Harris Boats launches single-engine joystick piloting
Harris Boats, a division of Brunswick Corporation that produces pontoon boats, has unveiled its single-engine joystick piloting with digital throttle and shift (DTS) controls in partnership with Mercury Marine.
Offered as an option on the Harris Crowne, Grand Mariner, and Solstice Pontoon model series, the company says that Mercury’s new joystick piloting for outboards (JPO) for single-engine pontoons provides the same 360-degree control that has historically only been available on multi-engine integrations. It claims that boaters can now have more confidence in docking and manoeuvring in close quarters with single-engine joystick capabilities as a ‘first-of-its-kind feature’ within the industry.
“The JPO for single-engine pontoon system, the newest engine advancement from Mercury, was a natural fit for our brand,” says Chris Bernauer, president, Harris Boats. “The Harris brand has a legacy of performance, style, and unparalleled technology, and we’re excited to offer this first-of-its-kind feature providing our community of boaters complete control at their fingertips to promote comfort and convenience on the water.”
Through this system, Harris will offer electro-hydraulic steering on 250hp+ Verado engines and use integrated bow and stern thrusters that are positioned under the deck, deploying, and stowing as needed. Once deployed, the thrusters work in coordination with the boat’s single outboard to provide control.
Available for the model year 2023, the new joystick piloting system offers 360-degree control, manoeuvring sideways, diagonally, forward, backward, or rotate in place. The system also enables simultaneous actions, such as rotating and moving sideways.
“Pontoons have represented one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry and we are thrilled to partner with some of the most well-respected OEMs in the industry, like Harris Boats, to offer joystick capabilities,” says Tyler Mehrl, Mercury category manager for controls and rigging. “Our new JPO for single-engine pontoons system provides an opportunity to enhance the on-water experience for pontoon owners by removing some of the barriers and stress that comes with manoeuvring tight situations, which can now be done with ease and confidence.”
Harris presented the joystick piloting system at the Minneapolis Boat Show, and it will feature at the Miami International Boat Show on February 16-20.