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Old 12-20-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
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Docking Controller

Looking to purchase a docking controller have seen info. on two controller one is Yacht Controller and the other is Docking Master if anyone knows anything about either would like your input.
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:25 PM   #2
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There is also a Dutch manufacturer w. stuff that look good Elektronische aansturing of besturing voor boten | Hydronautica or for short (www.hydronautica.nl)
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:12 PM   #3
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I have owned and used the Yachtcontroller system for two years. I single hand a 53 ft LOA boat which I often back into a tight slips. I give the unit and the people who installed it very high marks. The system is pricy but the wireless works so well and saves the cost of paint touch up and repair that I believe it pays for itself. The ability to walk anywhere on the boat even the dock and have full control brings docking and undocking to a new level. I don't have to worry how close I am I just walk to that side of the boat and observe the situation. I bring the swim platform to the dock step off tie down a spring or stern line while still in full control then walk forward and grab a bow line from the rail. Its a 10+. If anybody thinks wireless is a problem then you should observe what some of the major boat yards are doing with their travel lifts. Yes that guy walking behind the lift with a box is in control of your precious boat dangling 10 feet above the ground.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:28 PM   #4
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It's encouraging to hear you are having good success with your Yacht Controller. When we built our boat I considered installing one but the people I found at the time who had them gave mixed reviews. And Yacht Controller was never able to produce reference customers for me despite the "thousands of units installed on boat's just like mine."

For the same price as the Yacht Controller, I was able to build three full function wing stations - one on each side of the Portuguese bridge for side docking, and one in the cockpit for backing into slips. It's not quite as flexible as a wireless station, but I like the reliability of hardwired controls.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
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It's encouraging to hear you are having good success with your Yacht Controller. When we built our boat I considered installing one but the people I found at the time who had them gave mixed reviews. And Yacht Controller was never able to produce reference customers for me despite the "thousands of units installed on boat's just like mine."

For the same price as the Yacht Controller, I was able to build three full function wing stations - one on each side of the Portuguese bridge for side docking, and one in the cockpit for backing into slips. It's not quite as flexible as a wireless station, but I like the reliability of hardwired controls.
Well I don't get any kind of kickback and am not selling the YC but I am sorry you missed out on the chance to own one. I got interested in the unit when I observed a fellow Yacht Club member dock his 60 something boat at one of our outstations under less than ideal conditions. The skipper was an elderly gentleman and obviously alone during the operation(wife may have been below). He docked the boat with a small box on a lanyard around his neck and then stepped off onto the dock and tied down with the boat still obviously under his control the entire time. And that is how I have done it now for two years and hundreds of dockings since I go out almost every week including winter. You did hit the nail on the head with the word FLEXABLE. I have a wired remote and it has not been used since the YC came aboard.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:28 PM   #6
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I bought one at the Seattle Boat Show last year (Installation is free if you do it then). I am just starting to trust it (and me) for docking the boat. The more I use it, the more I like it. I first started to use it for picking up the anchor, a task for which it is just wonderful. You stand in the bow, look down and steer the boat over the anchor. No yelling, no meaningless hand gestures.

I did find the stock installation somewhat unsuited for my use. I want to use it for the last 20 feet approaching the dock and I don't want to fumble when turning the thing on. So I installed an additional two-channel car remote. One button turns on the electronics and the other (used at the last minute), engages the shifter controller. I also wired things so that when the Yacht Controller is on (the first button), the bowthruster is also turned on. With these mods there is very little to forget in stressful docking situations.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:45 PM   #7
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Yes I forgot to mention about using the YC for anchoring and even better for picking up or casting off a mooring. I can do both without help and have full visual and control from any point particularly the bow. I can even back to a mooring and attach a long line from bow while standing on swim platform and control the boat while walking forward and shortening bow line. I have not tried it yet but what about stern to anchoring taking my stern line ashore in the dinghy while keeping the stern where I want it and the boat under control from the dinghy?
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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eyschulman-
I'm interested in your comments regarding the wired controller versus the wireless YC. I just purchased a boat that came with a wired remote; it can control shifting, throttle up to 50% of max, and the bow thruster. I had already imagined retrieving the anchor while standing on the bow with the remote. I have yet to use the remote, other than playing around with it at the dock.

The prior owner indicated that he never got comfortable with the remote, and the captain that sea trialed the boat was not impressed with it. At the same time, as someone else pointed out, we hauled the boat on a travel lift that was under wireless remote the entire time.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #9
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I have no clue why wireless remotes cause ANY concerns whatsoever for folks. I have ran cranes with over 300 tons capacity that way for nearly 3 decades. Believe me when I say there's hell of a lot more at stake than a scuffed paint job on someone's play toy pleasure yacht for the loads routinely handled with these cranes.
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:48 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=ABfish;397687]eyschulman-
I'm interested in your comments regarding the wired controller versus the wireless YC.

My boat has three options aside from the Glendenning controls and the basic thruster controls. Opt #1 a wired Glendenning remote in cockpit with about 15 feet of cord. Opt #2 a wired YC joy stick at the helm. #3 The wireless YC box. Now that I am familiar with and comfortable with my units while docking-anchoring or dealing with a mooring It turns out I use the wireless box almost exclusively and could have saved some big bucks and easily done without opt 1&2. As to some people having trouble docking with one of these units well it is a great help but it can not make up for an individual who does not have the basic brain function needed for spatial relations with a moving component or an individual who does not understand wind current etc. Its very much like parallel parking (with the added wind and current) for some it is easy and others hard. What the unit does is give you freedom to be anywhere on the boat or even on the dock. It does not make up for a lack of ability to dock just makes it easier to observe what you are doing and tie up or cast off without help if need be. I totally agree fear of wireless completely unfounded especially with YC system since it is duel frequency..
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:53 AM   #11
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It's great to now hear this larger pool of satisfied customers of the Yacht Controller. Had you all been around 3 or 4 years ago I might have made a different decision, but at the time I had a very difficult time finding reference customers.
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Old 12-22-2015, 04:29 AM   #12
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It's great to now hear this larger pool of satisfied customers of the Yacht Controller. Had you all been around 3 or 4 years ago I might have made a different decision, but at the time I had a very difficult time finding reference customers.
I saw them in use a good number of times in Europe this past summer.

Everyone seemed to have one on any motor vessel larger than 35 feet in Helsinki.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:17 PM   #13
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A wired controller could be nice and a wireless control could be nice also but I would be a little concerned about using one and stepping off the boat.


If it fails, the battery dies or you drop it in the water your boat could take off down the river without you.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:35 PM   #14
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I have no clue why wireless remotes cause ANY concerns whatsoever for folks. I have ran cranes with over 300 tons capacity that way for nearly 3 decades. Believe me when I say there's hell of a lot more at stake than a scuffed paint job on someone's play toy pleasure yacht for the loads routinely handled with these cranes.
A marina I work in quite often got a remote control hydraulic trailer about 6yrs ago. First time they used it it went walkabout and knocked over three sailboats in cradles. I didn't see it happen but I did see the aftermath. They never did figure out what went wrong but have been using it ever since without problems.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:02 AM   #15
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Sounds like operator error to me as the default setting (at least for inspected cranes) is full stop all brakes applied full if signal is interrupted or hands are removed from the controller(dead man switch). The majority of boat lifts I've seen would be red tagged in less than 5 minutes if ever inspected. Rather than an indictment that should be a testimony to how well boat handling equipment is designed.
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:35 AM   #16
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Sounds like operator error to me as the default setting (at least for inspected cranes) is full stop all brakes applied full if signal is interrupted or hands are removed from the controller(dead man switch). The majority of boat lifts I've seen would be red tagged in less than 5 minutes if ever inspected. Rather than an indictment that should be a testimony to how well boat handling equipment is designed.
That always seems to be the rub when the concept of using new, non-marine or sophisticated (but reliable) tech is used on boats.

What works elsewhere may still be shaky on the marine market as it seems design, install or maintenance falls short of other places we have seen "new tech" work great for years in other arenas.

Even then the results vary widely depending on the experiences of the poster.
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