SCHIEDAM –  Vetus, the Dutch boat systems maker, has reached a deal with Mercury Marine to integrate its Bow Pro Thruster with the outboard joystick system of the US marine engines maker.

The deal enhances “the joystick piloting experience,” says Vetus, which develops engines, generators, bow thrusters, control panels and other marine systems for recreational craft and small commercial vessels.

VETUS BOW PRO thruster

Mercury Marine, a unit of Brunswick Corporation, makes outboard motors. Its Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) is hailed as the industry’s first system with complete and seamless integration of a bow thruster. The Vetus-Mercury deal lets the latter capitalize on the unique features and advantages of the Vetus Bow Pro thruster range, including the NMEA 2000-certified CAN bus interface allowing control of the proportional thruster from Mercury’s joystick.

Other benefits of the Bow Pro units are built-in safety features, enabling boaters to use their system without overloading or overheating, and the industry’s first boosted charging capabilities.

Vetus Maxwell US President Chris DeBoy says the Bow Pro Thruster will make life easier for skippers and crew. “To offer the best user experience of the series, it is vital we continue to work closely with the best manufacturers on system integration,” he added. “To expand future integration possibilities, Vetus is working on an analog interface to allow control of the Bow Pro series from analog devices, such as single-lever control thruster buttons.”

The Vetus-Mercury Marine integrated solution requires next-generation Digital Throttle & Shift controls. It can be used on Mercury Marine’s Verado outboards of 250HP and more on boats with twin or more engines.

The Vetus Bow Pro thruster family includes 22 models for 110 to 300 mm tunnels and 12V to 48V. The latest additions to the range are the new Bow Pro Boosted 300 series for boats up to 30m (95ft).

JPOs with Bow Thruster will be available as of March 2022.