Among the innovations Dometic Marine will introduce at its 2022 IBEX Exhibit (Booth #3-1103) is advanced new electric steering technology engineered specifically for inboard powered towboats popular for skiing, wake boarding, wake surfing, and other watersports activities.
The system is based on proven Dometic Marine electric steering technology that has become the new standard of excellence for outboard powered boats around the world.
This new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator for towboats meets an important need in the boat building market, while delivering a vastly improved driving experience for operators of this increasingly popular class of vessel. A safe and exhilarating watersports experience requires a nimble tow vessel that can be controlled effortlessly, predictably, and confidently — and Dometic Marine is now delivering this to the industry.
Electric steering removes the loads felt on the steering wheel and eliminates any “bumpiness” the operator might feel while driving. As a result, towboat drivers enjoy effortless steering and sportscar-like control, enhanced driver focus, and a better ride for the members of the crew.
The new Optimus Electric Actuator replaces the traditional cable or hydraulic steering systems used in a wide range of popular towboats. With this system, the steering actuator is attached to the rudder via a rudder post, and is commanded by the electronic steering helm. Since all the electronics and mechanical elements are housed within the actuator itself, the system is very compact, easy to install, and provides durability over the long run.
This system brings advanced features and steering functions never before available for these popular vessels, including adjustable lock-to-lock turns and adjustable wheel effort parameters that let drivers “fine-tune” wheel control to their preference, watersports activity, and driving style. Since this is the first all-electric inboard actuator that is NMEA 2000 CAN-based, boaters can now fully integrate electric steering with surf gates/wake shapers, trim tabs and other devices for superior vessel, ride and wake control. Both the electric steering and surf gate technologies use precise position sensing and can provide the driver with real-time information on an easy-to-read graphical display. This removes guesswork for the operator and enhances safe, predictable operation the vessel while towing riders.
The actuator’s multiple redundant NMEA 2000 networks ensure built-in safety and reliability under real-world applications and changing operating conditions.
“We are excited to bring this new technology to boat builders, dealers and the watersports market as a whole,” said Dometic Marine President Eric Fetchko. “These types of tow boats will benefit greatly from the enhanced steering control and performance our Optimus system provides. Watersports enthusiasts are going to love it as well — because nimble, in-control boat driving will also lead to a better experience for the watersports enthusiast,” added Fetchko.
The new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator for towboats will carry a retail price of $3,300 and will be available to the industry during the Fall of 2022. See it the Dometic Marine IBEX exhibit, or visit dometic.com to learn more.