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Old 04-15-2015, 08:55 PM   #21
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Starside--- Regarding your long, narrow slip with limited clearance on each side, my solution to that--- and you may well have already thought of and done this--- is lots of fenders. While our slip is quite wide and there is enough room between us and the sailboat we share it with to park another boat, we still put out two very large fenders on the sailboat side "just in case."

If you eventually decide that a bow thruster would be something you'd really like to have but have reservations about putting one in your wood hull, I suggest expressing your concern to the Grand Banks Owners Association grandbanksowners.com The reason I recommend this is that there are people on that forum who have installed, or have had installed, bow thrusters in their GB woodies.

This can work just fine but the technique is somewhat different than simply boring a big hole through the front end of a fiberglass hull. There are former yard owners and shipwrights on that forum, to say nothing of individual owners with woodies who've had this done, who can at least give you the kinds of things you'll want to make sure anyone who installs a bow thruster in your hull knows how to do.

In the meantime simply getting more experience with your boat will go a long way toward giving you more confidence to deal with docking situations. And there is certainly no shame in asking for help from folks on the dock as long as you are confident that these folks will actually help you and not make matters worse through their own ignorance of what needs to happen.

Operating a boat is no different than playing a musical instrument, playing tennis, or writing. The more you practice the better you'll get.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:41 PM   #22
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Thanks, Marin!

Funny re fenders, b/c I just ordered 4 really big ones! I figure if push came to shove, I'd line my boat with them.

Thanks for the tip re the Grand Banks forum. My wooden hull is an issue, and after my restoration, I wouldn't want to punch holes in her. Granted, I'm glassed below the waterline, so that may offer some protection, but still, I'll be careful with any decision I make relating to her hull integrity. Again, I've taken great care with her restoration, and I won't do anything to compromise that.

I'm happy to see so many lone captains out there who have responded here. I suspect as a lone novice, I'm probably a bit paranoid. I can't help but to wonder how long it takes to get comfortable docking without a crew...

Last year, I tried practicing with a life jacket in the water, but it was windy and the tide was coming in, so it didn't work so well. I also practiced around moorings, but I struggled with it.

My big accomplishment was crossing the Bay from Galesville to St. Mike's -it was a 4 hour trip, and I manually plotted my course and only used my compass for navigation. I was very proud of that...until I tried to dock! Then coming home in 3' swells, which became 6' when tankards crossed my path. I was on a roller coaster ride! Then when I got to home dock, my stuffing box was gushing water and I started sinking! I had to haul her out and she's been on the hard ever since. Obviously, Starside gave me a big scare - and certainly an education for my maiden voyage, which is probably why I'm a bit nervous around her...but I'm up for the task! Practice makes perfect, eh? and experience IS the best teacher.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:49 PM   #23
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JD, I recently talked to an external fit thruster supplier here, they fitted a number of stern ones to trawlers, but not bow, as drag would be an issue unless the bow lifts the thruster above the water while on the plane. We all know how likely that is on trawlers.
I just moved from a swing mooring to a marina and share your concerns, it takes some getting used to, the advice you are getting is very useful. The neighbours can be very helpful, if only for self preservation.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:50 AM   #24
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I have a bow thruster on my boat. As others have suggested, I use the rudder and prop wash as my stern thruster. So far that seems to be working out. My boat loses interest in turning at all under about 2kt. She's full keeled and 80,000lb - unless the propeller is turning she pretty much goes in a straight line whatever you do with rudder. The bow thruster is very useful for any tight turns at low speeds. It's a 27hp hydraulic thruster, but even with that power it takes a while to get the bow moving.



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Old 04-16-2015, 12:55 AM   #25
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... My boat loses interest in turning at all under about 2kt. She's full keeled and 80,000lb - unless the propeller is turning she pretty much goes in a straight line whatever you do with rudder. The ...bow thruster is very useful for any tight turns at low speeds. ...
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:13 AM   #26
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...
Funny re fenders, b/c I just ordered 4 really big ones! I figure if push came to shove, I'd line my boat with them. ...
Some people believe I deploy too many fenders. I think not.

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Old 04-16-2015, 08:08 AM   #27
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First, I do plan on taking the operating course, so I don't plan to do anything until after I've developed some confidence with docking. However, I cruised last year and found that docking stressed me out so much, that I became anxious before each cruise. In fact, during the classic boat show in St. Michaels, I embarrassed myself quite spectacularly.

Second, my slip is covered which limits where I can dock, and my slip is narrow and 60' long (I'm 27'). Thus, I have very little room on either side, but a long narrow stretch to get through. It doesn't help that one of the pilings is missing on the end, so I have to avoid a corner pier that I keep narrowly missing whenever I come in/out of the slip. That also makes me very anxious.

Third, I hate always having to ask for dock assistance everytime I cruise, but I recognize that could just be lack of experience/confidence...
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Funny re fenders, b/c I just ordered 4 really big ones! I figure if push came to shove, I'd line my boat with them.

Last year, I tried practicing with a life jacket in the water, but it was windy and the tide was coming in, so it didn't work so well. I also practiced around moorings, but I struggled with it.

Even more fenders than that are usually cheaper than machinery, batteries, etc. More on each side might be even better, iven if you have to get a few of the deflate-for-storage/inflate-when-you-need-them types. And perhaps you can install some kind of dock bumper where that jagged pier-end is.

I could probably help with lessons, if you like. There are several useful empty target slips and piers around Galeseville for practicing.

-Chris
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:29 AM   #28
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Even more fenders than that are usually cheaper than machinery, batteries, etc. More on each side might be even better, iven if you have to get a few of the deflate-for-storage/inflate-when-you-need-them types. And perhaps you can install some kind of dock bumper where that jagged pier-end is.

I could probably help with lessons, if you like. There are several useful empty target slips and piers around Galeseville for practicing.

-Chris

I'll take you up on those lessons! I need them. My boat is at the yard til mid-May, after which you will see me all over Galesville practicing...

Good point re fenders. I got 4 big ones but think I need more!
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:31 AM   #29
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Some people believe I deploy too many fenders. I think not.


Love it! LOL
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:30 AM   #30
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Some people believe I deploy too many fenders. I think not.
No, you have too many, Mark! All you need now is a "clown" to go with all those balloons. (Just kidding!)
Most people put a lot of fenders at their bow where they're really ineffective. (IMO)
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:58 AM   #31
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Bow or Stern thrusters?

Our twin propped AMS came with a bow thruster.

We use our thruster only seldom but it makes maneuvering so much easier if it gets tight.

Of course can an experienced helmsman do almost every maneuver just using prop and rudder.
Might be we aren't experienced enough but we don't want to miss the thruster...


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Old 04-17-2015, 02:18 PM   #32
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No, you have too many, Mark! All you need now is a "clown" to go with all those balloons. (Just kidding!)
Most people put a lot of fenders at their bow where they're really ineffective. (IMO)
My round bow and stern fenders are for when approaching/leaving a dock at an oblique angle. Since the photo was taken, I moved the stern fenders closer toward the stern.
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Old 04-17-2015, 03:12 PM   #33
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From a practical point of view

Installing a bow thruster in your wooden hull, while not impossible is impractical. This the area where your planking is under the greatest stress and your bow stem and keel join, usually with a knee. I wouldn't do it on my boat. A bolt on stern thruster however has it's benefits compensating for prop walk in reverse. I have had some experience using a single with a stern thruster and given a choice of only one thruster on a single I would take this route. I had a bow thruster on my last boat and found it of limited use. My current boat weighs 66,000lb without thruster on either end and I have no desire for a thruster.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:43 PM   #34
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Congratulations on your classic restoration, Starside.

This is just my way of looking at it, but enjoying the adventure of getting to know your boat and learning how she responds in a variety of new situations is more important than endless introspection on how you handled it last time.

Or worse, how the dock audience think you handled it.

In the marina bumps and scratches and minor embarrassments are inevitable and common to all skippers whatever their experience. I would urge you to keep practising and learn the difficult manoeuvring stuff with the boat as is before making any decisions about modifications.

Finally, after you are totally comfortable with your boat and have a feeling for what you actually must have or might like, bow thrusters on timber boats (like mine) are entirely practical if correctly installed by an experienced timber shipwright.

As always, beware of advice that speaks in absolutes.

Not much is absolute on the water and I reckon that knowing your boat and staying flexible in your attitude is the path to maximum enjoyment.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:54 PM   #35
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Thank you, Eagle.
Excellent advice!
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:06 PM   #36
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Provided you keep it constructive (not always easy),while you work out what went wrong last time so as not to repeat it, could make next time better.
I recall Starside has an unusually long reverse between parked boats, I`m thinking an early move to stern thrusters could be best. But, new to marinas from a swing mooring, I`m on a learning curve too and very interested in advice.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:53 PM   #37
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I have had boats without thrusters and my current boat with a bow thruster. If both bow and stern thrusters is as much better than no thruster to having just a bow thruster, I am not sure I could stand bow and stern thrusters, as I would have a permeant smile on my face.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:45 AM   #38
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Anyone have any data on how much drag a bow thruster adds to a displacement hull?

Understandably it depends....but anyone add o e and notice a speed per rpm diff?

I never have read of a negative so I am guessing either too low to notice or too low to care.

Low speeds require power bursts to turn many boats of all shapes and sizes.....
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:06 AM   #39
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Anyone have any data on how much drag a bow thruster adds to a displacement hull?

Understandably it depends....but anyone add o e and notice a speed per rpm diff?

I never have read of a negative so I am guessing either too low to notice or too low to care.

Low speeds require power bursts to turn many boats of all shapes and sizes.....
No, I have not seen any scientific data on this but I have seen estimates as high as half a knot for the tunnel type bow thrusters at cruise speed on a displacement hull. A planing boat might lift the thruster out of the water eliminating drag. The argument for retractable bow thrusters is it minimizes drag. Would be surprised if any thruster manufacturer really wants to fess up to drag.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:13 PM   #40
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Anyone have any data on how much drag a bow thruster adds to a displacement hull?

Understandably it depends....but anyone add o e and notice a speed per rpm diff?

I never have read of a negative so I am guessing either too low to notice or too low to care.

Low speeds require power bursts to turn many boats of all shapes and sizes.....
We had our old 43 ft'er for 5 years before we added a bow thruster. We did not notice any performance difference. And that was a light boat, I would have expected if there was a difference to notice, it would have shown up.
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