Command Link Plus
All Jones Brothers boats except the Bateau 17 come with Yamaha Command Link Plus. Command Link Plus is a rigging system that includes wiring harnesses, network hub(s) and components. This system creates a computer network on a boat, and all the Yamaha components use the network to communicate between devices. If a Yamaha NEMA 2000 Gateway is added to the network, external (non-Yamaha) NEMA 2000-compliant devices can also access information from the Command Link Plus network. The Command Link Plus system works on both mechanical and digital Yamaha outboard motors.
The Command Link Plus system installed by Jones Brothers use the Yamaha CL5 touch screen LCD display. The gauge uses the Command Link Plus network to monitor critical boat systems (e.g. fuel usage/levels and engine water pressure), operating conditions (e.g. surface water temperature), and the performance of up to two outboards on a display screen.
Note: The Bateau 17 comes with a tachometer gauge and does not use Command Link Plus.
Mechanical vs. Digital Outboards
Most of the boats sold by Jones Brothers have both mechanical and digital engine purchase options. The Yamaha mechanical outboards use an older technology utilizing physical throttle control cables, mechanical or hydraulic steering, and are somewhat less expensive than the digital models.
The newer digital motors are “fly-by-wire” where throttle settings are transmitted over the Command Link Plus network to the engine(s) – no control cables or linkages are required. The throttle used by digital motors is called a Digital Electronic Control (DEC). If ever required, rigging a second helm station is much simpler with digital controls.
The latest Yamaha motors use Digital Electronic Steering (DES). When a DES motor is installed, a new generation helm transmits steering information over the network to electronic steering actuator(s) on the DES motors. These motors are required for Helm Master EX configurations explained in the next section.
Due to cost, buyers often select mechanical motors. If at some point in the future you decide to re-power your Jones Brothers boat with a digital fly-by-wire motor, contrary to what you might read on the internet, the upgrade is relatively easy due to the fact that a Jones Brothers boat already includes both the Command Link Plus system and an LCD gauge that supports both digital and mechanical engines.
For information about the Yamaha outboards offered by Jones Brothers, visit the Engine Options page.
Helm Master EX
Introduced in July 2020, Helm Master EX (HMEX) is Yamaha’s latest and most advanced control technology. Several Yamaha packages can be installed together to create the Helm Master EX system:
- A new Helm Master EX single- or dual-lever Digital Electronic Control (DEC) throttle and Digital outboard motor(s).
- The Digital Electronic Steering (DES) package – an all-electric steering helm and actuator(s). The actuator(s) are integrated into the outboard motor(s) in place of a hydraulic steering system.
- The Yamaha Autopilot package – The Autopilot system includes a small panel on the console, a heading sensor under the console, an antenna above the boat, and a control unit. The system features single-touch heading hold, course hold, pattern steer, or the ability to follow waypoints.
- The Helm Master EX joystick – By simultaneously controlling shift, throttle and steering, the joystick provides advanced low-speed maneuverability, works with Autopilot to control speed and direction, or use the new SetPoint modes to aid fisherman.
- An Electronic Key Switch (EKS) and key FOB – An ignition key is no longer required.
On the Jones Brothers boats purchased with the “Helm Master EX Kit – Joystick” option (no joystick), the kit will include the HMEX throttle, EKS and FOB. If a Digital Electronic Steering (DES) motor was selected, the kit will also include the HMEX Autopilot components.
A Digital Electronic Steering (DES) motor is required to use the “Helm Master EX Kit + Joystick” option (includes joystick). This package includes all the HMEX kit listed above and includes the joystick option. A few notes about the joystick. The joystick option is very expensive compared to the other HMEX components. Also, in a single-engine application, the Helm Master EX joystick does not offer the complete boat control options available with multiple engines; it cannot make the boat walk sideways up to a dock or spin within its length, and StayPoint, which maintains a fixed heading and position, does not function with a single motor. What it does give the pilot is instant, fingertip control of steering, throttle and shifting. The majority of joystick functions are still available for single-engine configurations:
- FishPoint Bow
- FishPoint Stern
- DriftPoint Track
- Heading Hold
- Course Hold
- Track Point (autopilot)
- Pattern Steer
- Joystick Adjustability
- Directional Control
A full Helm Master EX installation is expensive. Yamaha has done an excellent job of packaging the system so that components can be added by authorized Yamaha dealers after the purchase. For example, existing console cutouts can accommodate newer Helm Master EX components.
Yamaha PowerMatched™ System Warranty
All boats built by Jones Brothers Marine qualify for the Yamaha PowerMatched system warranty. This gives buyers a warranty on the entire power system, which matches the three-year warranty that comes with the four-stroke engine. In addition to the engine warranty, the PowerMatched warranty includes:
- Digital Gauges
- Ignition Switch
- Wiring Harness
- Fuel Filter
- Control Cables
- Stainless Steel Propellers