Worried about docking? About overcoming wind or current or accidentally bumping into nearby boats? About looking bad in front of your friends? Well, at one time or another, who isn’t?
But a new era of “assisted docking” takes care of all that. And, with the spread of Raymarine’s DockSense Alert Technology, all those worries may be things of the past. To a large degree, the high-tech DockSense does the docking for you; at the very least, it keeps you from hitting anything. Think of the growing driver-assist technology for cars, which basically parks the car for you, now on boats.
Raymarine just announced that DockSense will be offered as factory-installed equipment on selected Boston Whaler models later this year. And it’s demonstrating DockSense on a Whaler 380 Outrage at the Miami International Boat Show now. Raymarine introduced DockSense at the Miami show last year, as a test, on a 330 Boston Whaler Outrage with twin Mercury Verado outboards. I tried it, and it works.
And it works on virtually any boat. DockSense uses FLIR camera technology and video analytics to detect and display any obstacles around the boat. The system consists of an array of cameras and a central processor connected to a Raymarine Axiom display. It measures the distance to the dock, piling, other vessels – anything around the boat. It creates a 3D map of the area around the boat, and then displays a birds-eye-view on the Axiom screen.
You can control the system by setting up the distances you want to keep you away from obstacles – two feet, say. This is what Raymarine calls a Virtual Bumper zone. And the system keeps you from entering it.
DockSense is totally self-contained. Everything you need to use it is on the boat. You don’t need to install anything on the dock; the system goes with you when you move the boat.
The system comes with various options: A single camera gives you stern protection; three cameras give stern, port and starboard protection, while five cameras provide 360-degree protection. Read more: