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Summer 2006

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



Yachting catalogue

Navigation tests

Used boats


Video Nautica

Article by
Angelo Colombo


We've already had the chance to try Hamilton's joystick for handling hydrojets at low speed on the Azimut 86S and we've talked about it in the magazine. On that occasion we highlighted the easy steering of such a large vessel in a restricted space, pointing out that coming alongside with an 86 footer seemed even simpler than it sometimes is with much smaller boats. Undoubtedly technology can superbly overcome what some people consider to be the limitations of precisely that type of transmission but, not satisfied by all this, Hamilton has developed another system for engine handling in the most critical phases. The Mouse Boat is an actual computer mouse which, together with the joystick, allows you to turn the vessel in very restricted spaces and with a control that would be unthinkable with other systems. An interesting fact is that after every action taken with the Mouse Boat it returns to zero: you can move this hull-shaped mouse in the exact direction you want to steer the vessel, inasmuch as the mouse turns on no less than three axes, also controlling the number of revs. This precious assistant to those assigned to steering a vessel in port must be interfaced with the Blue Arrow control system to which it is connected by a special cable. Obviously the system can only be applied to vessels equipped with Hamilton hydrojet transmission systems which, like other similar systems, have often been held up as being complex in slow movement handling, whereas after our trial aboard the Azimut 86S we clearly demonstrated that, with the joystick alone, manoeuvring was one of the simplest and most intuitive things you could do on a superyacht. Today, with the use of the Mouse Boat, it all becomes even more efficient and this kind of criticism of hydrojet transmission now seems really out of place. Hamilton is also envisaging application of the Mouse Boat to single engine craft, but in this case control is on two rather than three axes.

For further information Hamilton Marine, PO Box 709, Christchurch, New Zealand; Ph: +64 3 962 0505; fax: +64 3 348 9882; email:; website