Bow Hook is one of the newest innovations from Mercury Marine. It allows boaters to set and hold the boat’s position while still allowing the bow to more naturally swing into the wind or tide. This ability is important for when holding a position is critical, but which way the bow is pointed makes no difference.
By letting the boat point in the direction of the wind or current, significant relief is given to the engines to maintain the desired geographic position. The boat will naturally find the direction of least resistance, and the engines need only work to keep the boat on station. This saves fuel and reduces noise.
The system revolves around a new Mercury joystick. All the features are built right into the joystick. Move the throttles into neutral, and the joystick ring lights up to show it’s active. There’s also an LED indicator on top.
Moving to the screen on the instrument panel, the joystick has full connectivity with the Vessel View system, and to the side is the control button for Bow Hook. We can engage it, and the boat holds its position, with the heading being variable depending on the prevailing conditions. With the boat now able to rotate into the wind or current, the engines won’t be working so hard to hold our position.
This is a useful feature, since when we hold position, the heading isn’t as critical as the position itself. Letting the boat swing makes it easier on the boat and more comfortable for the people aboard.
Hardly. Bow Hook, along with some other features, are all available as downloadable updates to the existing Mercury joystick system and are displayed on the Vessel View screen, or repeated on the panel’s multifunction screens.