Dockmate wireless docking remote, life is easier with a remote control

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, completed the Great Loop in 2017.

19 Responses

  1. I think Ben S was wise to focus his Dockmate review on what he has seen and experienced, but anyone Googling the company (like I did this morning) will probably discover that someone has mounted a very aggressive “Deceptive Marketing Exposed” campaign against them at

    https://www.yachtremotereviews.com/

    “Don’t be Fooled by Deceptive Marketing, False Claims, Inferior Technology and Cheap Remotes!” leads to many specific accusations against “Dockfake” and lots more exclamation points, all apparently created by competitor Yacht Controller.

    If I were considering the purchase of a Dockmate system, I’d certainly look into these claims, but here’s an easily checked one that made me quite skeptical:

    Regarding Dockmate’s claim of “Improving the docking experience for thousands of boaters worldwide since 2012” fakeremotes.com comments in its “Corrected FAQ” section that this is “This is a bald face lie as the company was formed in march 2018 and has only a handful of systems installed” with a link to a Florida incorporation document for Dockmate, Inc. that is indeed dated March 12, 2018.

    So it seems like “bald face lie” and “only a handful of [Dockmate] systems installed” are correct, right? And who would want to buy a product from a company as deceitful as that?

    But it takes about one minute to learn that Dockmate Inc in Fort Lauderdale is just one of many global distributors for the Belgium-based Dockmate and thus the claim that thousands of Dockmate installs are out in field is quite credible.

    https://www.dockmate.eu/distributors

    Yacht Controller must know this, but it seems like they chose to lie about lying instead. I encourage companies to publically and specifically compare their products to competitors, but being deceptive while accusing a competitor of deception is ugly.

    • I also realized that I know the man who incorporated the Dockmate U.S. distributorship — Marc Curreri — because he was one of the founders of Paradox Marine, now named GOST, way back in the day. Here he is on the right illustrating a high-end yacht intrusion alarm at MIBS 2009:

      https://www.panbo.com/paradox-marine-security-miami-demos/

      Then in 2014 when Marc’s company Marine Professionals Inc was termed a “key dealer” by Sonos, he helped arrange a Panbo product review. And I notice that MPI is now the only marine Sonos Gold dealer:

      https://marineprofessionals.com/about-us/

      In other words, Marc has already been successfully involved as a principal in distributing and installing a LOT of serious boat electronics, and to paint his new Dockmate distributorship as a lying fly-by-night operation is just ridiculous.

    • Ben SteinBen Stein says:

      I must admit I was pretty surprised to read the criticisms of Dockmate on YachtThrusters’s fakeremotes website.

      I actually had a Yacht Controller system to install but for my EDC controlled engines Yacht Controller doesn’t have a plug and play harness so I would have had to cut the harnesses for my engines. I decided not to do that for an evaluation install of a system I didn’t own.

      Older systems will frequently require cutting, as my bow and stern thrusters did since there’s no plug, just screw terminals on the back of the controllers. But, Dockmate had a nicely made Y-harness for my Volvo-Penta EDC throttle and transmission control binnacles. YC actually uses Dockmate’s instructions for connecting the EDC take-control wire as evidence against them. That’s chutzpah.

      Given the myriad configuration choices and many of them being bare-wire connections I’d rather see both companies not use phrases like “never requires cutting wires” but I really don’t understand Yacht Controller’s trying to find fault with Dockmate’s claims given their own limitations.

  2. We first meet Dirk from Dockmate in 2015 at the MET’s show and we Started selling them in Australia and New Zealand in 2016.

  3. Thanks for the kind words Ben. I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years now. The people that know me are aware of the truth and I really appreciate you making it a point.

    It may come as a shocker to people, but MPI was a Yacht Controller dealer for almost 10 years prior to starting Dockmate, as may other Dockmate distributors were.
    There is a reason why companies are making the switch.
    In my opinion, Dockmate simply offers the best technology out there for wireless remote controls. The customization capabilities with the NextGen software are incredible; providing the owner with their own “personal touch” to the 3 axis TWIST remote.
    When I saw the capabilities of the Dockmate product, I had to get involved.

    I felt like I owed it to the US market to let people know that there was more than one option out there.

  4. Matt says:

    Any idea on how this system differs from Yacht Controller? Happy to see some competition in the space.

  5. Jan Ebert says:

    I did purchase a Yacht Controller system in Germany at the Boot trade fair and asked the Yacht Controller guys in Florida if they are willing to install the system in my German registered boat on which I‘m still travelling the US waters. The system is much cheaper in Europe. And what did Yacht Controller US? They forced the Italian manufacturer to cancel my order and return the purchase price to me because they wanted to sell the unit for a much higher price to me. This style of doing business is bad behaviour and I never saw this kind in my 35 years of doing business yet. Good that there is a serious competitor now in the US!

  6. Captain Tom Petersen says:

    Speaking purely on the USES of the remotes and not the Yacht Controller versus Dockmate discussion, I was an early user of Yacht Controller aboard my last 2 boats over the past 11 years. It is a great tool indeed.

    I do recommend, from experience, that you always need to be ready to take over with the actual controls, Early on (before Yacht Controller went to a dual channel system), I was backing into a dock when the signal disappeared and the boat (a 60ft SeaRay) was gliding on its own without any control toward the dock! Since the dual channels this problem has been eliminated, but it still is on my mind when I use it.

    Remotes are great for docking. Do you NEED one? No, but it sure makes boat handling easier.

  7. Pachoud Yachts bought a Yacht Controller system on my behalf at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show for a new build 80’ power catamaran. The yacht has lots of windage (as do most power catamarans) thus it was a firm requirement that the Yacht Controller controlled the engine RPM, I always have to add lots of throttle to get off a dock in anything but calm conditions. Mr Tony Valiente of Yachtcontroller was given all the throttle, engine and bow thruster information. Mr Valiente guaranteed me that while they cannot provide incremental RPM on Twin Disc controls at the time they would be able to in the not too distant future and certainly by the system was delivered and installed. He stated this in writing on the invoice (I can forward to anyone that might be interested).
    In 2016 the boat was launched and there was no ability to vary the RPM, just idle which does nothing in this boat. Over the next 3 years I was given excuse after excuse until they finally admitted it couldn’t be done. I asked for my money back, I was told the warranty period had expired. I did speak to a lawyer in Florida and he said I had an excellent case to sue Yacht Controller but that isn’t my style but I am sure they have lost much more business than a refund would have cost as I am happy to tell anyone that will listen about my poor experience with YC.
    I now have a Dockmate system. I am happy. It works (it took them a few tries, so some persistence on their part was required). The people are honest and pleasant to deal with, a far cry from the folk at YC. I had the misfortune to come across YC recently at the Palm Beach Boat Show where I expected an apology or something more than them spouting the same garbage they have on fakeremote.com when they heard that I have a Dockmate.
    In summary:
    The Dockmate system works. The people are honest and they have a good product. You don’t need to deal with the lies and dubious business practices of Tony Valiente and his scurrilous marketing activities.
    If anyone wants to get hold of me they can through the Samara website.

    • Thanks, Ian. Samara is an amazing yacht with what seem like very well thought out systems.

    • Ben SteinBen Stein says:

      Ian,

      I’m visiting friends in Fort Lauderdale watching traffic go by and I see a large cat heading southbound. It looked familiar so I grabbed a set of binoculars and confirmed it is indeed Samara. Beautiful boat.

      Ben S.

  8. Ian says:

    You are welcome to take a closer look if you want.

  9. Bob says:

    I went to find the fakeremotes.com website mentioned above and apparently it was taken down. I googled “Dockmate” and there it was again at: yachtremotereviews.com

    Call me a greenhorn, but I don’t know of any other company in boating who operates with this level of deception. Sure, there are shady boat repair businesses, but a manufacturer????

    • Thanks, Bob; I changed the link in my initial comment above. I don’t know why they dropped the fakeremotes.com site address, but yachtremotereviews.com seems exactly the same.

      And I found another, almost comical, bit of apparent deception about claimed Dockmate deception in the “Corrected FAQS” section.

      https://www.yachtremotereviews.com/corrected-faqs/

      “Is Dockmate a local company?” is the question that YRR derives from Dockmate’s claim that “Dockmate is a local USA parts, service and delivery company” (which seems accurate given their status as U.S. distributor of a the Dockmate product developed and manufactured in Europe).

      The YRR correction goes:
      “Yes very local. They operate their entire US operation out of a small nondescript warehouse while Falsely implying Yacht Controller, who operates via two company-owned buildings in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and boasts a strong nationwide dealer network, is headquartered in Italy. We are not.” Which is followed by a Google Street View photo of Dockmate US and link.

      And then they ask you to “Compare that to the Yacht Controller headquarters” (i.e., the HQ they just said was not in Italy). But even the photo name is “yacht-controller-it” and it most certainly is in Italy as anyone can easily see here:

      https://www.yachtcontroller.it/official/en/company-profile/

      What’s more the photo appears to be heavily photoshopped when you use YACHT CONTROLLER S.r.l.’s own Contact link to Google Street View:

      https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5839815,9.235695,3a,73.7y,349.91h,98.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssZEiBSBAMXMGWcBhnDuXKw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

      Like where’s that big Yacht Controller sign on top of the HQ? Or is it actually a shared building?

      Of course this is all ridiculously silly because it’s perfectly fine that both the Dockmate and YachtController U.S. operations are simply distributorships.

      Except that what I just pointed out is apparently not meant to be funny.

      • Bob says:

        Ben, that is hysterical! The image of Yacht Controller’s corporate headquarters in Italy has shading behind the trees from two separate directions, which is obviously not possible, unless there are two suns in the sky.

        Additionally, there are reflections of cars in the windows….even though there are no nearby cars visible in the photo. It’s head-scratching as to why any company would partake in such nonsense to build their credibility after 15 years or so in business…..

        All of that said, I find Yacht Controller’s treatment of Mr. Underdown to be particularly contemptible, which was theft, plain & simple, since they promised in writing that their product would perform as specified, and then refused to offer a refund when it didn’t. Absolutely shameful.

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