Hinckley’s JetStick 3 now brings military-grade GPS hardware and digital processing to an evolved driving experience. We sat down with Hinckley’s Director of Engineering, John Donahue, to discuss the refined capabilities, comfort, and performance of Jetstick 3 developed by Hinckley’s engineering team.
“For most boaters, one of the most stressful things about boating is docking, and if you don’t do it every day as a professional captain it can be challenging. The Hinckley JetStick intended to make docking easy— and we do it smoother and quieter than just about everything out there,” says Donahue. This is achievable due to the combination of water jet propulsion and JetStick steering. “You don’t have to shift forward and reverse the way you do with an IPS, outboard, or pod drive. We’re diverting water, so you can move with infinite controllability and smoothness.”
We designed and developed our own trademark system tailored to our boat, our jet drive, and our customers with unmatched accuracy and comfort years ago. Hinckley’s JetStick is now in its third generation and delivers industry-leading precision, reliability and comfort with Dynamic Steering, Heading Hold, and the new G-Lock software platform.
Underway, Dynamic Steering lets you carve turns with ease. Similar to digital steering on luxury vehicles, a digital helm paired with the optical feedback from the Parker intellinders, allows for automatically adjusting sensitivity and feel based on speed.
One of the most significant improvements in JetStick 3 is to the functionality of the Heading Hold system, according to Donahue. For a more relaxed driving experience that allows you to sit back and steer confidently with the JetStick, Heading Hold derives a linear course in a variety of conditions, at any speed. Made possible by Parker intellinders, optical linear position feedback provides reliability, unmatched precision, and vessel control.
Donahue describes the original H-Lock system as a virtual anchor. We now have G-Lock (Geostationary Lock) and with this new system, we have found the perfect balance between precision and comfort. With an entirely new hardware and software platform, G-lock is the evolution of the original H-lock system. Military-grade inertial GPS hardware at the heart of JetStick 3 works with the new Parker intellinders via digital processing to maintain extreme position accuracy.
While JetStick 3 provides impressive moves in technology, it’s important to the engineering team at Hinckley that each JetStick generation is backward compatible. Donahue says, “you don’t have to completely re-learn how to drive from one generation of JetStick to the next. The most recent JetStick on a new boat will do more things. But the way you drive an older boat works the same as it does on the new boat and vice versa. We’re on the third major generation and Donahue says “we have finally achieved our original ‘wish list.’ This is a truly refined, reliable, higher-performing system and we are very proud of what we were able to achieve in the development of JetStick 3.”