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Old 02-11-2017, 06:19 PM   #1
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Stern thruster, yes or no

As I'm new to this: I'm thinking of a 36' trawler. Do I need a stern thruster? I know I want a bow thruster. Right now I will be single handing. Please give me your thoughts and why. Also I want a single engine.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
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As I'm new to this: I'm thinking of a 36' trawler. Do I need a stern thruster? I know I want a bow thruster. Right now I will be single handing. Please give me your thoughts and why. Also I want a single engine.
Dale, as an owner of a similar sized boat, single engined boat, with no thrusters, I could say they are unnecessary, (with practice), but in your case, if you are going to be single-handing her quite often, and you can afford the extra, I'd say go for the both, but bow thruster as a minimum.
Bye the way, I took the liberty of correcting your 'deliberate mistake' in the thread title.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:58 PM   #3
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Start with a bow thruster.

Bet you find out that it may be enough.

If not..... adding stern thruster is much less of a fuss.

But a bow thruster will be night and day without one. Not saying they are necessary...but they can make some situations much easier.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Start with a bow thruster.

Bet you find out that it may be enough.

If not..... adding stern thruster is much less of a fuss.

But a bow thruster will be night and day without one. Not saying they are necessary...but they can make some situations much easier.
X2, I added only a bow thruster and don't find a need for a stern thruster. A big rudder and a little power moves the stern quite nicely without one. If you have "lots" of money then, yes, it could prove to be useful at times but I suggest trying it without first as others have said.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:31 PM   #5
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nop... just practice a whole day and you're gonna catch the trick... and keep 4K on your pocket..
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:44 PM   #6
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Inded like previous post mentionned it is more a nice to have. When I bought mine she had a bow thruster only... First thing I thought was ok I will add a stern one it will be easier to manage. Finally after some practice I found out that I don't need it and that even the bow one, while it may be useful, is not mandatory and with practice is becoming less and less used.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:52 PM   #7
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My bow thruster moves my stern fine because the boat rotates somewhere near its middle. Typically thrust the bow to askew the boat to counter prop walk backing out of the berth. And for instance if wanting to shift the boat to starboard, I make port rudder with propeller at idle speed and bow-thrusting to starboard.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:53 PM   #8
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Stern thruster, yes or no

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
Dale, as an owner of a similar sized boat, single engined boat, with no thrusters, I could say they are unnecessary, (with practice), but in your case, if you are going to be single-handing her quite often, and you can afford the extra, I'd say go for the both, but bow thruster as a minimum.
Bye the way, I took the liberty of correcting your 'deliberate mistake' in the thread title.


Thank you. I noticed my misspelling after posting. I also tried to correct it.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:10 PM   #9
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Our last boat was a 38' sailboat and we opted out of any thrusters at all. We did just fine 99% of the time. That last 1%? We opted to spec our new boat with both bow and stern thrusters...
Just sayin,
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:15 PM   #10
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In my past sailboat, it wasn't unusual to just sail into the berth, and never saw/expected the need for thrusters when using the auxiliary engine.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:18 PM   #11
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Dale like many modern items on boats you don't NEED a stern thruster. Some old salts will tell you you should be able to single handed bring your single screw boat along side any berth in a force nine gale with just the mearest hint of a squeak of the fenders allowed. We own a 48 foot boat with a lot of windage and have to get her into and out of a fairly tight berth. We could do it with the twins screws, but call me a wuss, the bow and stern thrusters make it a lot easier and less stressful and I use them both almost every time.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:19 PM   #12
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:39 PM   #13
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In that size range no. Just look for a left handed prop then always dock starboard side to. Goose the engine in reverse after at least a 5 second pause in neutral and voila you'll have a stern thruster.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:44 PM   #14
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In that size range no. Just look for a left handed prop then always dock starboard side to. Goose the engine in reverse after at least a 5 second pause in neutral and voila you'll have a stern thruster.
Yup...that's what I do also. Works well coming bow in anyway.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:52 PM   #15
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Part of the discussion will hinge on the boat, the rudder, and the maximum rudder angle. My boat (45' Cherubini) has a large foil rudder and after reprogramming the autopilot stop limits, can turn it 45 degrees in each direction. Simply, what that means is that I can set the rudder hard over, put the boat in gear (forward), engage the bow thruster, and have the boat go sideways with almost no forward movement. My prop and rudder are my stern thruster.

Buy the boat and learn to handle it. If you feel you need a stern thruster, you can always add it later.

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Old 02-11-2017, 08:55 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Never had either but when we had a 34' single I considered a stern thruster. Could pretty well get the nose where I wanted it but at times the stern had a mind of it's own...
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:28 PM   #17
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Already have a stern thruster, called a prop and rudder! I do like the bow thruster though for sure with a single screw. Comes in handy.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:28 PM   #18
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Greetings,
Never had either but when we had a 34' single I considered a stern thruster. Could pretty well get the nose where I wanted it but at times the stern had a mind of it's own...
Considering the operator / avatar, that's not surprising.

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Old 02-12-2017, 12:53 AM   #19
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A big YES! I was lucky when I bought my tug was in that both ends of the assistance propellers. I'm trying to learn how to use them without being, but using them is as easy doging or drive to a narrow point where the flow tease. Invest your money stern truster, hmm it saaisi a lot of different toys for your boat, but when you hit a strong windy day and you want to doging you can be satisfied that you have a stern truster and bow truster, you do not have to feel nervous to drive your place of people when watching the performance, but you can drive as the master.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:32 AM   #20
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Can`t see a reason not to have bow and stern thrusters, either may stand you in good stead often, or very occasionally.
But it`s good to be able to use the non thruster handling tools,like prop walk and power bursts. Thrusters can fail you when you need them. They may be powered by a dedicated battery, how the battery is kept charged or maintained is important.
Our maritime authority ran a campaign a year or so back, about being able to handle the boat if the thrusters went out.
You kind of raised the single vs twins question, you`ll find plenty on that in the archives by doing a search using the "search" facility tab, but if you go for thrusters both ends, that helps with handling, a major reason for preferring twins.
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