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Real life bottom fishing with joystick/setpoint

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Real life bottom fishing with joystick/setpoint

Old 02-28-2021, 05:00 AM
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Default Real life bottom fishing with joystick/setpoint

I am changing my outboard configuration on my 41 OB build from quad 300s to triple 450s. I had planned on installing a joystick in the tower and at the helm. However, I am wondering if I should just install a bow thruster. If the set point/virtual anchor feature from Optimus will work for bottom fishing I think it will be worth it. I have heard if you put the stern into the head sea (obviously not rough) it holds better without over-revving. Does anyone have real life experience with using a sky hook or virtual anchor to bottom fish?

Brad (Owner of OB) said the only down side to the trips was that the boat was substantially harder to handle in the wind and heavy current around the dock than with quads and that he would have preferred a thruster. If I switch to a thruster it will save me about $18K.
Old 02-28-2021, 05:10 AM
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I fish with one of our customers a good bit on a 40’ Invincible cat using joystick while bottom fishing with 4 electric reels, 1 on each corner. No snags and we can pull a 6-8 person limit of snapper up in less than 15 minutes. We also use it swordfishing, drifting weed lines and even while castnetting. Plenty of our other customers with cats and mono hulls use it and we have heard no complaints.

With proper calibration and setup, it’s more effective than a bow thruster. I’ve installed 2 Optimus joystick systems on larger mono hulls that no longer use their bow thrusters. I know this because they’re both broken and they have elected to not repair them.

You’ll save much more money by staying with quad 300s. They’re $50k cheaper than triple 450s.
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:28 AM
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I’d prefer a trolling motor over Optimus and I’ve got the system. Put stern to prevailing force, not necessarily sea. The majority of time for us this has been current, not swell or wind direction.
Old 02-28-2021, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
I fish with one of our customers a good bit on a 40’ Invincible cat using joystick while bottom fishing with 4 electric reels, 1 on each corner. No snags and we can pull a 6-8 person limit of snapper up in less than 15 minutes. We also use it swordfishing, drifting weed lines and even while castnetting. Plenty of our other customers with cats and mono hulls use it and we have heard no complaints.

With proper calibration and setup, it’s more effective than a bow thruster. I’ve installed 2 Optimus joystick systems on larger mono hulls that no longer use their bow thrusters. I know this because they’re both broken and they have elected to not repair them.

You’ll save much more money by staying with quad 300s. They’re $50k cheaper than triple 450s.
The difference in what I am paying for triple 450Rs is about $40k. I hate the thought of 4 wide off of the transom. It does not leave a lot of room on the sides and you are more likely to bark those outside props in the ocean. That being said my mind is not made up. However, the triple 450Rs are 9MPH faster on that hull than quad 300 V8s and at 50MPH they burn nearly identical fuel at 0.95 MPG. At 40MPH the quads are 0.1MPG more efficient. The top end is 66MPH in quads versus 76MPH with trip 450s.
Old 02-28-2021, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SharkSugar View Post
I’d prefer a trolling motor over Optimus and I’ve got the system. Put stern to prevailing force, not necessarily sea. The majority of time for us this has been current, not swell or wind direction.
Trolling motor will not be an option with this setup... Its either anchor or Optimus joystick
Old 02-28-2021, 02:00 PM
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First off, lots of turbulence in the upper water column.
Lots of shift/ throttle action. Annoying, and sounds like lots of wear
Above issues compounded by more aggressive sea conditions.

The systems work well, just tend to be “violent”? on the transom. Calm seas, little throttle. Way less “violent”.
Old 02-28-2021, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ninetoes View Post
Trolling motor will not be an option with this setup... Its either anchor or Optimus joystick
A member here posted this in his refit thread a while ago...worth the look. If I recall correctly this was before the 96” shaft option. A Prowler 31 owner here put one on the stern with a short shaft. Don’t discount it quite yet.

Old 02-28-2021, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SharkSugar View Post
A member here posted this in his refit thread a while ago...worth the look. If I recall correctly this was before the 96” shaft option. A Prowler 31 owner here put one on the stern with a short shaft. Don’t discount it quite yet.

https://youtu.be/UMoRHNwnOzo
Can't (won't) put that thing on the bow! Maybe it would work but I'll just anchor if the Optimus will not cut it! However, I greatly appreciate the advice!
Old 02-28-2021, 05:43 PM
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I have a 33 Onslow Bay trip 400’s with Optimus.I also have a 96” Rhodan on the bow. In the right conditions the Optimus works great. I find myself using the Optimus when checking out a spot and then dropping the TM if we plan to fish it for a while. I think the key to the Optimus is having the boat oriented properly with the prevailing condition when you engage it. The bow needs to be directly into the prevailing condition. Sometimes I use both TM and Optimus if it’s a little rough. The TM keeps the bow lined up perfectly into the prevailing condition and the Optimus just gives forward thrust to stay on location and help the TM hold. Optimus sucks when the bow starts to get blown around from the prevailing condition. It works hard to correct it to the heading. That’s why boat heading is so important before you engage it on a rougher day IMO. I plan to have it on all my future builds. I’m hull #7 for a 37 Onslow Bay and plan to have Optimus on it.
Old 03-01-2021, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ninetoes View Post
The difference in what I am paying for triple 450Rs is about $40k. I hate the thought of 4 wide off of the transom. It does not leave a lot of room on the sides and you are more likely to bark those outside props in the ocean. That being said my mind is not made up. However, the triple 450Rs are 9MPH faster on that hull than quad 300 V8s and at 50MPH they burn nearly identical fuel at 0.95 MPG. At 40MPH the quads are 0.1MPG more efficient. The top end is 66MPH in quads versus 76MPH with trip 450s.
Will the boat easily plane off with just 2 of the 450s if you have a problem? You know it will plane off on 3 out of 4.
Old 03-01-2021, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
Will the boat easily plane off with just 2 of the 450s if you have a problem? You know it will plane off on 3 out of 4.
It will plane on 2 450Rs and three 300 V8s.... both running Rev 4s. The decision about outboards was today. The wait time to get 3 450Rs went from 6 weeks to October. Quad 300s it is!
Old 03-01-2021, 05:47 PM
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My last two boats had a bow thruster and my new boat (37 SeaVee with triple 400s) has the Optimus system. When I first got this boat, I thought I made a big mistake getting the Optimus over the bow thruster. It took me a month or so to get used to the Optimus and now I am very happy with my choice. Last week I went out and was deep dropping over a wreck in 350’ and I set the position and heading hold and it worked great. I am now sold and will order my next boat with an Optimus system.
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