Wii Joystick – Electric assist

Had a stroke ? or a brain injury of some sort ?

Low on power and you would like to still sail solo* ?

IMG_20150125_232135This Joystick (and the attached winches) lets you loose on the Broadwater.

– Control Main Sail
– Rudder control
How does it work ?

Pushing the joystick on the Wii forward/up, the main sheet is fed out by the winch.
Pulling the joystick down/back, winds the main sheet in.

Located inside the Rudder it allows comfortable, familiar, single handed sailing.


…but it can be moved and remounted (with sufficient time for preparation) to a position that is more comfortable for the sailor.

…We even have WiFi Versions for CORDLESS CONTROL ! Yes, chin control is even possible.




*solo sailing requires training/assessment at Sailability Gold Coast, full training is provided with our progression program. All our sailors (in the 2up access dinghies, are encouraged to take control and learn as they are able)

Freedom on the water ! Energy ! Enjoyment – Sailability Gold Coast

– Talk to Tony (that rather large dude in the three wheel wheelchair) or the Volunteers at the sign in Desk to take the Wii control for a spin.


Want to make one your self ? Below is a bit of a ‘how to’

From another club in Australia or abroad and want one for your club but not keen on building it up ?

Talk to me, Tony Matthews (also web admin here) and ill see what i can do to help out. My contact email is tony@sailabilitygc.org, I’ve a significant brain injury myself and really understand the frustration an injury can cause .


Voltage : 6.6v – 30 volts
Battery : 2 cell Lithium , 14.4v Sealed Lead Acid, or 24v Sealed Lead acid
LVC : 6.6volts (to suit LiPo Max Discharge)
HVC : 30volts (to suit 28.8 of 24v Sealed Lead acid battery)


Universal Plugs as per Sailability Gold Coasts other Winch assist vessels.
White – Main Sheet , Blue – Battery

IMG_20140703_130020[1] IMG_20140703_130015[1]
Power Sail assist Joystick mounted in a 303 Access Dinghy


How it was made.

1. A Nintendo Wii Controller + A Pololu High Power Bidirectional Motor driver

2. Join the Motor driver to the joystick.

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2a. Connect Battery and motor wires to output of Motor Controller

2b. Connect Pololu Motor Controller to your PC, use Pololu ‘Simple Motor Controller Center’ to set

– Low Voltage Cut off

– High Voltage Cutoff

– Calibrate Joystick



3. Stick the wired up bits back inside the case,

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4 , Jam it inside a bit of 40mm PVC tubing with the wires sticking out of it.

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Motor Driver Controller software makes it very easy to calibrate the Joystick , set direction and battery safety limits.


Two or more motor drivers could fit there,

– Main Sheet winch control

– Jib Sheet winch control

– Electric Bilge Pump


Please see my other builds for the wireless version of this Joystick.



Tony Matthews