A berthing challenge involving high wind, heavy current and an electric bow thruster that quit at a crucial moment led Bill and Elaine Ebsary to Twin Disc for the first-ever retrofit of the Express Joystick System® (EJS®) in a Fleming 55 motoryacht.
The couple have been boating for years, with Bill an offshore competitive ocean racing sailor and a 50-year-plus member of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Pittwater, just north of Sydney, Australia.
Bill says their Fleming 55’s name, Le Billet, refers to the ancient French term for a temporary residence for displaced mariners. It also translates to “the ticket”—and the motoryacht, now equipped with Twin Disc products, is indeed just the ticket for travels up and down the East Coast of Australia, as well as day trips and holidays with family and friends on the Pittwater.
Precision boat handling
The heart of the retrofit is the Twin Disc MGX5075A QuickShift® transmission system, integrating transmission, valves, actuators and controls for precision boat handling. And the stars are our Express Joystick System®, delivering fingertip push-twist-go maneuvering, and Express Positioning®, maintaining position at the touch of a button.
BP300 hydraulic bow and stern thrusters, with a custom-fit oil tank, replaced electronic bow thrusters—all seamlessly integrated into original Fleming onboard systems and controls.
“As we get older, and with a boat as big—and comfortable!—as the Fleming 55, we need systems that let us manage the boat confidently, without crew or deckhands,” says Bill. He says the smooth operation and micrometer accuracy of the EJS eliminate stress.
And as an engineer, he’s impressed with how the QuickShift® transmission applies the drive loads. “The Express Positioning is a bonus,” he adds. “To be able to integrate QuickShift® benefits and controls with the bow and stern thrusters to maintain a GPS- accurate position—that’s technology applied at its best.”