Yamaha Helm Master EX Joystick Control


By Capt. Dave Lear


One of the key components of Yamaha’s new Helm Master EX integrated boat control system is the ergonomic—and intuitive joystick helm. Compatible with single up to quad Yamaha DEC outboard installations, this control allows simultaneous shift, throttle, and steering functions. The result is enhanced low-speed maneuverability, smooth, simple operation, and precise fine-tuning of the various operational and positioning modes.

In autopilot, the boat’s speed can be increased or decreased either by rpm or by GPS speed over ground. The latter is selected via the multi-functional CL7 display. Adjustments can be made in preset increments or by pushing the joystick forward to increase or backward to decrease speed.

It’s easy to adjust the boat’s heading with the joystick, too. The operator simply has to rotate the handle once for one-degree corrections or hold the handle until an audible beep indicates 5-degree adjustments. The corrections can be stacked up to 50 degrees by twisting the handle and holding it in place.

The boat’s course can also be adjusted with the joystick by rotating the handle. A parallel course correction of 10-, 20- or 50-foot intervals can be made by moving the handle sideways. The interval distance is selected through the CL7 MFD display.

The joystick is used to fine-tune the various SetPoint modes as well. To reposition in StayPoint, DriftPoint, DriftPoint Track, for FishPoint Bow/Stern, the operator moves the handle forward, backward, or sideways. The movement intervals are selected from 5, 10, or 20 feet and can be engaged within the various modes. The twist movement allows heading changes from 1 to 5 degrees, with stackable capability up to 50 degrees total.

There is one caveat. For single-engine applications, the StayPoint button on the joystick in non-functional. Also the ability to move the boat straight sideways with the joystick is not possible.

To fully tweak the joystick to suit the operator’s personal preferences, the +/- function adjusts joystick thrust, steering effort, and systematic effort.

For more details about all aspects of Yamaha’s new Helm Master EX integrated boat control system, please visit: YamahaOutboards.com

Helmaster EX is available for boats equipped with a single outboard to multi-engine systems. With a single outboard system, the Stay Point function is non-functional, and sideways boat maneuverability via joystick is not available.  Learn more about specific features of the Helmaster EX  today.


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