North America

Volvo Penta wins Miami Innovation Award for integrated joystick technology

The award was presented at the 2023 Miami International Boat Show, and it celebrates Volvo Penta’s new Joystick Docking system. The technology is aimed at providing a premium, stress-free docking experience for boaters.

The Miami Innovation Awards are presented by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boat Writers International (BWI) each year at the Miami International Boat Show, celebrating the marine products that are poised to evolve the boating industry. Volvo Penta won an award in the propulsion equipment category that recognizes its innovative Joystick Docking system for single-diesel Aquamatic sterndrive applications.

Volvo Penta’s Joystick Docking system exemplifies the company’s commitment to providing boaters with a premium experience through technology that avoids stress and increases enjoyment when driving a boat. The captain simply presses the Docking button on the base of the joystick control, and boat maneuvering features — steering, gear control, bow thruster, throttle — are controlled easily with just one hand. Previously, this technology was only found on larger, multi-engine vessels.

Volvo Penta is the first in the industry to integrate the steering of the diesel sterndrive with the control of the bow thruster on a single diesel-engine application. The Joystick Docking system is energy efficient, only using as much power as needed.

Volvo Penta integrated joystick

“We are extremely proud to have won this prestigious award at Miami International Boat Show 2023.” said Jonas Welinder, product manager for marine electronics, Volvo Penta. “Our goal with this docking system is to increase the confidence and comfort levels of a wide range of boaters, making it easier and more accessible to get out on the water. By combining multiple tasks into one easy-to-use system, we’ve made it easy for people to avoid mistakes. It’s simply more fun, relaxing and convenient to dock a boat using our Joystick Docking system.”

Propelling into the future

Captains can combine Joystick Docking with the Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit System, which integrates with Volvo Penta Auto Pilot, all of which can be controlled with one joystick. This feature holds the boat’s speed and heading at the press of a button. The boat’s steering is then controlled easily and conveniently through the fingertip control of the joystick.

“We plan to deliver continually-evolving seamless integration across a vessel’s systems — coupled with increasing connectivity to external systems and services,” Welinder said. “We have found that young boaters are quickly adapting to these integrated systems. They pick it up intuitively. Joystick Docking will attract more young people to boating and get new people out on the water.”

Experienced captains will recognize that Joystick Docking delivers a more comfortable, smoother ride, thanks to its low-speed functionality, which makes smoother shifting and maneuvering possible. They can go slow as they like, particularly in challenging conditions. When needed, the system enables quick handling and easy turns. The control system manages the drive angle, and the boat can easily rotate on multiple axes.

“Joystick control takes boat-handling stress out of docking," said Tim Murphy, a judge for Miami Innovation Awards.

Joystick Control is available for single Volvo Penta Aquamatic sterndrive DPI installations, or as a retrofit for existing Volvo Penta single DPI installations back to 2019.

“We are excited to leverage our heritage in Scandinavian design and innovation to create a truly premium boating experience,” Welinder concluded.

To learn more about Volvo Penta Joystick Docking for single diesel sterndrive, click here.

For more information on the Miami International Boat Show, click here, or you can visit Volvo Penta in either the Convention Center or Herald Plaza, at booths MB2414 and HP4PA.



Jennifer Humphrey
Brand, Communication and Marketing
AB Volvo Penta
Tel: int +46 (0) 31 323 30 55

Christine Carlson
PR and Communications
Volvo Penta North America
Tel: +1-757-272-6054