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Old 02-16-2015, 08:45 AM   #61
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Great thread, and great info. And I get the "more experienced/shoulders/mates" thing. And, when we do get to the purchase phase, I think whether single or twins, I'd def get a thruster installed. Even in my so called "younger years" with our first trawler, there were times when I had to be very careful how I communicated instructions regarding spring line usage, especially since we were based on a river with 6+knts of current on a regular basis. I'm sure that a thruster would have taken at least some of the stress out of maneuvering.

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Old 02-16-2015, 09:38 AM   #62
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Looks like it would be more efficient down low like that than the typical stern thruster with the tube bolted to the transom just below the water line, as ours is.
Yes, with mine it is noticeably less effective when my aft mounted water tank is low and the boat is a little bow heavy.
That is usually the situation when I bring the boat to get hauled for winter.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:56 AM   #63
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And shouldn't twin-engine boaters be equally adept with one engine not working?

And thus single engine boats should be adept with no engines working?
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:09 PM   #64
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I enquired about thrusters with Sideshift in Canada. They have an agent in Sydney, called "sternFIRST", I`ll talk to them. Bet the Canadian price doubles by the time it gets retailed in Sydney.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:44 AM   #65
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Hi Bruce,
Have you considered looking on eBay uk ? We needed one for our Broom 42 in Ireland and bought an ex demo Vetus complete with tube off eBay uk for 1200 less than retail. As you can gather I've got short arms and deep pockets and make even a Tassie look generous.
I know transport adds to your cost but I'd spend time shopping around for shipping quotes, just a suggestion try sendmybag.com for a price by surface route.
I found the Sliepner & Sideshift a bit expensive. When I did the research for mine Vetus reckoned a 75kg would do the job, the one I bought(on offer) was 95kg and having been able to compare the two with the same boat hulls I'm glad I did, much more responsive especially with any current so if I were you I'd go one up from the recommended.
It may/may not be of interest but I also changed the single lever standard Morse engine/gear control to a CH 1700 Morse single lever with built in rocker switch which was originally for engine tilt/trim, I wired it to the bow thruster and gives you a truly single handed control without a separate switch panel.
I got a good deal from Parks at Hopkins Carter(commercial member) , very courteous and helpful.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:09 AM   #66
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Thanks Geoff (Irish Rover). I searched Ebay a while back, not recently, should look again. As it`s a retrofit, if I do it, the external mount simplicity appeals,and labour costs here are can be nasty.
I cycled the Kerry & Dingle bits of Ireland years ago,really enjoyed it. As an Aussie, with so much Irish origins here, I kept seeing people I thought I knew while in Dublin.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:46 AM   #67
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G'day Bruce,
You may well be right in seeing familiar faces as there's a close affinity with Australia and a lot of families travel back and forth. In Ireland the family ties stay strong.
The tube is fairly easy to fit if you mark it carefully before cutting, the rest is fairly straightforward and well within the realms of DIY.
There's a free UK online boating magazine called Motorboat Owner.co.uk if you go online you can download back issues, 2 of the issues issues cover the installation of a bow thruster.
If you have any difficulties getting back issues send an email to Claire at .the mag.
Just off thread, after the Lough Erne boat rally we're bringing our Broom 42 from Belturbet in Cavan, down the Shannon and round the Dingle peninsula en route to Dunkirk,France, small world eh !
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:24 AM   #68
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The Sideshift agent in Sydney quoted me $4761 for the kit. Is that about double the CAN price? He said while they have fitted a number of planing boats they have not done a trawler, warning there would be drag. He has fitted stern thrusters to trawlers. Said I might need 2 more batteries near the thruster unit. That will be fun to fit.
My shipwright says a tunnel supply/install will be 15K. Not sure that includes days on the hard plus the battery installation.
Can anyone comment specifically on the drag effect on their trawler?
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:37 AM   #69
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G'day Bruce,
I think the agent is taking you for a mug. To fit a stern thruster is basically 4 bolts and some wiring, he's a rip of merchant.
Are you anyway handy at all with your hands ? if you can manage this season without one why not do it on your winter lift out.
I've a son serving in the RAAF in Adelaide I'll get in touch and see if he knows any techie guys near you.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:07 PM   #70
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Hi Bruce,
I hope I'm not being a nuisance, I've just seen new Vetus bow thruster in different sizes for keen prices on EBay UK 02/03/2015 they're advertised on there by a German car/boat parts company called Lange-Carparts and they ship worldwide.
I know you favoured the Side Power but there's no harm in shopping around.
From my experience there's no appreciable drag if it's fitted correctly.
I hope you find this helpful.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:53 PM   #71
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Bruce...dunno where you are with this at this time, but here is a (local to me) ad for a Vetus. Seems the actual unit is in Guam so may be somewhat affordable to get to you..

Bow Thruster (NEW)
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:14 PM   #72
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Thanks for the replies. Geoff, it is a bowthruster, not stern, I can see that would be easy to fit.
The reason I`m checking out the external unit, apart from it being cheaper, is less disruption in the bow to fit it. I`m sure drag is no issue with a conventional tunnel set up, but with the external unit it could be a problem.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:49 PM   #73
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I kept seeing people I thought I knew while in Dublin.
Yep, Guinness will do that to you.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:17 PM   #74
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You know, I've never had twin screws. If you do, do you ever practice coming in with one engine just in neutral?

Well, we've had to dock twice in our twin-engine PNW boat with one engine out. A twin with an engine out is not a single.

Since the prop that's working is off to the side of the boat's centerline, it will yaw the boat away from the working prop. You can counter this with the rudders but at slow maneuvering speeds the rudders are not very effective.

So you have to plan your approach and docking with the yawing that's going to occur in mind. Ideally the boat will yaw in the direction you would turn it anyway to slide up against thre dock. Or you'll have wind or current to help you get to the dock if the yaw will be in a direction that will make it harder.

If the yaw is not in the direction you would like it to occur you have to plan your maneuvers to allow room for the boat to not turn as quickly as you'd like. Or not turn at all, in which case you have to come up with some other way of getting the boat into the space you need it to get into. So throwing lines to people ashore, using a stout boathook or pike pole, etc.

In two of our four come-home-on-one incidents, the problem was a partially blocked raw water intake that limited the flow of cooling water. The flow was enough to let us restart the shut-down engine as we approached our slip so we could use both engines for maneuvering.

Of the other two incidents, one shut down (on the delivery trip) was due to a coolant pump developing a leak through its seal and gasket and gradually dumping coolant into the drip pan under the engine, and the other was due to my letting an engine get a big slug of air during a fuel transfer "learning experience." So in each case, the engine could not be restarted to assist with maneuvering.

In the first incident the boat's yawing tendency was in the correct direction, In the second it wasn't but we had guests on board to fend us off the piling at the end of our dock and our slip neighbor if it became necessary. As I recall, I managed to get the boat into our slip with just a bit of warding-off assistance at the end to keep our stern quarter off the finger and piling.

To answer the quesiton, however, no, we do not practice maneuvering or docking with one engine in idle. We like to think that should we need to do it again (and I'm sure we will at some point) we have a good enough feel for how this boat responds to be able to pull it off reasonably well. Or realize we need to create a Plan B if getting to the dock we want to get to is too risky in terms of potentially damaging something.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:30 PM   #75
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To answer the quesiton, however, no, we do not practice maneuvering or docking with one engine in idle. We like to think that should we need to do it again (and I'm sure we will at some point) we have a good enough feel for how this boat responds to be able to pull it off reasonably well. Or realize we need to create a Plan B if getting to the dock we want to get to is too risky in terms of potentially damaging something.
Is this a recommendation that single-engine boat owners with bow thrusters needn't practice close-in maneuvering without the thruster?
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:09 PM   #76
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Is this a recommendation that single-engine boat owners with bow thrusters needn't practice close-in maneuvering without the thruster?
I guess it's something that's up to each boater. If one wants to know how their boat will maneuver without the use of the thruster I suppose it would be a good idea for them to find out.

The boat we chartered before buying our own boat was a single with a bow thruster. We used the thruster when we needed it and we didn't practice not using it when we thought we needed to.

The boat we bought is a twin, and while it doesn't have a bow thruster there are occasions when we wish it did. A bow thruster will let a boater, single or twin, do something it's impossible to do without a thruster and that's move the bow straight sideways without moving the stern at all. There are times when this would be nice to be able to do. Not enough to warrant the expense of having a bow thruster installed, but if the boat had come with one we'd use it if it made life easier. Since it doesn't have one we've learned (and are still learning) to maneuver with what we do have, which in the case of our PNW boat are two engines, opposed or differential thrust, rudders, inertia, and power.

Most people don't learn to drive their car with the power steering disconnected. So I guess much the same thing could be said about thrusters. If the time comes when power steering or a thruster craps out, the driver's gonna have to learn how to deal with it anyway, right? So maybe there's not really much value in practicing.

One of the reasons I think skydiving is pointless is why practice something that has to work the first time?
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:15 PM   #77
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One of the reasons I think skydiving is pointless is why practice something that has to work the first time?
Actually, it only has to 'work the first time' if you want to do it a second time . . . . .
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:20 PM   #78
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Somehow, I was able to dock my boat for the several months the thruster was out of commission.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:34 AM   #79
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BruceK.
Hi Bruce, I promised to get back to you with info my son picked up about the cost of fitting a bow thruster down in your part of the world.
He suggested you check out Sirsi Marina in Horse Shoe Cove up at Lake Macquarie, the managers name is Corey and comes recommended.
There are also good reports from yachties about work done at Newcastle Marina.
I hope this is helpful to you.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:08 AM   #80
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Thanks Geoff, I had to check if Sirsi had moved,but they are still in Pittwater, a body of water west of Palm Beach, which faces the Pacific ocean to the east. Pittwater is accessed from Broken Bay. Lake Macquarie is further north, accessed by a nasty bar with a shifting channel via the opening Swansea bridge. Newcastle is further north up the coast.
I just agreed to a berth at Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River/Broken Bay system. We are used to a swing mooring with the occasional overnight on a marina. Access looks much better than another place I was looking at so I`ll work with the twins, if it is all too hard I`ll certainly talk to the guy at Sirsi. Thanks very much for looking into it, much appreciated.
Are you permanently located in France?
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