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Old 02-19-2018, 08:37 PM   #1
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Bow thruster???

What is a good Bow thruster for a 34 ft Marine Trader ??? and what diameter???
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:42 PM   #2
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I put a Side Power stern thruster in my boat. So far I love it. Check the particular manufacturer recommendations as to what size to buy. First you need to pick a brand.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:26 PM   #3
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I have a Dickenson hydraulic stern thruster on my single screw ‘74 CHB. I couldn’t live without it
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:08 PM   #4
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Choose a manufacturer. See what their recommendation is. Go one size up if you can. See waht battery(s) they recommend. Go one size up if you can. See what cable size they recommend. Go one size up if you can!!!
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:10 PM   #5
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Baker's recommendations to step up a size on the thruster and the battery is spot on.


Nobody EVER said "Geesh I wish my thruster was smaller."
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoleo View Post
What is a good Bow thruster for a 34 ft Marine Trader ??? and what diameter???
The last two boats that I owned came with side power electric thrusters. The thrusters on my Carver were not powerful enough in strong wind. The thrusters on my current boat are definitely more powerful but it remains to be seen how well they work in strong wind.

I suggest doing research in to whats available and get something that works in strong wind. That's when you need them the most. I like the idea of getting what's appropriate for your size boat then go up to the next size. They have variable speed thrusters now. I don't know how useful they would be. I'm either all the way on or off. Short little bursts. I think variable thrusters would be difficult to operate but I haven't tried them yet.

Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:36 PM   #7
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Having the ability to convert my regular Side Power thruster to variable power was one of the reasons I picked Side Power. The main reason is longer run time due to reduced power level so you can set bow and stern thrusters to hold you alongside the dock while you carefully climb off the boat. As we get older it is way more important to do things carefully rather than go jumping off onto the dock. Easier to get broken bones. My wife fell almost 3 years ago, now after 3 surgeries she is scheduling a 4th to hopefully fix her shoulder. I donít have a bow thruster yet because the main water tank is in the way. I may go with a pod thruster but not sure yet if that is what I want to do.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:49 AM   #8
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Having the ability to convert my regular Side Power thruster to variable power was one of the reasons I picked Side Power. The main reason is longer run time due to reduced power level so you can set bow and stern thrusters to hold you alongside the dock while you carefully climb off the boat. As we get older it is way more important to do things carefully rather than go jumping off onto the dock. Easier to get broken bones. My wife fell almost 3 years ago, now after 3 surgeries she is scheduling a 4th to hopefully fix her shoulder. I don’t have a bow thruster yet because the main water tank is in the way. I may go with a pod thruster but not sure yet if that is what I want to do.
A guy I know hurt his shoulder while working out and had surgery. He suffered for a very long time. Said it was the most brutal healing experience. Best luck to your wife!

Can you convert any Side Power over to variable speed? I just got the remote since I one-man the boat but variable sounds like the way to go, if you can set them to hold the boat against the dock. That's pretty cool stuff!

Cheers!
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:01 AM   #9
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What wind speeds do people feel are strong for docking?

How much overpowers wimpy and better thrusters?
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
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What is a good Bow thruster for a 34 ft Marine Trader ??? and what diameter???
Assuming you're thinking DC electric...

From reading, it looks like it's useful to consider voltage (12V vs. 24V), battery (dedicated or existing house bank), battery charging (engine or charger), and battery location (somewhere, or close to the thruster) at the same time you're shopping on diameter and horsepower.

FWIW...

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Old 02-20-2018, 09:24 AM   #11
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Unless you're very brave and experience with fiberglass work, you'll be paying a company that specializes in bow thruster installation so you might as well ask for their advice.

I have a somewhat small thruster on my boat and originally thought it was too small. Over time, I have learned to use it along with the engine and rudder to make my boat go where I want it to go.

Above a certain size, bow thruster installations get pretty complicated. Higher voltages and separate batteries present problems that you're better of without if possible.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:56 PM   #12
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Dirtdoc, it is my understanding that you can retrofit any SidePower to the variable thrust.

If I had room to fit a bow thruster tube in my boat, I would do it myself. The fiberglass work isnít rocket science, cutting the holes correctly would be the most difficult part, but even that isnít that difficult just measure about 50 times before cutting.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
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What wind speeds do people feel are strong for docking?

How much overpowers wimpy and better thrusters?
It really depends on the weight of your boat and the windage. Windage is my madeup term for how much there is of your boat to act like a sail. If you have an enclosed flybridge that is going to add windage to your boat by acting like a sail. For instance, my Carver C34 had an enclosed flybridge and weighed about 18,000 lbs. any breeze above 15knts would push it all over the place and make docking (even with both thrusters) difficult. Over 20 kts and the thrusters had a hard time. My current boat doesnít have an enclosed flybridge and weighs about 40,000 lbs wet and doesnít even feel 15 knot winds. The thrusters are larger too. Unfortunately I donít know the size difference of the two systems. Iím sure Side Power will be able to guide you in properly sizing the thrusters for your boat.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:52 PM   #14
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I am purchasing the same boat and was considering adding a Sideshift. Has anyone else had any experience with them? They install on the outside of the hull instead of putting a giant hole in your boat.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:51 PM   #15
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I am purchasing the same boat and was considering adding a Sideshift. Has anyone else had any experience with them? They install on the outside of the hull instead of putting a giant hole in your boat.
Which boat are you purchasing?
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:01 PM   #16
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Marine Trader 34 Double Cabin
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:46 PM   #17
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Marine Trader 34 Double Cabin
Oh good! I thought you were buying the Carver C34. lol. I'm relieved. I'll have to check it out. My dream boat is the new Defever 46. "The grass is always greener...".
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:44 AM   #18
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No Carvers for me. They burn too much fuel and I like to travel.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:07 AM   #19
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I put a sidepower SE60 in my rather low windage, light 38 footer. It is the lowest hp that uses a 185mm tunnel. My thinking was if I found it weak, I could upgrade to a higher power unit and NOT have to change the tunnel.

Ended up pleased with its performance.

Install was not hard as when I built the hull, I left the forefoot area clear in case I wanted the thruster. Ran it a couple years and I DID want the thruster!!! (single engine).

There have been situations where wind and current overwhelmed the thruster power, but those have been rare and simply change my plans. If thruster was stronger, I might have avoided one or two change of plans in seven years of cruising. Not worth it.

The Sidepower has been without any failures so far.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:52 AM   #20
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.......... There have been situations where wind and current overwhelmed the thruster power, but those have been rare and simply change my plans. If thruster was stronger, I might have avoided one or two change of plans in seven years of cruising. .
Exactly. There's a point where a higher powered bow thruster is simply not worth it. If the wind is so strong you can't back into your slip, go bow in and turn the boat around later. Or ask the marina for an easier slip or face dock.

As Ski posted, these situations will be pretty rare.
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