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Old 09-08-2019, 04:31 AM   #1
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Bow Thruster for CHB (Clipper 34)

Hi All. (Re-posting to correct group - Oops!)


Had my Clipper for almost 12 months now and am convinced I will benefit greatly if she was fitted with a Bow Thruster (BT). I have followed a few discussions on both Bow and Stern Thrusters and I believe that the BT is the way to go for me. I normally have quite a bit of trouble getting her into her marina berth.

My question(s) at this stage are reasonably simple (although the answer(s) may not be of course) viz:
  1. Is it possible to fit a BT to a Clipper 34?
  2. Where does it fit (exactly I mean)?
  3. Is there a preferred "type/size" of BT for the Clipper ?
  4. Is there something else that I should be asking etc?
Please help.


Thanks in advance

Ian
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:07 AM   #2
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Ian, Your stress levels will certainly drop after installing a thruster. Should have no trouble fitting one in your boat. Fit it as far forward and as low as possible, Try and go one size higher than recommended for your boat weight. Suggest get a pro to fit it, not too expensive here in Oz. I have costings for the work on my boat if it helps, on a file at the boat.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:41 PM   #3
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Thanks Auskiwi.

Seems that I am on the right track. I am hoping do to some research on the brand and size etc so that I can understand what might be suggested.
I got some brochures from Vetus at the Sydney boat show recently and have had preliminary discussions only with other cruisers.

Not sure where it might be placed but found a buoyancy tank (filled with foam) well forward but not sure if it will fit there. I am keen not to lose any more space than I have to of course.
I have a wide variation of costings in my head at this early stage so any help in that department will be appreciated.

My son is a Lecco so that will help with installation and I have a "Fitting & Turning" background with some fibreglassing experience which may also be useful.

I understand the benefit of professional help so am prepared for the $$ side etc.
Thanks for the interest so far.


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Old 09-09-2019, 08:11 PM   #4
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I installed a Side Power stern thruster 2 years ago. I donít have room for a tunnel in the bow. I will at some point install a bow thruster but it will be an Exturn pod thruster. It is pretty simple to install, one large hole and a couple of small holes and it hangs under the keel.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:22 PM   #5
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I toyed with fitting one, got a quote, but didn`t proceed. The issue is getting the big hole on the right place the first time, "practice holes" are only ok in small sizes.
For the hardware, take a look on ebay.au,there are Vetus and maybe other kits for sale which seem reasonably priced, though your boat show pricing may be better.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:25 PM   #6
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If I had room for a tunnel I wouldnít hesitate to install one myself. Measure several times and cut once. Find where you want the tunnel located on the inside. Tape a rare earth magnet on the inside and go outside and stick another rare earth magnet on the hull and it will find the one on the inside. Mark the spot and drill.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:39 AM   #7
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I installed a Side Power stern thruster 2 years ago. I donít have room for a tunnel in the bow. I will at some point install a bow thruster but it will be an Exturn pod thruster. It is pretty simple to install, one large hole and a couple of small holes and it hangs under the keel.
We have the Exturn bow thruster (400D)- easy install and flawless operation.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:42 PM   #8
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I also am considering adding a thruster. from the pricing I have seen it appears that a stern thruster costs less than a bow thruster, I am talking the installed price. my question is since I can only afford one, bow or stern, which one will be the most help in docking into a tight slip. anyone with experience out there to share ?
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:59 PM   #9
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Well, either one will help but a bow thruster will probably help more. Having said that if you have some DIY skills a stern thruster is simple to install so you could save a bunch of money. Basically you drill a large hole in the transom and bolt it on then wire it up. That is the short cut there is more to it but it is easy. I donít have room for a tunnel in the bow so I will eventually install an external bow thruster pod. Those are also very easy to install, see post above about them.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:13 AM   #10
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I am a coward so I had my refit guy install my Exturn but I haven't used it yet as my boat is still on the hard in the finishing stages of a new I/O Mercury engine and leg install, down to the exhaust and wiring phase.

As to the other person's question about stern or bow thruster, you already have an engine in the stern, granted it isn't as effective as a stern thruster but you do have power and some reasonable control there. So given the aforementioned, a bow thruster would be a more effective tool.

I am quoting company propaganda but supposedly there is less cavitation with the external thruster than a tunnel one, this kind of makes sense to me:

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Old 09-19-2019, 01:34 AM   #11
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Our current boat has a tunnel type bow thruster which I prefer over stern thrusters we have had in the past. Like has been previously mentioned I can push the stern over using the rudder. Being able to push the bow around with the bow thruster makes docking much easier.

Our boat is similar to yours. the tunnel is located under the V berth just aft of where the two berths come together comes together. Forward of the tunnel is the 30 gallon holding tank. I would be nervous of a external pod type bow thruster for fear of hitting something with it and knocking it loose or tearing a hole in the boat.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:58 AM   #12
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Our current boat has a tunnel type bow thruster which I prefer over stern thrusters we have had in the past. Like has been previously mentioned I can push the stern over using the rudder. Being able to push the bow around with the bow thruster makes docking much easier.

Our boat is similar to yours. the tunnel is located under the V berth just aft of where the two berths come together comes together. Forward of the tunnel is the 30 gallon holding tank. I would be nervous of a external pod type bow thruster for fear of hitting something with it and knocking it loose or tearing a hole in the boat.
The external thruster is well below the surface, so l donít worry about impacting logs or other underwater objects.

If I do hit something, itíd take a huge impact to jar the unit loose- itís very beefy in construction. Worst case- the mounting holes are only 2Ē in diameter, and I have DC plugs at the ready in that size.
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Old 09-22-2019, 04:51 PM   #13
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I had a debate about the external pod hitting a log, then I thought would I prefer it to hit the pot or my inboard outboard leg.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:09 PM   #14
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I am convinced a tunnel bow thruster is the way to go. I am having my boatyard install it. the external thrusters just seem like a nightmare waiting to happen. I do not need to add a foot to my minimum depth nor fear running it into something and rendering it useless while possibly ripping a hole in the bow. (where is the nearest haulout ? )
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:24 AM   #15
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You will love your decision once the pain of writing the check does away. With a single screw being able to push the bow around with a touch of a switch makes all the difference in docking or even tieing up to a mooring buoy when the wind or current is fighting you.

Here is a picture of our bow thruster tunnel to give you an idea of location.



And here is what the motor looks like (Lewmar 185TT)

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