What’s missing from this picture?
Here’s a close-up look at the helm station of a new Schaefer 580 yacht with just a Volvo Penta joystick. There’s no steering wheel at all on this new boat that made its debut at the recent Rio Boat Show in Brazil. The twin 670-hp Volvo IPS800 diesels and pod drives are totally controlled by the joystick.
Marcio Schaefer, CEO of Schaefer Yachts, Brazil’s biggest builder, said there was considerable interest in the wheel-less 580 at the show, calling it the biggest nautical event in South America. He said Schaefer will continue to use joystick-only steering in other models coming off the line.
“When we designed the Schaefer 580 with Volvo Penta IPS we decided to go with a joystick-only steering control system,” Schaefer said. “Our team worked very closely with the Volvo Penta engineers, and in roughly two months we developed this joystick-only system, eliminating the wheel altogether. In our opinion, this innovation will improve maneuverability and bring a new level of ergonomics to the helm station.”
For his part, Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas, said that “wheel-free, joystick-only steering with IPS is the next logical step in our Easy Boating strategy to harness new technical solutions to make it easier for owners to operate their boats and enjoy the experience of being on the water.” Read more: