Mercury Marine announces technology partnership with Fell Marine
At the Miami Boat Show (16 February 2018) Mercury Marine announced a partnership with Fell Marine in which together, they will co-develop Mercury-exclusive wireless and Internet of Things (IoT) products that integrate with Mercury’s SmartCraft system “to make boating easier, safer, and more enjoyable than ever before.”
Working prototypes are being shown on the water at the 2018 Miami Boat Show, and in Mercury’s booth.
Mercury says Fell Marine’s WiMEA proprietary wireless protocol offers encryption security and reliability in the marine environment. WiMEA incorporates support for SmartCraft, NMEA2000, and other CANBus standards while allowing Bluetooth enabled apps and devices (boaters to communicate with their products using their smartphones).
Mercury and Brunswick each issued a press release on the new partnership.We have been following Fell Marine since they introduced MOB+ wireless lanyard at the 2017 Miami Boat Show.
When we first saw the announcement from Mercury we incorrectly thought Mercury was going to start using the existing MOB+ unit from Fell Marine, but as we read the press releases, they focused on wireless technologies in general and the co-development of Mercury-exclusive products.
That left us wondering if there was even going to be a wireless lanyard in the mix for Mercury. Thanks to a Mercury Facebook video by Wally Ross, Controls and Rigging Product Manager for Mercury and Christian Frost of Fell Marine we learned the answer.
Mercury’s video clearly discusses Man Overboard wireless lanyards and the potential for the development of Mercury-exclusive wireless lanyards as part of this joint venture. The video demonstrates the Smart Ignition System, it’s ability to start the twin engined vessel using a wireless fob, and to monitor the vessel from a smart phone.
We do note that when Christian starts the engines at about 1 minute into the video we do not see anybody yelling “clear” or checking to make sure no one is in the water around the vessel. They are on a large twin engined boat and it was started in neutral. We recognize it is really easy to forget about your surroundings on a boat this big, but if they shoot something like this again we encourage them to make some visible effort on the video to make sure no one is in the water near the vessel when they start the engines.
We are excited to hear Mercury is partnering with Fell Marine and wish both of them the best in this venture.