Look Ma, No Wires!
This transmitter, by the way, is dual-band-enabled. Unlike the original Yacht Controller that debuted a few years ago, it generates two frequencies, one in the 400-MHz range and the other in the 800-MHz range, so the receiver mounted inside my Sea Ray’s steering station received two signals simultaneously. Had one failed or become jammed by errant RF interference, the other would have been sufficient to get the job done.
My experience with the Yacht Controller was generally quite positive, although the four-function unit I used (two buttons for the engines and two for the thrusters) seemed a tad expensive. Base price for a dual-band- Yacht Controller with engine controls only is $7,495. Add bow thruster, stern thruster, and windlass capabilities and the price goes up for each extra, with a full-featured version (with all five functions) selling for $11,795. Moreover, doing your own installation cuts the price by only between $700 and $1,100, mainly because the job’s a pushover thanks to plug-and-play cables customized to fit whatever you have got for engines and other equipment. “It seems like a lot of money, I suppose,” observed the Sea Ray’s owner Scott Bell of Pensacola, who’d purchased his Yacht Controller to deal with visibility issues during backing into a slip due to his dinghy obstructing visibility. “But I’ll tell ya, Bill,” he went on, “it compares quite favorably with the cost of installing an extra fixed station aft.” I had to admit, he had a point there. PMY
CONTACT Yacht Controller (305) 667-5811. www.yachtcontroller.com.
This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.