far as they wanted. Amazing to watch, I wish I would have tryed it.

Another test was pulling up to a pole in the middle of the water. Again, less than a foot from the pole, they would walk that boat all the way around. Magic is right!
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TEAMBAJA View Post
I watched them demo the Axius down in Florida a few years ago. They were taking random people who had never used it. They had them put the nose of the boat about 1 foot from the wall, then walk the boat sideways for as far as they wanted. Amazing to watch, I wish I would have tryed it.

Another test was pulling up to a pole in the middle of the water. Again, less than a foot from the pole, they would walk that boat all the way around. Magic is right!
i did something like this. i went down to the miami show in 08 and took a ride in a 53 cruisers that had the merc system in it. i was just talking to the captain about how it worked before you went for our ride. on the way back into the marina he called me up to the helm and told me to give it a try. it was really wierd controling the boat with a joystick and was amazed that it didnt exaclty what you wanted the boat to do.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:22 PM
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Now thats a good answer.
You would think he worked for Penske Racing or something....

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