Cummins MerCruiser Diesel recognised as Best of the Year

CMD’s Zeus and Axius Skyhook Feature Recognized as Best of the Year

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Skyhook®, one of the exclusive features of Cummins MerCruiser Diesel’s Zeus® and Axius® propulsion systems, is slated to receive a prestigious Best of the Year Award from Motor Boating Magazine, Feb. 12, 2009 at a special event to be held in conjunction with the Miami International Boat Show.

SkyHook is a station-keeping function that is the first of its kind in the recreational marine industry. With the simple press of a button, the operator can engage Skyhook, and the vessel will maintain both the position and heading at the moment of engagement, even in the presence of wind and current. The feature allows a sportfish captain to stay directly on top of a preferred fishing spot, lets a pleasure boater easily wait for an opening at the fuel dock, and keeps cruisers from drifting while waiting in the current for a bridge to open – all without constantly working the wheel and throttles as has been the case since the advent of mechanized propulsion.

As co-developer of Zeus, Axius and Skyhook, Mercury Marine – one of CMD’s parent companies – shares the award. Mercury MerCruiser’s gasoline version of Axius is the only other recreational marine propulsion system to offer such a feature. Coincidentally, Motor Boating Magazine awarded CMD a previous Best of the Year in 2007 for Zeus, and a blue ribbon panel of boating journalists honored Mercury Marine with a 2007 Innovation Award at the International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference for Axius. Axius was honored in January at the Dusseldorf International Boat Show with the first-ever Innovation Award given as part of the annual European Powerboat of the Year Awards, as judged by a panel of journalists from Europe’s leading boating magazines.

CMD’s flagship Zeus 3000 propulsion system is a revolutionary concept that marries a 355-715 hp CMD engine to a tunnel-mounted pod. The system consists of two to four such engine/pod units, so it can power vessels less than 40 feet in length, up to yachts approaching 100 feet. Joystick control, for the ultimate in tight-quarters maneuverability, is standard on all Zeus-powered vessels. Axius is a twin sterndrive-based system with functionality analogous to Zeus, including the standard joystick. CMD’s diesel Axius is the combination of a pair of 220 to 350 hp CMD QSD engines and twin-propeller Bravo 3 sterndrives, perfect for boats up to about 40 feet in length.

The SmartCrafttm drive-by-wire control system used by both Zeus and Axius is what makes Skyhook possible. Once Skyhook is engaged, its unique software adjusts the steering of each drive or pod independently, and automatically applies appropriate amounts of vectored thrust to keep the boat’s original bearing and position, as determined by its Global Positioning System sensor and an electronic compass.

To learn more about Zeus, Axius and Skyhook, visit the CMD display in Booth P82 in the Miami Beach Convention Center during the Miami show, Feb. 12-16, or to arrange for a demo ride and experience Skyhook firsthand, visit the CMD on-water display on Pier 1 at the Sea Isle Marina in Miami.

More information on the innovative Zeus and Axius propulsion systems and the Skyhook feature are also available at A complete list of Motor Boating’s 2009 Best of the Year recipients can be found at

About CMD

Based in Charleston, South Carolina (USA), Cummins MerCruiser Diesel is responsible for designing, manufacturing and providing reliable after-sales support worldwide for marine propulsion products. It offers a broad range of power, with available ratings from 115-715 hp for recreational applications and 76-715 hp for commercial use. Cummins MerCruiser Diesel is a joint venture between Cummins Inc. and Mercury Marine and can be found on the internet at

For more information, contact: Clay Gaillard, CMD Public Relations Manager at: (office) 843-745-1238, (cellular) 850-596-8271 or High resolution photography of CMD products can be downloaded from the CMD FTP site: