Mercury MerCruiser - Axius 5.0 (260-hp) (2008)

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Captain's Report

Axius by MerCruiser

By Capt. Rob Smith

Pod drives created a lot of excitement when they were originally introduced in the larger cruisers and yachts, and now Axius is creating a ground swell of support in the large runabouts and smaller cruisers. It can be used in any application that utilizes two MerCruiser stern drives, and it delivers the same astonishingly agile handling with a joystick that its big sister the pod drive does. The great news is that it does not require a modified hull, so it truly can be plug and play in those twin engine applications.

What is Axius?

Axius is a system that uses computer technology to manage independently articulating stern drives so that you can have incredible maneuverability. It can swing a boat in its own length and it can move in any direction of the compass. It is simple enough that just about anyone can use it with a minimum of training – you can honestly be on the job in 30 minutes! Using electronics and hydraulics in conjunction, the Axius system takes inputs from the SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift for the stern drive and the SmartCraft Joystick Docking System for state-of-the-art control.

How it works

Once in the Axius control mode, the joystick and you are in control. Push the joystick to the side or any direction and the boat moves in that direction. Push it further and further and it will go faster in that direction. A more gentle touch can have you in a slip without anyone even feeling the dock sway!

Benefits of Axius

Axius also has some performance benefits. It delivers higher top speeds and better fuel economy, and it gets the boat on plane faster as well as improving the handling and maneuverability. Fuel economy has been reported to be 30-40% better at average cruise and 20-30% better at wide open throttle. Planing times have been reported to be 25-35% faster and time to 30 mph has also been reported to be 5-15% faster. With Axius you can maintain lower planing speeds, up to 15-25% lower, and reach better top speeds, up to 20-25% faster.

The Axius Premium adds a few additional features. You get autopilot control using its own electronic compass locking you on a heading. Advanced Yaw Control adds more control for maneuvers such as parallel movement from the dock without having to compensate for yaw and bow swing. The Premium version adds the VesselView® daylight visible color screen for engine management. Now, the Premium Axius also has the ability to hold a position within a 15 foot radius so that you don’t have to constantly compensate for drift while waiting on the bridge to go up!

Axius does take you in a whole new direction, precisely where you point it! I have tested many models with Axius and can attest to its control, ease of use and improved performance. If you have been held back from buying a larger boat because of worries about the complexity of docking and tight quarters maneuvering, fear no more! Axius is here to stay.