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VIDEO: Pursuit plans to offer Yamaha joystick on 36-footer

Pursuit Boat's new 36 Sport Yacht will be one of the first boats to be outfitted with Yamaha Marine Group's new joystick helm control and steering system, S2 Yachts officials said Monday during an exclusive interview with Trade Only Today.

S2 is Pursuit’s parent company.

“We have an actual test boat that we ran their [joystick /steering] system on,” said George Hetzel, vice president of sales and marketing for S2 Yachts. “Part of the thought process was to be able to use whatever technology Yamaha developed.”

Yamaha has been working with Volvo Penta on a joystick that will integrate steering mechanisms, throttles and shifting, engine information and the overall piloting of the boat.

Click play to listen to S2’s Hetzel, David Glenn and Bruce Thompson discuss the news.

“It will give twin-engine boats and triple-engine boats better docking capabilities, like you see with some of the other joystick products with pods,” Yamaha Marine Group president Ben Speciale said in a recent interview with Trade Only’s sister publication Soundings.

“As soon as that technology is available we’ll have it at the retail level, and I understand that technology won’t be available for a while,” added David Glenn, S2 Yachts marketing director.

The joystick system should be available some time in 2013, says Yamaha communications manager Martin Peters.

The Yamaha-powered 36 Sport Yacht will be the first offering in this market for Pursuit, primarily known for its quality center console, walkaround and express fishing vessels. The 36 will be the first in a new fleet of posh, modern-looking, outboard-powered cruising boats under the Pursuit name.

“This boat is probably in the middle of a whole family of product we are going to develop,” Hetzel said.

That family will range from about 26 to 40 feet. “We’ll go where there is the most opportunity for success,” Glenn added. “We certainly see an opportunity above and below this mid-30-foot boat.”

The Pursuit brand will consist of a broader range of boats without losing its heritage, said Bruce Thompson, Pursuit Boats vice president of operations.

“We are going to deliver to these new boats the reliability and durability and performance that the fishing segment has demanded to a segment of the market that needs it and has been begging for it,” Thompson said. “We’re taking all the things we’ve learned being a builder of offshore product and rolling it into a product that has been historically designed and engineered for inshore use.”

— Chris Landry

chris.soundings@gmail.com

@CPLandry

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