Project Apollo... - 06/20/2007
Joystick Technology Meets the Sterndrive

Capt. Rob Smith interviews the man behind the revolutionary Apollo System, Reinhard Burk...see video.

This Sterndrive spins on a dime and moves sideways as easy as a twist of the wrist...see video.

Changing from Joystick to conventional steering is automatic...see video.

See Savannah (no Cavewoman, she) dock like a pro every time...great video.

The Apollo system uses an intuitive joystick control that enables the boat to travel sideways as well as forward and aft. This provides the captain with precise turning and tight maneuvering control when docking a boat. The joystick technology utilized with the Apollo system is identical to Mercury’s Zeus propulsion system.

The difference—and it’s a big one—is that the Apollo is intended for dual-installation, gasoline sterndrive-powered boats between 28 and 38 feet. This covers a huge chunk of the boating market.

A Peek at the Future

Mercury is keeping a lid on specific information about the Apollo until it is announced publicly, which should take place before the end of the year, according to Mercury spokesman Erik Pope. At that time, Mercury will tell us when we can expect to see the Apollo drive become available to consumers.

MerCruiser unveiled the new product at a special press event June 11-13 in Sarasota, FL. A 31-foot express cruiser was outfitted with the Apollo system for press demonstrations. BoatTEST.com’s Directory of Testing, Capt. Rob Smith, was highly impressed with the Apollo steering system:

“Like the Zeus, it takes the intimidation factor out of docking a boat,” he said. “Mercury has really re-written the rules of sterndrive propulsion.”


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