Big-Boat Trends & InnovationsBy Michael Vatalaro
Published: October/November 2013
New options, from propulsion to stabilization, are popping up on midsize cruising and fishing boats. Here are some features you might see at the fall boat shows.
Joysticks For All — Even Sailors
We covered the march of fly-by-wire and joystick control in powerboats from pod-driven boats, to sterndrives, and finally outboard-powered boats last year, but you may not be aware that sailors can get the benefits of joystick control as well. Beneteau introduced Dock And Go a few years back on a 50-foot model, and has steadily expanded this offering to other boats in their lineup. Dock And Go is now available on all Beneteau models longer than 40 feet. The system links an azimuthing pod capable of rotating a full 360 degrees with a bow thruster, controlling the combination through a joystick. The result is a sailboat that can spin like a top, walk sideways against wind and current, and generally bend what most sailors would think are immutable laws of docking physics.
More power, control, and boat in less space. Plus smart builders pack more features into 20 feet
Now, a new website offers the pricing information information to boat shoppers
Buying from manufacturers can take some of the risk out of service contracts, but know the facts before you buy