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Old 12-16-2017, 08:32 PM   #1
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City: petersburg, ny
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Bow Thrusters, install and use

Will you all please share experiences with installing and or using bow and or stern thrusters? I have a 34' Marine Trader double cabin with ONE Lehman Diesel engine. I've had several boats with dual engines and naturally won't have that type of control over manuevering my boat. My boat is currently in dry in upstate NY for much cosmetic restoration. I may have it dry for the entire 2018 year, and want to get it shipshape before departing south.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:35 PM   #2
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Are you thinking of installing it yourself?
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:50 PM   #3
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I'm quite experienced mechanically but I think this may be over my head. I did some research and most every vender recommends a professional installer.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:11 PM   #4
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I would suggest you contact the maker of the thruster you want to install and get their recommendations on installers.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:14 PM   #5
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I did my own stern thruster. I did a write-up --- it is specific to an American Tug 34, but there are some things that might help. See attached PDF file.
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File Type: pdf SternThruster.pdf (2.37 MB, 46 views)
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:25 PM   #6
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I believe a stern thruster is quite a bit easier than a bow thruster.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:56 PM   #7
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I had a 38ft Marine Trader Dble Cab, it had bow and stern thrusters and was an absolute dream to manoeuvre, I have just had installed a bow thruster(85kg thrust) in my 40ft Riviera aft cabin, not too difficult, total cost aprox $Au 6600.
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:31 PM   #8
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I installed a Side Power stern thruster on my boat last winter. Very easy install but I do lots of work on my boats. I wanted a stern thruster specifically so I could bring the stern to the dock after it drifts away from the dock while I climb down from the flybridge. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined it really isnít too hard. Measure several times, cut a big hole in the transom, bolt it in and then hook up the battery and wiring. In my case the hardest part was running the control wiring up to the bridge.
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Old 12-17-2017, 01:13 AM   #9
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I installed a bow thruster in my 38' Cheeman Trawler and had no problems. I did retain the services of a person who had installed a few units to cut the holes because in my case this is the area I have the least confidence in my abilitiy to be accurate. I removed the necessary V Berth cabinetry, laid the fibreglass inside and outside, mounted the thruster assy, battery, fuse, on/off switch and the helm control. Just do lots of research via Google about fibreglassing, correct wiring practices and take your time. I saved about $2500.00 learned a lot and have the satisfaction of a job well done. If you are in a boatyard, there will be lots of people who can give you advise, some will be good and some not so good but it all helps.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:38 AM   #10
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Hi,


One aspect of your Project...

Here are two images of water flow and aperture design ideas. By rounding the mouth hole you get a lot more power from the water flow and by adding a bow to the side of the hollow, the hole will not brake your pace and increase fuel consumption. I hope you understand what I was trying to say in my bad English.

Also install own AMG battery close to the electric motor so it gets properly powered and no longer overheats or the solenoid is welded and remains rotated.




and NT bow truster hole desing
Click image for larger version

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NBs
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:27 AM   #11
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I put the bow thruster in my 38. It was not a difficult job as the fore foot area was left clear during build in case a thruster was desired.

Cutting the hole is no big deal and needed no special tools. Jigs were made using standard shop tools and hardware.

Measure carefully!! Magnets on one side of hull and iron dust on the other do a fine job of transferring measurements from inside to outside.

You want the tube low and fwd, but not so low and fwd that you can't properly glass the inside underside where tube goes through hull.

And yes, fair the hull as shown by NBS above. This will involve grinding out glass aft and building it up fwd.

No one step is difficult. But lots of steps. And be certain of your measurements.

Took me about a week as I had to wait for epoxy to cure between steps.

I used a sidepower unit. It has been reliable for several years. Put a car batt (FLA) up there and lasts about 4yrs before getting weak.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:07 AM   #12
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I simply don't like drilling holes in my boat, even topsides.

So any hole-making is done professionally!
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:19 AM   #13
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I have the 36 marine trader, single engine Mercedes. I have now thrusters. Can’t imagine not having it with a single. I had her out in the Bahamas for a bottom paint and thought maybe I’ll have them put stern thrusters. 16 Grand was the quote. I’ll stick with my bow thrusters. It’s easy to dock now that I got used to it.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:39 AM   #14
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I just put in a sidepower electric stern Thruster and they were able to wire in my hydraulic controls for the bow Thruster into the same controller. Boat is a dream to deal with now.
My install was a bit more complicated as I didnít want a bolt on type so had the full tube similar to a bow Thruster. Cost was about 25k here in Seattle.
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