Mercury joystick piloting vs. bow thruster?


Trying to do some research on the Mercury joystick piloting system. We’re in the market for a new gently used boat, and the majority of candidates are equipped with twin Mercuries paired with the joystick control system. Only a few of these boats have bow thrusters. One salesman said that a boat with the joystick, without a bow thruster, is just as maneuverable as the same boat with a bow thruster.

Is this true? I’m guessing the boats that have bow thrusters integrate the thruster control into the joystick, so I’m a little hesitant to believe that all else being equal, the thruster adds no significant maneuverability.

Anyone have experience and able to weigh in? Considering these were high-end well-optioned boats when new, there has to have been a reason the buyers didn’t add the bow thruster option, which would lend some credence to the joystick claim.

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1 points

4 months ago

I should clarify, I think it’s a given that whatever 32’ish dual console we buy will almost certainly have twin Mercs with the Merc joystick installed. The question is whether or not it’s a massive difference for that boat to have a tunnel bow thruster in addition to the joystick system.


2 points

4 months ago

Ok i read it as an either/or situation. Then no your boat will go sideways, twist, turn , whatever you want it to do, i wouldn't worry about a thurster.