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MYMC
04-28-2008, 11:06 AM
I have a couple Stargazer DBW systems for sale!

Aquastar, Inc.'s Zero Off, and EControls, Inc., reach an agreement with PerfectPass regarding GPS speed control technology rights.

Zero Off, the leader in GPS speed control technology, and EControls, Inc., the manufacturer of Zero Off, have reached an agreement with PerfectPass, the respected long time industry speed control provider. The agreement states that starting with the 2009 boat model year, Zero Off will be the exclusive GPS speed control system provided by OEM boat manufacturers for all "Throttle by Wire" applications. This technology is utilized by most leading engine builders in the inboard and stern drive marine markets.

"This is positive and exciting news for professionals as well as recreational athletes and enthusiasts. This agreement provides standardization for training athletes, and consolidates the integration of the speed control and engine management system for improved reliability and robustness." - Jeremy Lessaris - Marketing Manager AquaStar, Inc.

"The decision to sell this division of our business was a difficult one for all of us", stated company President Eric Horton. "Ultimately, we recognized that EControls had a competitive advantage due to their existing engine controls business. They were a natural buyer of our business which fits perfectly into their existing business model. EControls is a superb company with a strong engineering and management team."

Since its inception Zero Off has gained momentum and skier acceptance through its performance, ease of operation, and proven track record. Zero Off has had great success over the past two years; passing AWSA testing, gaining AWSA tournament certification, becoming exclusive supply partners with Correct Craft for the 2008 model year, and working with major OEM boat manufacturers for the 2009 model year release. In addition, Zero Off has been chosen as the official speed control for the 2008 Masters Waterksi Tournament as well as the MasterCraft Pro Tour - including the US Open.
"We all can relate to how GPS has made our lives easier in many applications. Aquastar, Inc., Zero Off, and EControls, Inc., have brought true GPS technology to the Waterski and Wakeboard Industry. This announcement and this team paves the way for future technology advancements to the boating industry, and the sport of Waterski and Wakeboard." - Andy Mapple
"Zero Off has proven to be the leader in GPS based speed control both in 3 event skiing as well as the wakeboard market. I'm extremely excited to see the future advancements a company like Zero Off can bring to our sports." - Freddy Krueger
"I never felt so light and so strong behind a boat before I experienced Zero Off. I ran six out of six 39's off in a Pro Event last year in 2007. The system has enormous potential and it will increase the level of this sport, it's a tremendous tool for this industry." - Thomas Degasperi
"I feel comfortable putting anyone in the driver seat now that I can depend on Zero Off to do the job. Whether I need a straight line or a huge double up, I know my speed will be dead on." - Shaun Murray

Monte
04-28-2008, 11:13 AM
I may be interested. Been thinking about the addition. I'll talk with you about it at CSM..

denverd1
04-28-2008, 12:11 PM
I may be interested as well. What else would I need to fit this on an old boat like Monte and I have?

MYMC
04-28-2008, 12:35 PM
Just the servo kit...but remember after this year I have no idea who will be servicing this stuff, so buyer beware.:confused:

Monte
04-28-2008, 12:38 PM
Just the servo kit...but remember after this year I have no idea who will be servicing this stuff, so buyer beware.:confused:

How "simple" is it to repair? As long as I can get a basic understanding of it I think I can maintain it.. That is if it is "simple"..

MYMC
04-28-2008, 12:40 PM
How "simple" is it to repair? As long as I can get a basic understanding of it I think I can maintain it.. That is if it is "simple"..
"repair" would not be my concern...parts that would be another story. I'm returning all the units I have in stock.

erkoehler
04-28-2008, 12:43 PM
"repair" would not be my concern...parts that would be another story. I'm returning all the units I have in stock.


I'll be making the same phone call shortly........

Monte
04-28-2008, 12:46 PM
"repair" would not be my concern...parts that would be another story. I'm returning all the units I have in stock.

Would be feasable to buy two systems.. Maybe use one for a backup (parts)

Sodar
04-28-2008, 12:46 PM
Does this mean everyone who purchased these units will be stuck with "antiques"?

BrianM
04-28-2008, 12:50 PM
"repair" would not be my concern...parts that would be another story. I'm returning all the units I have in stock.
Where is the love Mike? I thought you were a die hard Perfect Pass guy (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=335709&postcount=47). I rember some big long thread about Zero Off (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=15645&highlight=perfect+pass) in which you question the accuracy. I rember you being especially hard on the Econtrols ECM replacement and the fact that it would void Indmar warranty (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=333771&postcount=35). Do they have this little issue worked out yet?

I am playing devils advocate here as I think having a competitor in the market is a good thing. Although it does sound like this is not really going to be a competitor. PP for those of us with 'old' boats and Zero Off for those with 'new' boats.

brucemac
04-28-2008, 01:29 PM
what does this mean for someone who was looking to add PP Wakeboard Pro later this season? hold out or move ahead as planned?

MYMC
04-28-2008, 02:06 PM
Where is the love Mike? I thought you were a die hard Perfect Pass guy (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=335709&postcount=47). I rember some big long thread about Zero Off (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=15645&highlight=perfect+pass) in which you question the accuracy. I rember you being especially hard on the Econtrols ECM replacement and the fact that it would void Indmar warranty (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=333771&postcount=35). Do they have this little issue worked out yet?

I am playing devils advocate here as I think having a competitor in the market is a good thing. Although it does sound like this is not really going to be a competitor. PP for those of us with 'old' boats and Zero Off for those with 'new' boats.
Brian,
Thanks for asking...I'm pi$$ed to be honest. I have championed Perfect Pass since 1997 and have always been greatly satisfied. I have lived through Accu-ski and others but always stayed loyal to PP. Zero-Off will have to be able to check itself through the course and when I wrote about the system it couldn't...I have no idea if it can now or not.

You may wonder why I don't know more about Zero-off since it is in my 2008 TT boat...well I have been unable to get the pieces to make it work since delivery 6 weeks ago. Despite calls and emails (none of which have been returned) I sit here unable to tell you anything about "Zero-Off". PP leaving this arena makes for a sad day...I'd rather drive by hand than deal with a company that will not return phone calls or emails...imagine if this were a customer boat, oh wait I am a customer!:mad:

MYMC
04-28-2008, 02:10 PM
what does this mean for someone who was looking to add PP Wakeboard Pro later this season? hold out or move ahead as planned?
I'd hold out...if there is a reliable GPS solution on the horizon it would the way to go. Also if you have an older "throttle cable" boat it sounds as if Perfect Pass is going to be around to take care of your needs, but it would be nicer to live with if it were GPS based.

jkski
04-28-2008, 02:14 PM
So, does it even make sense to put Stargazer into a boat now? I've heard that they are stll working out the kinks and if they are not going to be selling this any longer, I would imagine they will stop improving it as well.
Any thoughts?

wakeX2wake
04-28-2008, 02:18 PM
what does this mean for someone who was looking to add PP Wakeboard Pro later this season? hold out or move ahead as planned?

i'd say roll with it... i have a friend who is about to add PP wake pro to his sportnautique and he was pumped... he's going to wait now only b/c he thinks wake pro will get cheaper for him now that it's "obselete" technology...

i'm w/ mike i don't understand how you can go to a system that has no way of checking itsself against the course... where's the varibility in the course length accounted for and not many people have thought about this but when tenths of seconds make the difference in someone setting a world record or not the satellite's angle from the gps unit are going to have a great bearing it's accuracy as it measures relative distance traveled and i haven't seen proven technology yet (in the civilian sector) that is able to accurately account for angle to distance variations... it's not a big deal in a garmin or trying to find a fishing hole but when you're setting world records riding a board around balls i can see a huge effect in the MPH

MYMC
04-28-2008, 02:46 PM
Remember...GPS will give you speed over ground...not speed over water. Ever seen a ski course with a current? The boat and the skier are traveling over water that is traveling over the ground...hmmm.:rolleyes:

Chicago190
04-28-2008, 02:47 PM
http://www.thewaterskiforum.com/forum.html

Looks like PP will continue selling Stargazer to non-DBW boats.

east tx skier
04-28-2008, 02:50 PM
The way I read that, they only gave up OEM contracts. I was specifically told last Friday that "Stargazer isn't going away." Look at what Mike is dealing with with customer service. With Zero Off in all tournaments from 2009 on (that's an extrapolation from it being the OEM option in promo boats), they are going to have to be Johnny on the spot with customer service and have that system run great or is quickly serviced lest the slalom community start to pine for the days of Perfect Pass. The tournament slalom community are a particular bunch of atheletes when it comes to equipment. Speed Control is no exception. Perfect Pass put customer service at the top of its to-do list and was rewarded with market dominance. Econtrols is not a boutique business and from all I've heard has a long way to go to come close to that level of customer service.

I think Perfect Pass has done this long enough to know what it is they are giving up in the OEM contracts. It may be lucrative, but it's also the most service intensive end of the business if I had to guess. If they don't live up to the standards set by the predecessor, they'll get dropped hard and fast in the long run. Meanwhile, Perfect Pass has eight more years of making speed control for all boats up through 2004 or so as well as those boats who didn't buy speed control from the boat manufacturer (I didn't read that as PP is giving up the digital throttle control entirely, but I could be wrong). If Zero Off doesn't dazzle the tournament set in the years to come, they have an option.

What's the saying, if you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it's yours forever. It will be interesting to watch this play out, although I anticipate it will be hard on the tournament community if Zero Off isn't planning to earn this past buying out the competitor.

As for Wakeboarding, it's a speed over water discipline. GPS is speed over ground. If you wakeboard in a current, a pure GPS system that doesn't have something to account for the current won't work. Wakeboard Pro does that well and can be updated to SG if and when they work something out for current.

east tx skier
04-28-2008, 03:34 PM
So anything about future DBW systems, scratch what I said above. As for the rest, we shall see. As the proud owner of a mechanical throttle system, I know who my speed control provider is and will continue to be. Looks like they got some GPS tech out of the deal t'boot. My guess is SG will only improve from here.

Perfect Pass Press Release (http://www.perfectpass.com/download/PerfectPass-EControls-press-release.pdf)

sand2snow22
04-28-2008, 03:44 PM
From the PP press release: "EControls is a superb company with a strong engineering and management team"

Maybe it should be added, "but lacking in the customer service department"?

east tx skier
04-28-2008, 04:13 PM
It reminds me a little of Toyota and Epic. But that's a whole 'nother speech.

wakeX2wake
04-28-2008, 04:17 PM
i think the gps tracks a point in space but i see the problem being the angle at which the point is tracked at

Dotter
04-28-2008, 04:57 PM
Whoever you are, East Tx skier, you are right on the money. Perfect Pass is not going away just because it seems the bully is making them pass on certain items. Anyone who has had any contact with Eric Horton over the past 15 years know or should know he IS Perfect Pass. If you dont understand the consequences of this press release (which ever one you read) call and speak to Eric Horton. Don't guess what it means. Did the PR say they were closing up shop?? NOPE..so don't throw them away so easily. Read what is in THEIR Press Release. They appreciate their customers !!!!!!!!

Ric
04-28-2008, 05:11 PM
Welcome dotter ......
Whoever you are, East Tx skier, you are right on the money. Perfect Pass is not going away just because it seems the bully is making them pass on certain items. Anyone who has had any contact with Eric Horton over the past 15 years know or should know he IS Perfect Pass. If you dont understand the consequences of this press release (which ever one you read) call and speak to Eric Horton. Don't guess what it means. Did the PR say they were closing up shop?? NOPE..so don't throw them away so easily. Read what is in THEIR Press Release. They appreciate their customers !!!!!!!!

east tx skier
04-28-2008, 05:48 PM
Whoever you are, East Tx skier, you are right on the money. Perfect Pass is not going away just because it seems the bully is making them pass on certain items. Anyone who has had any contact with Eric Horton over the past 15 years know or should know he IS Perfect Pass. If you dont understand the consequences of this press release (which ever one you read) call and speak to Eric Horton. Don't guess what it means. Did the PR say they were closing up shop?? NOPE..so don't throw them away so easily. Read what is in THEIR Press Release. They appreciate their customers !!!!!!!!

Dotter, whoever you are, anyone who thinks I'm right on the money is okay in my book. :D

TX.X-30 fan
04-28-2008, 05:58 PM
Dotter, whoever you are, anyone who thinks I'm right on the money is okay in my book. :D





Capt. Frank Ramsey: I can't stand save-asses, and I won't abide kiss-asses.


:D :D

Dotter
04-28-2008, 06:48 PM
Dotter, whoever you are, anyone who thinks I'm right on the money is okay in my book. :D

And spread the word... www.skifly.com is in need of your common sense reasoning!!!!!! to name one message board.

east tx skier
04-28-2008, 10:43 PM
And spread the word... www.skifly.com is in need of your common sense reasoning!!!!!! to name one message board.

I've got my limits, but I've participated in the discussion on a number of other boards.

BrianM
04-29-2008, 10:52 AM
Perfect Pass' press release gives a little more info http://www.perfectpass.com/download/PerfectPass-EControls-press-release.pdf

They specificly say "we will continue to offer it to existing customers with “throttle by wire” applications as well as to new and existing customers with “mechanically throttled” engines.” So it really sounds to me like the only change is going to be with OEM stuff. Those that upgrade or add PP not from the factory will still be able to get a TBW Perfect Pass Gazer system.

Mike, don't send all of those systems back just yet.

Ric
04-29-2008, 06:46 PM
Dotter, whoever you are, anyone who thinks I'm right on the money is okay in my book. :D Dotter sounds alot like Dooker ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????

Kyboater
04-29-2008, 08:16 PM
I found the press release pretty interesting when I got it. I'd be willing to bet Indmar is switching to E-controls ECMs. If that were true, Mastercraft, Malibu, Nautique, Supra and Moomba would be running E-controls. doesn't leave many others left for PP to work with.

uawaterskier
04-29-2008, 09:56 PM
damn you ZO...sad face

MYMC
04-30-2008, 10:25 AM
damn you ZO...sad face
Cant say much, but give this a little time...I am.

Esiegert
04-30-2008, 10:35 AM
Found this interesting:

For Immediate Release

PerfectPass Control Systems sells a significant portion of its OEM Business and Technology Assets to EControls, Inc.



HALIFAX,CANADA April 23, 2008 - PerfectPass Control Systems Incorporated has sold a significant portion of its Original Equipment Manufacturer business to EControls, Inc. of San Antonio, Texas. Included in the sale are technology assets and two United States Patents owned by PerfectPass.



The business sold relates primarily to the company’s products designed for “throttle by wire” engines. This technology is utilized by several leading engine builders in both the inboard and stern drive marine markets. The majority of the business transition will not occur until June of this year as boat manufacturers commence production on 2009 model year product.



PerfectPass will continue to manufacture speed controls systems for the ski/wakeboard market, stern drive industry and jet boat segment that utilize mechanically throttled engines. In addition, PerfectPass will continue to develop affordable and exciting upgrade options for its seventy thousand existing worldwide customers. As part of the transaction, PerfectPass gained exclusive licensing rights to GPS technology developed by EControls.



“The decision to sell this division of our business was a difficult one for all of us”, stated company President Eric Horton. “We have forged many personal relationships in this part of the industry with great people that we will truly miss working with. Ultimately, we recognized that EControls had a competitive advantage due to the fact their Engine Control Modules are being used by these engine builders. They were a natural buyer of our business which fits perfectly into their business model.”

“EControls is a superb company with a strong engineering and management team. In addition to being a recognized leader in engine control technology, they also manufacture the Zero Off Speed Control System.”



“Although our product mix will be changing, we are not abandoning our roots which is the competitive water skier”, say’s company co-founder Gary Allen. “Our new GPS enhanced Star Gazer System has been extremely well received and we will continue to offer it to existing customers with “throttle by wire” applications as well as to new and existing customers with “mechanically throttled” engines.” We believe that the performance characteristics of Star Gazer and Zero Off have become more similar in recent months. This is a positive thing so skiers training behind either product will not be surprised when competing on a boat equipped with either speed control brand.”

Founded in 1995 by Eric Horton, Randy Eisener and Gary Allen, PerfectPass Control Systems Incorporated is a world leader in the design and distribution of electronic speed control systems for the pleasure boat industry. Its clients are made up of more than twenty boat manufacturers including premier brands such as Correct Craft, MasterCraft, Malibu, Sea Ray, Cobalt and BRP.



For more information, contact Gary Allen at (902) 468-2150 or e mail gary@perfectpass.com

east tx skier
04-30-2008, 12:32 PM
I think it’s significant that Perfect Pass got the exclusive license to Zero Off’s GPS technology in this swap. Yes, Zero Off gets the new boats and will be able to make speed control for Indmar powered boats without voiding the warranty. But that’s currently a very small segment of what’s on the water. And with the price of gas and the state of the economy, I think those who go newer may be less inclined to go brand new than they might have been a few years ago. That is to say that while there will be more DBW boats in the years to come, I think there will be fewer people buying these boats new over the next five years than have over the last few years. Am I an economist. No. But unless things change drastically, I don’t think that will be a priority for the masses.

So how does the license to ZO’s gps tech factor in? I’d wager that it means Perfect Pass can make SG feel like what the people who are training for tournaments will be riding behind at tournaments. If I’m right, then the more hard core among us don’t need to trade in that 95 MC or or that 2004 MC on the brand new boat or nearly new boat just as a means of having the same brand of speed control that will pull the tournaments. If I’m right, the skier won’t be able to differentiate.

No, I don’t believe Perfect Pass is going to go away. I know some will disagree with me. However it shakes out, only time will tell.

VTJC
04-30-2008, 01:50 PM
I think Speed Control, is essential to a modern waterski and wakeboard boat, and thank PP for developing a decent system. I think they missed an opportunity as GPS technology become affordable in the late 90’s and early 00’s(sub $500 handhelds), to incorporate this into there product. DBW boats increased the complexity since the Speed Control now has to integrate with an ECU instead of just a throttle cable. Essentially putting PP at a double disadvantage to Zero Off, this from its outset used GPS and integrated with the ECU. I always welcome competition and think it promotes better products. So I am disappointed to see PP give up the OEM market so easily. The monopoly of GM inboard motors facilities part of this, if Ford where in the mix it would require another set of ECU’s. I think PP makes a decent product with great support, they need improvements in the usability. The new display needed five buttons not the four it has…

Since waterskiing and wakeboarding have different speed requirement, over land and over water respectively, the utilization of GPS is different for each. Since the majority of new boats sold are wakeboard boats, is PP giving up on that portion of the market? Which according to there website is large; the Wakeboard Pro is their most popular seller. Instead hoping the slalom community will order new boats without OEM installed Speed Control and install there product aftermarket?

What products is PP going to continue to sell beyond updates and upgrades to throttle cable boats? Are they going to continue to develop and sell SG for DBW boats? Will that have a system for 09+ boats, that presumably will have a eControls ECU from the factory?

I ski on public water and own a 99 MC SportStar. Of the 7 boats I usually ski behind only one is DBW a 07 RLXI, this ratio is bound to change in the coming years, but slowly. The RLXI has PP 6.5ng, should the owner upgrade to Zero Off or SG? Obviously ZO will be most expensive initially, but will SG continue to be supported?

Jamie

east tx skier
04-30-2008, 02:51 PM
I think Speed Control, is essential to a modern waterski and wakeboard boat, and thank PP for developing a decent system. I think they missed an opportunity as GPS technology become affordable in the late 90ís and early 00ís(sub $500 handhelds), to incorporate this into there product. DBW boats increased the complexity since the Speed Control now has to integrate with an ECU instead of just a throttle cable. Essentially putting PP at a double disadvantage to Zero Off, this from its outset used GPS and integrated with the ECU. I always welcome competition and think it promotes better products. So I am disappointed to see PP give up the OEM market so easily. The monopoly of GM inboard motors facilities part of this, if Ford where in the mix it would require another set of ECUís. I think PP makes a decent product with great support, they need improvements in the usability. The new display needed five buttons not the four it hasÖ

Since waterskiing and wakeboarding have different speed requirement, over land and over water respectively, the utilization of GPS is different for each. Since the majority of new boats sold are wakeboard boats, is PP giving up on that portion of the market? Which according to there website is large; the Wakeboard Pro is their most popular seller. Instead hoping the slalom community will order new boats without OEM installed Speed Control and install there product aftermarket?

What products is PP going to continue to sell beyond updates and upgrades to throttle cable boats? Are they going to continue to develop and sell SG for DBW boats? Will that have a system for 09+ boats, that presumably will have a eControls ECU from the factory?

I ski on public water and own a 99 MC SportStar. Of the 7 boats I usually ski behind only one is DBW a 07 RLXI, this ratio is bound to change in the coming years, but slowly. The RLXI has PP 6.5ng, should the owner upgrade to Zero Off or SG? Obviously ZO will be most expensive initially, but will SG continue to be supported?

Jamie

Just assuming arguendo that I'm right and future editions of these controls will ski similarly, its time to consider other factors. Take MYMC's issues with getting parts from Zero Off to get his system to run. Compare that to my issue with SG's system save. Those guys at Perfect Pass have been on the phone with me constantly, have sent me numerous modules to test, have updated code, and have developed a new way for the system to save data. Yes, having an issue with this stuff is frustrating, but having a company who is eager to deal with it is its own reward.

That's not to say anything negative about Zero Off as a product, a company, a developer, and innovator, etc. But I will say that MYMC's issue with getting some product support is not the first negative comment I've heard about that end of their business. Still, I know they have some other satisfied customers out there.

D3skier
04-30-2008, 04:04 PM
Just assuming arguendo that I'm right and future editions of these controls will ski similarly, its time to consider other factors. Take MYMC's issues with getting parts from Zero Off to get his system to run. Compare that to my issue with SG's system save. Those guys at Perfect Pass have been on the phone with me constantly, have sent me numerous modules to test, have updated code, and have developed a new way for the system to save data. Yes, having an issue with this stuff is frustrating, but having a company who is eager to deal with it is its own reward.

That's not to say anything negative about Zero Off as a product, a company, a developer, and innovator, etc. But I will say that MYMC's issue with getting some product support is not the first negative comment I've heard about that end of their business. Still, I know they have some other satisfied customers out there.


But if they are not going to give the type of support that boat owners have known from PP I'd almost be willing to say they are going to sink pretty quick. Especially if this happens to one of the pro boats just prior to a tournament and no one responds. But like MYMC said lets wait and see.

east tx skier
04-30-2008, 04:34 PM
I think that's certainly something to consider. In fact, I mentioned that above. Zero Off needs to bring and maintain its A-game to the position in the industry it has earned/negotiated. Its continued presence will be dictated by its own interactions with its customers.