Dockmate’s Dynamic Positioning Upgrade

Dockmate adds two-mode dynamic positioning to its wireless remote controls for boats and yachts.
top view of boat in water
In open-water mode, the system uses only the engines, keeping thrusters ready to go for close-quarters mode at the marina. [robert kiyosaki]/

Bill Karmis knew one thing for sure when Dockmate’s team talked about adding dynamic positioning to its remote controls for boats: “When companies offer up dynamic positioning, the largest point of performance failure is the electric bow thrusters. They only run for so long.”

One boater Karmis knew had spent a shiny penny adding a joystick and more to a boat with lousy thrusters, only to be frustrated when the dynamic-positioning feature failed. “It would only work for four or five minutes,” Karmis says. The system would still be trying to position the boat, but the thrusters would give out.

Dockmate Positioning System display
This 4-inch display is what boaters will see at the helm with the Dockmate Positioning System installed. To engage the system in either of its two modes, all the skipper has to do is push a button. The system can then automatically maintain the boat’s heading and position. Dockmate

This is why the new Dockmate Positioning System ($17,500 plus installation; main system sold separately) has two modes. Open-water mode uses only the engines to hold the boat in place—rotating the boat into the current or wind, pretty much all day long—while close-quarters mode uses engines and thrusters for scenarios such as docking.

“We now have the only wireless-activated DPS that can be easily added to an existing boat,” says Karmis, who is national sales manager for the brand. “And our installation is like getting your teeth cleaned. Everybody else is like a root canal.”

Dockmate system receiver component
This receiver component of the Dockmate system is installed out of sight within the helm. It’s about the size of a sheet of paper and a few inches deep. The only other equipment involved (in addition to the remote control) is Dockmate’s GPS antenna with an 8-inch dome. Dockmate

Dynamic positioning is just the latest advancement Dockmate has made since the company came to the United States in 2018. CEO Marc Curreri says today’s boaters feel so much more confident with the ability to steer from anywhere on board that they are now considering Dockmate compatibility when deciding which boats to buy.

“We’re starting to see people coming to us and saying, ‘We’re looking at boat A and boat B. Which one do you guys interface with? Because I need a remote control,’” Curreri says. “It’s not the deciding factor, but it’s becoming a deciding factor.”

Boat marina
In a marina fairway, boaters can use the close-quarters mode, which engages thrusters as well as engines. [goncharovaia]/

Dynamic positioning is far from the last feature the company intends to build into its remote controls. “Dockmate came to the market with more technology than what was available at the time, and it’s still advancing,” Karmis says. “We’re moving with technology and embracing everything that new technology has to offer.”