Friday, August 5, 2016

Speed Control or "Perfect Pass" type of System on an outboard UPDATE. IT IS AVAILABLE NOW!

There have been more and more people shopping Dyna-Ski Outboard Boats that are interested in "Perfect Pass" which is a term we use to describe speed control or cruise control on a water ski boat.  I decided with some prompting it was time to check into what is available (again) for myself and people interested in Dyna-Ski Boats.  Perfect Pass apparently has not done anything new.  The Perfect Pass system for outboards requires the buyer to fabricate a bunch of stuff on the motor end under the motor cowling to make it work.  Not a simple project at all.  Greg Hind from Down Under has made it work on the big three outboard brands.  A couple US Dyna-Ski customers have made it work but they are all tight lipped about it.  It is mechanical system.

Mercury Marine has a system available on their Digital Controlled Outboards (DTS)   which means their four stroke Verado line.  The Mercury system is called  Smart Tow.  I checked into it and WOW.  It seems they have not really promoted this product at all to water skiers.  There is only one true tournament style outboard boat manufacturer (Dyna-Ski) and this is the first time I put my nose to the grind stone, kept asking, calling and emailing.  Obviously they had not told me either until now. 

Mercury developed it and it is readily available now and has been for awhile.  Few people know much of anything about Smart Tow even at Mercury.  Smart Tow has several levels of upgrades including one for Zero Off.  I'm still researching what the Zero Off system adds and how it works.

The Mercury SC1000 Smart Tow system has pre programmed launch controls. Once the skier is "launched" onto the water the driver can set the speed the skier wants.  RPM's, GPS or a paddle wheel pickup data is used to monitor the speed.  Stepping up to the Merc Monitor allows the operator to custom make launch profiles, save and use  them.  Mercury suggests power steering with their Verado outboards.

Launch Control: Sets and controls the speed of acceleration from idle to set cruise speed for Smart Tow Tachometer and Speedometer.

Cruise Control: Sets and controls the speed of the engine for cruising on Smart Tow Tachometer and Speedometer.

Here is a link to the Mercury website on Smart Tow.  There are lots of pages.  Second address is the pdf file. You'll have to cut and paste it into your browser.  There are a couple blank pages at the top. 

Smart Tow is covered in pages 60 – 96

Cruise Control starts at page 87.
Launch Control starts at page 91. 
20’ Open Bow Boats are very good water ski boats with 200 HO Evinrudes and 200 Pro XS Mercury motors.  Most people order larger engines.  Up until now we have only built a couple Dyna-Ski Boats with four stroke engines.  I think this might change.  Sadly the Verado line of engines starts at 175 hp so Smart Tow isn't an option yet for a Dyna-Ski 17.6 Open Bow as the US Coast Guard limits us to 150 hp on that size of boat.  Many people like a 17.6 as it fits better in their life which means garage, boat house, boat lift, lake restrictions, budget, etc.

The Dyna-Ski 20' Open Bow and 20' Barefooter are excellent all around water ski boats.  I personally have pulled 5 barefooters at 45 mpg on the GPS Speedometer with a 200 HO Evinrude and 2 people in the boat.  I also have personally pulled 5 barefooters at 45 mpg on the GPS Speedometer with a 250 HO Evinrude with 7 people in the boat. 

Now the perfect speed control solution Smart Tow is readily available on an outboard powered Dyna-Ski Boat.  Hurry before the waiting line is 6 months long . . . . . . . . 

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