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March 11, 2013

Suzuki Outboards Announces Development of a Joystick Steering System

Suzuki says it is working on a factory joystick steering system for its outboards

Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced that it is developing a new joystick control system for its two most-powerful outboards. The announcement was made at the 2013 Japan International Boat Show in Yokohama, Japan, last week. The new joystick system will integrate seamlessly with Suzuki Precision Control, a proprietary drive-by-wire system available on Suzuki DF300AP and DF250AP outboard motors. It will work with twin engines to enhance low-speed maneuverability in situations such as docking in crowded marinas.

The company showed a prototype joystick control as well as concept drawings of the system and components. According to Suzuki, this new system will provide increased confidence to skippers as they maneuver their boats in close quarters and will increase the appeal of boating to a younger, more tech-savvy demographic. More information on Suzuki‚Äôs new Joystick Control System will be available later this summer. 

Suzuki's announcement brings the number of outboard companies with factory joystick steering systems to four. The others are Evinrude, Mercury and Yamaha. However, SeaStar Solutions -- an independent company specializing in marine steering and other controls and instrumentation systems -- was the first company to debut such steering for outboards, a system than can be retrofitted to twin mechicanically controlled outboards.

For a complete rundown on outboard joystick steering systems, click here.