Dometic Marine introduced its Electric Power Assist to the media Thursday. The power-steering system is designed for a range of boats, from pontoons and runabouts to RIBs and center consoles.
Building on its Optimus Outboard Electric Steering Actuator, Dometic created a more affordable system for lower-price-point boats, as more newcomers get into boating, Dometic president Eric Fetchko said during a virtual debut.
“The Optimus is a premium product … [and] that’s why the engineers have worked hard on this product to make sure we have an entry-level system that can make a small, 20-foot boat drive like a car,” Fetchko said. “It’s all about making the experience better for the boater.”
Product manager Dave Wolfe said the plug-and-play unit doesn’t require a certified electrician to install. “There are four bolts,” Wolfe said, adding that installation takes about 20 minutes. “In tests, we were able to swap it from boat to boat out on the water.”
It can be used on single-outboard boats from 90 to 200 hp and is compatible with the major outboard brands, integrating with the boat’s mechanical steering. The unit, which will be available to OEMs starting in May, will be available at retail for $1,600 around mid-2021, Wolfe said.
“This will mate with all Dometic steering systems, whether rack or rotary,” he said. “It interfaces with all the mechanical steering systems.”
Delivering a smooth and easy boating experience is critical as the industry faces a notable increase in new boaters, Fetchko said. “This new product fills a very important gap in our family of marine steering products and the boating industry as a whole,” Fetchko said in a statement. “We’re excited to be bringing all the benefits of power steering within reach of more boaters.”
Electric Power Assist officially debuts at the virtual International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference next week.