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twin disc maritimo 56.jpg The Maritimo 56 Motor Yacht fitted with the new EPS system. twin disc maritimo 56.jpg
twin disc joystick.jpg The Twin Disc EJS joystick. twin disc joystick.jpg
twin disc display The unit's display system. twin disc display

An Australian-owned Maritimo is the first boat in the world fitted with a new Express Positioning System.

An Australian-owned Maritimo 56 Motor Yacht is the first boat in the world to try out the new Express Positioning System (EPS) from US marine-propulsion specialist Twin Disc.

About to be released globally by Twin Disc, the EPS system is an option exclusively for shaftdrive boat owners who have the company’s Express Joystick System (EJS) in place and which can be supplied with a new-build or retrofitted.

Similar to MerCruiser’s Skyhook on its Axius joystick system for sterndrives, the EPS operates off a roof-mounted GPS receiver and has a colour display at the main helm. At the press of a button it enables owners to ‘virtually park’ their boats, EPS automatically controlling the propellers and proportional thrusters to maintain the desired position regardless of wind and tide conditions.

Port Lincoln (SA) owner Roy Wells said that with EPS on his Maritimo 56, vessel control had been taking to a "whole new level".

"We can all get into a bit of trouble docking in big weather and we get a lot of that around Port Lincoln," said Wells.

"Even in a strong wind I can hold this big boat close to the dock for as long as I wish. It’s invaluable, particularly when alone without a crew. Press the hold station and you have time to set your fenders, sort the ropes, knowing you will stay were you have selected.

"I also use the system when I am out tuna fishing. I have joystick controls in the cockpit and I can finesse the boat to keep the fish exactly where I want with just my thumb and forefinger, and then hold the boat when and where I choose by a simple press of a button.

"Imagine all those times you would just like to freeze the boat where it is; now it’s available, it makes boating more enjoyable and safer. It is remarkable," he said.

Maritimo sales and marketing manager Greg Haines said the Twin Disc systems make boat handling a breeze for all owners no matter what their experience.

"These new systems provide a level of precision and ease of operation that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago," said Haines. "This gives shaftdrive vessels a level of manoeuvrability that is superior to anything else on the market. I think you will see a lot more Maritimo owners looking at this addition to their vessels."

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