Dockmate® FAQ

Below you will find the most common questions about Dockmate®.

Dockmate® is the latest in advanced, yet very affordable wireless remote-control technology for your boat.
Dockmate® will allow you to operate your boat’s electronically controlled engines, thrusters, anchor winch and horn from anywhere aboard your boat using a small handheld device!

YES, Dockmate® has several unique features:

 

  • Dockmate® uses DockLink™, a proprietary state-of-the-art bidirectional (2-way) FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) communication protocol, with GFSK (FM) modulation on the 868MHz or 433MHz band, between the remote and receiver, thus ensuring superior range. The rolling code changes every 150ms – or more than 6x per second – over 6 different channels virtually eliminating any possible chance of interference.
  • Fully proportional, 3-axis joystick on the TWIST and VECTOR remotes.
  • Proportional throttle control (the more you push on the joystick, the more throttle is provided).
  • Horn function on EVERY remote at no extra charge.
  • Completely waterproof transmitters that float.
  • 3-year warranty with 30 day satisfaction or money back guarantee.
  • Customisable software to precisely adjust maximum and minimum throttle for engines and thrusters, if so desired. Unlike competitive brands which are not modifiable and are “what you see is what you get.”
  • SINGLE & TWIN remote models have a flush keypad which is well-protected against accidental pressing of the keys, yet the push buttons have different finishes, allowing you to discern and use the different functions without having to look at the remote
  • SINGLE & TWIST remote models for single engine vessels.
  • TWIST or VECTOR remote for Volvo Penta IPS. The TWIST and VECTOR’s joystick feels like an exact replica of the Volvo Penta IPS joystick offering proportional throttle control in every joystick direction.
  • Dynamic positioning: if the boat is equipped with Volvo Penta’s “Dynamic Positioning” or “Sky Hook”, then that function can be (de)activated through the VECTOR (or TWIST) remote.
  • Redundant “fail-safe” technology with multiple relays.
  • Dockmate®’s modular design enables functions to be added at any time (e.g., if installing another thruster).
  • Dockmate® can be taken with you if you change boats, as the system can be modified to suit any vessel with electronic controls.
  • SoftDocking (patent pending) is included for free with every Dockmate. SoftDocking enables you to reliably and repeatedly engage the engine(s) for a short time (i.e. 0,75s) that is to be calibrated to fit your boat and your driving style. This is a game changer on boats with (very) big engines and gearboxes. If idle forward and reverse is already “too much” on your boat, you will love SoftDocking.

The Dockmate® system works all around the world. Its wireless communication works either over the 868MHz or 433MHz FM band. Dockmate is CE and FCC certified.
In Europe we deliver Dockmate® in the 868MHz version.
In the US, Australia and other countries we deliver Dockmate® in the 433MHz version.

The Dockmate® warranty is 3 years and we also offer a 30 day satisfaction or money back guarantee. And there is no restocking fee.
If the remotes are accidentally dropped overboard, they will float and the warranty will not be voided!
In the unlikely event that your Dockmate® ever needs to be serviced, it can be easily done by your country’s Dockmate® distributor.

Simply stated: NO!
Dockmate® uses its proprietary DockLink™ communication protocol. DockLink™ is an infinitely superior, state of the art 2-way FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) communication with handshake, and GFSK (FM) modulation on the 868MHz or 433 MHz frequency band (depending on your region) that provides superior range.

Dockmate® operates in either the 868 MHz or the 433 MHz FM frequency band. Dockmate® has 72 communication channels at its disposal in the 868 MHz band, and 64 communication channels in the 433 MHz band. FHSS means every Dockmate® uses a unique set of 6 channels (with a minimum 5 channel spread) in the entire band of 72 or 64 channels, and then hops from one frequency to another every 160 to 180ms (about 6x per second). This virtually eliminates any possible chance of interference.
The details above are subject to change, as DockLink™ is regularly improved to optimise the wireless communication and to enhance (and even add) functionality.
Dual band units use only one channel on 433 MHz and one channel on 868 MHz, transmitting only 1-way on AM modulation. The transmission alternates between the two single channels allowing for possible interference and dead spots when you walk around your boat.

The operating range of Dockmate® with the standard antenna is approximately 50m or 165ft. There is no need to install an expensive range extender/RF repeater for vessels over 80ft.

NO, Dockmate®’s DockLink™ technology virtually eliminates any possible interference from other systems. (See question: Is dual band better than single band?)
Also, each remote is linked to its own Receiver, which means only your Dockmate® remote can control your boat.

YES, Dockmate® offers optional proportional throttle control on the TWIST remote (the more you push on the joystick, the more throttle is provided) and a predetermined (calibrated) throttle with the SINGLE+ and TWIN+ remotes (push a button and the throttle jumps up to a predetermined RPM).

Dockmate® has been sold worldwide since 2012. Dockmate® is fully licensed, certified and insured.

If your boat is equipped with electronic controls, then it can be equipped with a Dockmate® system.
If your boat has mechanical controls or hydraulic controls, Dockmate® can still be installed with the installation of an electronic to mechanical interface system.

Depending on the existing systems on the vessel, the Dockmate® can connect to the engines through the digital CAN bus technology, through an analogue connection or via a gearbox interface directly to the gearbox solenoids. If Dockmate® has to connect through our Gearbox Driver, Dockmate® will only have gearshift control and no throttle control.

If your boat has mechanical controls or hydraulic controls, Dockmate® can still be installed with the installation of an electronic to mechanical interface system.

Each Dockmate® system is built to order. The cost of the Dockmate® system depends on:
  • The type of remote.
  • The number of control functions desired.
  • Your boat’s equipment (brand and type of engines, gear lever, thrusters, etc…).
  • The type of connection to your vessel’s system (analogue or CAN bus).
  • Special options
Please configure your Dockmate® to get a price estimate.

The Dockmate® system can control up to 7 functions!

  • Horn
  • Anchor windlass or winch – 1 or 2 anchors
  • Port engine
  • Starboard engine
  • Bow thruster
  • Stern thruster

Otherwise unused buttons can be used for other functions. If you don’t have a second anchor, for example, the corresponding buttons on the Dockmate® remote could be used to control a bathing platform instead.

Currently, Dockmate® is compatible with the Volvo Penta IPS system and the analogue Zeus Pods. Dockmate® is also compatible with the analogue Mercury joystick, and the Yamaha Helm Master joystick for outboards.

For Volvo Penta IPS (on EVC-C, EVC-D and EVC-E), Mercury, Yamaha and Zeus the Dockmate® VECTOR and TWIST joysticks feel like an exact replica of the Volvo Penta IPS joystick, offering proportional throttle control in every joystick direction.. The pods, sterndrives, or outboards will turn, just like when you use the original joystick.

For Volvo Penta joystick on EVC2.0 (and EVC-E), Dockmate® is required by Volvo Penta to connect to the EVC system through a Gateway provided by Volvo Penta. This Gateway ensures full warranty support by Volvo Penta on their EVC system. However, it limits the functions available to Dockmate® to shifting gears and throttling to 1400rpm. It is not possible to turn the pods/stern drives/rudders when connecting through the Volvo Penta Gateway. Nor is it possible to activate High mode or Dynamic Positioning.
For Volvo Penta joystick on EVC-E, connecting through the Gateway is also an option for customers who want to install Dockmate® on a new boat – albeit with the limitations that follow from using the Gateway.

YES, if the boat is equipped with Volvo Penta’s dynamic positioning feature, then Dockmate® can (de)activate that function, if it is connected directly (without the Volvo Penta Gateway).
If the boat is equipped with Mercury Joystick Piloting 2’s Skyhook feature, then Dockmate® can (de)activate that function.

A typical Dockmate® system can be installed in one day or less.

Yes, this is technically possible but may be prohibited or restricted by local legislation/regulation. Please check local regulations to make sure you don’t break the law.

In the US fo example, per FCC regulations, the use of Dockmate® while on the dock is not recommended.

When someone is onboard, the Dockmate® can be used while standing on the dock to move the boat back towards the dock while securing your lines.

Yes, the Dockmate® system has redundant “fail safe” technologies built into both the hardware and software. A few of those safety features are listed below:

  • For the engines to go into gear 4 relays contactors must activate.
  • If the Dockmate® remote is dropped, Dockmate®’s control outputs will immediately go into their neutral setting.
  • The boat’s main engine controls can be used immediately if the Dockmate® remote falls overboard or is lost.
  • Both the Receiver and remotes are equipped with alarm systems.

Yes, Dockmate® has “Plug and Play” installation capability with many well-known brands, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Aventics – Marex ECS
  • ABT-TRAC
  • Bellmarine
  • BCS
  • Bosch
  • Caterpillar
  • CMC
  • Craftsman
  • Cummins-
  • Flexball
  • Glendinning
  • Lewmar
  • MAN
  • Mercury
  • Morse
  • MTU
  • NHK-MEC
  • Quick
  • Rexroth
  • Side-Power
  • Suzuki
  • Teleflex EC
  • Teleflex i6000
  • Twin Disc
  • Ultraflex MKII
  • Vetus
  • Volvo Penta (incl. IPS with Dynamic Positioning)
  • Yamaha
  • Yanmar
  • Zeus
  • ZF (Microcommander / Clear Command / Smart Command)

Yes. The Dockmate® system can be easily removed and installed on your new boat.
The modular design enables the system to be modified to suit any vessel with electronic controls.
Some modules may have to be added or replaced to accommodate your new boat’s controls, but you’ll never have to replace the entire Dockmate® system.

There is a battery indicator/status LED that will illuminate red or orange if your batteries are running low. If the batteries are too low, the Dockmate® remote will not transmit, therefore the boat will not go into gear and all functions will default to OFF or NEUTRAL. The boat’s main engine controls can be used if the batteries in the Dockmate® remote are dead.

All new Dockmate® remotes (SINGLE, TWIN, TWIST and VECTOR) have a built-in Li-ion battery and come with a wireless charger. When the battery is fully charged, the Status LED will illuminate blue.

The price of a Dockmate® is dependent on a several factors. Some of those factors have been incorporated into the configurator:
  • Which remote do you want?
  • How many engines/motors does your boat?
  • Do you want to control a windlass?
  • Do you have thrusters?
In order to give a precise price, we need much more detailed information though. This would make the configurator too complex for its purpose, which is to give you an idea of the price. If you are interested and want a personal quotation, please contact us.

No. For several reasons, we have decided not to include rudder control in Dockmate®.
The most important reason is that you would have no feedback on the Dockmate® remotes about the orientation of your rudder.

Can’t find your question? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

When using a Dockmate® remote, that was charged to 100%, it takes up to 3 hours of constant use (remote actively communicating with the Receiver) to deplete the battery. This translates to a few very difficult and/or long docking manoeuvres, or lasts at least 15 docking manoeuvres of approximately 10 minutes.

During our test charging a Dockmate® remote from empty to completely full takes up to 3 hours. In practice we’ve observed a typical charging time for a Dockmate® remote of 20 to 40 min. For boaters using our latest Dockmate® Cradle, their Dockmate® remote is virtually always charged up and ready for use.