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Old 11-10-2009, 19:24   #1
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Joystick Sail Control System

Joystick Sailing : News and Reports

does anyone have any experience or thoughts with this system?
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Old 11-10-2009, 19:31   #2
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Might as well get a Bayliner
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Old 11-10-2009, 20:31   #3
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Suffering from CRPS with mobility problems it may be the answer to overcoming the obstacles in the path of sailing for me.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie-K View Post
Might as well get a Bayliner
Not sure this is the same as having a Bayliner.
That responce seems a bit harsh and I wonder if it encourages or discourages members from posting?

Its just another step in the convenience side of things.
Like running lines aft.

Many of us try and find the balance between comfortable sailing and reliable/maintainable systems.

I chose to have the convenience of a bow thruster as apposed to sculling or kedging or other means of moving my bow around.

Personally if its a sound system and if it suits you then why not.

As for my personal choice, I still like messing around with halyards and winches and lines and the sort....and I haven’t led my lines aft to the cockpit yet……but will if it suits me!
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:47   #5
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Do you need to go the full automated route, or could you consider electric self tailing winches as the more cost effective answer. I suspect that we will see more and more vessels wth full electric winches, but not so many that go for full automation - after all that takes all the skill out of the task, and also introduces a large number of additional points of failure.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:49   #6
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It looks very interesting and promising. If they can design a reliable system, it is certainly worth looking at. But it also brings lot of complexity to the boat.

When Airbus introduced first "fly by wire" and "glass cockpit" systems 20+ years ago, lot of pilots and experts were against it. Same sort of arguments will be heard in sailing world as well. But as in aviation industry it will be accepted in time.

This sort of systems will eliminate need of experienced crew members and the skipper will be able to sail either alone or with unexperienced people.

I am personally looking forward to visit a boat with this sort of electronics.
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Old 12-10-2009, 19:10   #7
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Thanks for all the input!

I remember years ago being at the rail yards and watching the portainer driver operate it by a joystick control and more recently watching concrete boom pumps do the same thing, the technology for this sort of stuff is (and has been for quite some time) tried and tested. Certainly it is new to sailing but electronics and electrical systems are not.

Indeed it is one more complexity, another thing to go wrong; perhaps I could forego the flat screen TV in order to balance the equation.

All in all I’m wondering if this sort of set up would be best managed by radio frequency transmitter or drive by wire?
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Old 13-10-2009, 13:22   #8
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Sweet! An Autopilot on Steroids! I've a buddy that works for the Batelle Institute, and I had the opportunity to try out the Intelligent Transportation System they are testing for the Dept of Transportation. There were an array of sensors in the car which judged distance of all other vehicles around the car you were in, as well as sensors in the road, and the car drove itself. It was pretty kewl. This is the vision of the future of mass transit, as well as high end private vehicles. This Automated Sailing system is no where near as robust as that road system is, and there are a LOT more bogeys on the road to take into consideration.

As with any new technological advance -the purists won't buy into it, but the masses generally embrace it. Automated sailing systems seems an obvious "next step". After systems of this type gain some exposure, there will no doubt be advancements which tie it into AIS identification and collision avoidance sensors, gps navigation that ties into "OnStar" type weather on demand delivery systems which integrate with an onboard computer to self navigate the best paths around weather systems, and other undesirable scenarios at sea.

Some of us would not dream of driving a car with an automatic transmission - but the masses generally embrace not ending up with a muscle builders left leg as a result of clutching their way through traffic on their daily slog. I'd luv to test this sailing system out!
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Old 13-10-2009, 13:34   #9
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fly by...

The Wa State Ferry system went to some sort of fly by wire many years ago,,,, and boy there was a lot of flap about it.... and a lot of problems early on. Now they only take out a couple of landing sites a year... but we never seem to hear for sure if it was mechanical or skipper.... Then again most airplanes do....

"The Cathlamet is three-fourths of a nautical mile from the Mukilteo dock.

5:42 a.m. ? The Cathlamet continues to accelerate to over 13 knots (about 15.2 mph) at one-fourth mile from the Mukilteo dock.

? The testimony of both the QM and captain have Capt. Tracey at the helm for the final approach to the dock.

5:43 a.m. ? The Cathlamet has now slowed to just under 11knts.

? The vessel is just outside the floater at this point and Capt. Tracey orders full back down on both bow and stern controls.

? The engineers estimate a 15-second gap between the full back down order and impact with the dolphin.

5:44 a.m. ? The Cathlamet hits the 55-pile timber dolphin going about 7.3 knots, and sheers to port towards the rear of the north wing wall.
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Old 13-10-2009, 17:00   #10
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That reminds me of:

USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30) is a vessel built as a heavy icebreaker for operations on the North American Great Lakes for the United States Coast Guard. She should not be confused with a namesake ship, the USCGC Mackinaw (WAGB-83), which was decommissioned on June 10, 2006.

Mackinaw was delivered to the Coast Guard on November 18, 2005 and commissioned on June 10, 2006. In addition to her ice-breaking duties, the Mackinaw will also serve as an Aids to Navigation ship, able to perform the same duties as the Seagoing Buoy Tenders (WLB) of the Coast Guard fleet.

One of the Mackinaws unique features in the US Coast Guard fleet is the use of azipods for her main propulsion. These, coupled with a bow thruster, makes the ship exceptionally maneuverable. Azipods also negate the need for a traditional rudder, as the azipods can turn 360 degrees on their axis to direct their thrust in any direction. The Mackinaw also lacks a traditional ship's steering wheel. Much of the ship's technology, including the azipod thrusters is from Finnish Maritime Cluster.

The Mackinaw got off to a rocky start before being commissioned. In an unfortunate mishap, the Mackinaw struck a seawall in Grand Haven, Michigan while enroute to her new home port of Cheboygan, MI on December 12, 2005 while being piloted by the XO, LCDR Nathan A. Podoll. The accident caused a dent in the bow of the Mackinaw on her starboard side. Shortly after the accident, Captain Donald Triner, the commanding officer of the Mackinaw, was temporarily relieved of duty pending an investigation into the accident. The accident did not delay the ship's scheduled arrival in her new home port. She arrived on December 17, 2005. Captain Triner was later permanently relieved of duty and replaced by Captain Michael Hudson, who was replaced in turn by Cmdr. John Little in April 2006. Most recently Cmdr. Scott J. Smith assumed command in July 2008.
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Old 13-10-2009, 21:06   #11
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I also remember driving a forklift a few years ago that was joystick controlled, it took a fair bit of getting used to but once accustomed to it was a far superior method. And of course most excavators are now joystick controlled.

“A simplified electro-hydraulic package supplies the power requirement”

Maybe not for everyone but I have sent an email asking a few questions as you’ll see below. And I will post the replies


John Bell,

G’day from Australia. I have been looking at your Joystick sailing system on the web and have downloaded your brochure
I have also posted a discussion in an online sailing forum here is the link.

Joystick Sail Control System


I am currently looking at Purchasing a 40 to 48 foot Catamaran (new or built from Kit).
And I am wondering what the cost of a system would be for say a fusion 40 ft? Along with this wondering goes the questions

Would I need one of your technicians to install it or could that be managed by a reasonably competent home builder?

What have the main failure points proven to be over long term use?

Are spare parts easily obtainable from Hydraulics repairers worldwide?

Are repairs easily made at sea by crew (i.e. Home yacht builder)?

What are the recommended spares that a yacht should carry?

In some of the pictures I notice a third joystick is this a rudder/engine control if not is this option available?

The system shown is obviously a hard wired system is there an option for a radio frequency mobile control unit?

What is your warranty period and what are the terms of the warranty i.e. is it return unit to UK for assessment or have it repaired by an authorised agent?

How many systems have been installed to date and are there any owners that could be contacted for comment on it?

Do you recommend an emergency scenario set up of winches for offshore sailing/long distance cruising in case the system is disabled by lightning strike or some other failure at sea?
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Old 14-10-2009, 07:41   #12
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Excelent quiry Lancelots....hope you can share thier reply with us.
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Old 15-10-2009, 01:55   #13
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Thanks James!

I'm looking forward to posting the replies here. I'm also hoping that I can entice the technical rep to the forum to beef up the discussion as well.
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Old 15-10-2009, 05:05   #14
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Well here’s the first round out of the way

Hello Sam

Many thanks for your interest in our products.

Before we get too involved, I feel it necessary to advise that this system is expensive, but the yacht you have in mind is certainly a suitable size.
For a forty footer the total fully automatic unit would cost 29750 if only the joystick operation will satisfy then
this would result in a saving of 6500. These price estimates are ex works ex vat.
If this is still of interest we will be very pleased to detail answers to all your questions and indeed to many more.

As sailors ourselves we look forward to hearing further from you and thank you for raising the issue on the net.

Sincerely

John.A Bell

Computayacht.com
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Old 15-10-2009, 05:19   #15
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My son would love it! Just like a video game ... of sailing! And now it's electric winches on AC boats.

Remember the medium is the message?
Today, the the virtual is reality.
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