Pioneer Boats – VeeConnect Story

11th July 2022

The Client

Pioneer Boats http://www.pioneerboats.com/ is a family-run organisation which holds the recreational goals of their clients as the backbone of their business. As a company they aim to build high-quality boats for an affordable price enabling more clients to experience the joys of boating, fishing and water sports.

They are a subsidiary of Carolina Composites LLC, the manufacturer of Avenger Boats and Bulls Bay Boats, and are located in the low country of South Carolina.

The Challenge

One of the challenges faced by Pioneer Boats is that many of the vessels they build are moored in salt water for prolonged periods of time. They found this was detrimental to switches which would erode a lot quicker than in fresh water. With warranty costs to deal with erosion in the region of $3,000 per boat they needed a solution which could prevent erosion in the first place.

Pioneer Production Engineer, Mike Matthews spent more than two years searching for a solution to the problem before approaching Veethree about our VeeConnect digital switching system.

The Solution

Mike decided that digital switching would be the ideal solution to avoid corrosion issues found with traditional switches. Going digital would also mean a sleeker helm finish and reduce overall wiring and installation costs.

Pioneer ultimately selected VeeConnect for four key reasons:

  • The ability to have up to 20 amps on each switch.
  • The ability to have as many as 12 switches on each module.
  • NMEA 2000 network compatibility with a slimline switch display.
  • Resettable fuses, meaning the vessel owner does not need to carry physical spares as the system has electronic soft fuses.

However, the main reason for choosing VeeConnect was due to the simplicity of programming and setting up the system.

Pioneer did not want to purchase additional expensive programming equipment or need to undertake time-consuming training. Many systems which Pioneer researched required engineers to complete training courses and additional IT equipment to programme switches, which was why they found VeeConnect so appealing.

They wanted to open the box and set up quickly and efficiently, which is one of the USPs of the VeeConnect digital switching system.

Pioneer boats also ultimately saved themselves money by choosing the VeeConnect digital switching system, as it reduced wiring costs and facilitated the use of the NMEA 2000 network. Additionally, due the system being capable of supporting 12 channels with up to 20amps per channel it meant they could afford to install fewer modules, and they saved further money by not requiring set-up training fees.


Pioneer Boats are now installing the VeeConnect digital switching system on their 18ft plus boats utilising all the switching channels available.

They are hoping to present their clients with an information pack to enable them to set up the switches as preferred. VeeConnect have a number of online videos which can help with the practicalities of doing this yourself.

With digital switching removing the need for traditional switches the system will greatly reduce the occurrence of switch related corrosion warranty costs. At present Pioneer are installing VeeConnect on boats of more than 18 feet but are hoping to be able to include smaller vessels in the future.