IBEX 365 News
Dometic’s Optimus Electric Wake Boat Steering Receiving International Acclaim
Advanced New System Brings Superior Control, Steering Features and Advanced Integration to Popular Class of Boats
Dometic Marine developed Optimus Electric Power Steering for Wake Boats to meet an important need in the boating market while vastly improving the driving experience for operators of inboard powered boats used for wake boarding, wake surfing, waterskiing, tubing, and other popular watersports activities. It is based on proven, NMMA Innovation Award-winning Dometic electric steering technology currently featured on outboard powered boats around the world.
With this system, a new Optimus Electric Actuator replaces the traditional cable or hydraulic steering systems used on this class of boats. 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 compact, durable, and easy for boatbuilders to install.
Electric steering removes the loads felt on the steering wheel and eliminates any “bumpiness” the operator might feel while driving. As a result, wake boat drivers enjoy effortless steering and sportscar-like control, enhanced driver focus and a better ride for those in the water.
This system also delivers exclusive features and steering functions for these vessels, including adjustable lock-to-lock turns and adjustable wheel parameters. With this industry-first NMEA 2000 CAN-based electric inboard steering actuator, boat builders can fully integrate electric steering with surf gates/wake shapers, trim tabs and other N2K 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 the guesswork for the operator and enhances safety and provides predictable operation of the vessel while towing riders.
This system delivers advanced features and new steering functions never before available for this popular class of vessel, 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.
“We are excited to bring this new technology to boat builders, dealers and the watersports market as a whole,” said President of the Marine Segment at Dometic, Eric Fetchko. “These types of wake 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.
Originally planned for industry introduction during IBEX in 2022, Optimus Electric Power Steering for Wake Boats is nonetheless achieving excellent recognition and response from the boating industry across the United States and around the world. In fact, the new product was chosen as a nominee for the prestigious 2022 DAME Design Awards in the Machinery, Propulsion, Mechanical and Electrical Systems and Fittings category. These awards are judged by a jury of experts and bestowed each year during Metstrade in Amsterdam.
The Dometic stand at Metstrade was the first opportunity for the world’s boat building industry to see and experience the many advantages of Optimus Wake Boat Steering. Response from the industry was very strong, and reflected the robust level of overall traffic and enthusiasm for new products from Dometic highlighted during the Metstrade event.
“Receiving a nomination from the DAME Awards jury is an honor in itself,” said Fetchko. “It was a great way to kick off our presence at METS on a high-note, and the recognition surely increased industry interest in Optimus Wake Boat Steering, along with all our cutting edge solutions for the marine industry,” he added.