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Old 07-17-2015, 12:56 PM   #1
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Using one's thruster

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Originally Posted by Xsbank View Post
Also, kudos that you can [Wxx3] operate the boat without the bow thruster. As you found out, they seem to fail a lot and then the operator (not you) discovers that he doesn't know how to operate a single without it.
..
How many with twins practice docking with only one engine for the time when only one is available? I believe boaters should know how to operate with only one engine or busted thruster, but why not usually use what you've got?

We use/test the thruster on every outing.

(During the first year of ownership, the thruster was inoperable for several months due to a short. Regardless, we still successfully operated the single-engine boat.)
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:26 PM   #2
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Mark--- We've had to dock our boat three times with one engine shut down. It takes a bit of planning and understanding how the boat responds with just the one prop turning but it's not that big of a deal in our experience. In our own slip we sometimes do our final approach and "landing" using only one prop even though both engines are running. Other times we will use both props if the wind or current or both warrant it.

Docking on one is not something we practice, however. I think we've had enough experience with the boat to know how it responds at maneuvering speed to differential thrust, or thrust, forward and reverse, from just one prop. So if we're faced with having to dock or pick up a mooring with just one engine operating I like to think that what we know of our boat's handling and intertia characteristics would let us figure out the best approach.

However I agree with your postion that if you have a thruster and/or two engines, use them. I think it's smart to know how a boat handles when the thruster or one engine in a twin is inoperable but I'm not sure it's something one has to regularly practice. Once you know how the boat reacts, you know. From then on I say use all the tools available to accomplish what you need to accomplish.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:03 PM   #3
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We have hydraulic thrusters with ptos on both engines so we pretty much always dock using a single engine regardless of whether we need the thrusters or not.


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Old 07-17-2015, 04:39 PM   #4
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My thruster had issues (very short duty cycle) when I purchased the boat. Therefore, I didn't use it when it was critical for fear of failure. Became very good with my single screw and huge rudder. Looking forward to having a reliable thruster after the refit. If you have a thruster and single screw, you should be able to operate your boat without the thruster. If you have twins, you should be able to operate on one engine (otherwise what's the point of having 2). Practice is the only way to know you are still proficient with a skill.

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Old 07-17-2015, 07:03 PM   #5
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I ran my boat for two years after I built it, with no thruster. Got pickled a few times, but learned fast. Had to!!

One lesson I found there: Just because you build something, it does not mean you know how to drive it. I guess that's why aircraft builders use test pilots and not engineers!!

Now with the thruster, I try to maneuver without it to keep me sharp.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:13 PM   #6
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I don't apologize for using the thruster. Haven't heard apologies from those with twin engines using different gear and throttle settings between engines either.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:18 PM   #7
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Why would a twin owner apologize? You want us to turn one engine of and practice docking, fine. Now you turn off one engine and try it
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:22 PM   #8
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mine does not handle great with 1 engine but I have docked 4 times with one engine

and I do not have a thruster so over the past I have had some practice and in a way glad I have
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:26 PM   #9
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Now you turn off one engine and try it
Time for me to call for a tow.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:44 PM   #10
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A few months ago I had to do just that. stbd eng sucked up a plastic bag, Shut eng down & ret to dock. w/o thruster spun the boat &
backed in the slip. No one knew that it was on one engine. Pic shows fairway & boat in slip. just a few feet to spare to spin the boat. No big deal.



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Old 07-17-2015, 08:48 PM   #11
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Time for me to call for a tow.

With sails, thruster and patience you should be able to get back to the dock.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:01 AM   #12
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Two engines! Thrusters! I've got to raise my prices so I can afford these luxuries.
Seriously, anything that makes boating easier, I'm in favor of it. I think most people can get their boat into a slip or against a dock with one engine if they just don't rush it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:15 AM   #13
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Owing to a wide variety of mishaps, malfunctions and failures, I've docked my ship on one engine about as many times as I have with two. At this point I assume one of my engines will cut out for some reason, then when it doesn't, it's a pleasant surprise. The joys of old boat ownership.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:36 AM   #14
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Agree! It is the unexpected failure that is difficult/challenging.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:40 AM   #15
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With a single, and no thruster, no practicing is required, although I suppose I could try under sail alone if conditions were right.









I did have an engine failure once (starter motor while in the lock) on a dead calm day, so sails were useless.


I managed to safely make it to a nearby dock by using the emergency tiller and sculling with the rudder. There was little risk of damage during the precise docking maneuver while traveling at the great speed of about 0.02 knots per hour, as I had plenty of time to plan it out. My arm was getting a bit sore at the end, but no casualties.
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