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Old 06-20-2016, 08:37 PM   #1
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bow thruster question

I have a main ship 34 and just had it pulled for the bottm paint. Like a fool I did not do my home work and desperatly need a bow thruster, Does any one know of a modle that can be installed at the dock? It seems like I remember seeing a modle that flipped down from above the water line at last years miami boat show?
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:28 PM   #2
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Check out this, if you are interested in an external mount thruster "EX Turn"
EX Series - Side-Power

I do not own one (and have no connection to the company). But I remembered this from looking at the promotional stuff a year ago. I do not have a trawler yet, but have done some reading on the subject as I hope to have one in the future.

The selling point for this product is the ease of installation.

Others here can advise you on the ones they like or use or opinions.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:56 PM   #3
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Check out this, if you are interested in an external mount thruster "EX Turn"
EX Series - Side-Power
.
"Easy" installation but not exactly meant for in-the-water

I have seen a stern thruster in a recent post that mounted to the swim platform... may lend itself to in-water installation??

Try a search?

Couldn't find the post quickly but I think this was the unit referenced - looks like it could be done in-water.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:48 PM   #4
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While the EXTURN is not the solution for everyone, I find it appealing for several reasons. This video explains several key points:


There is a Youtube video showing the EXTURN Installation (which is out of the water) and it appears simple enough for most people to do the installation themselves. This looks like something I would tackle.


And here is another video showing the product in use on several boats in the water.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
"Easy" installation but not exactly meant for in-the-water

I have seen a stern thruster in a recent post that mounted to the swim platform... may lend itself to in-water installation??

Try a search?

Couldn't find the post quickly but I think this was the unit referenced - looks like it could be done in-water.
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I looked at this product too, and read their lit.

I think it has some good points too. One thing I noticed is that it can be installed with the boat IN the water and the unit can later be moved to another boat (unlike the built-in tunnel units). The EXTURN could be moved too, but would simply require the filling of the three holes below the waterline (not such a big deal to people used to filling transducer and throughull holes in boats).

One thing about the Sideshift that is unclear to me, and that is the amount of drag it would have while in the water. The photos I saw look like something that would be a drag burden if kept underwater.

The other thing is that it is meant to be mounted at the STERN of a boat (the lit says mounted on a vertical transom or swim platform with horizontal surface).

So, different products trying to solve the same problem (side thrust on a boat).
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:59 PM   #6
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I also would suggest that you consider an Exturn. However, if the problem is that your boat has already been splashed I think you are going to have to bite the bullet and have it hauled out again.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:01 AM   #7
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Give some thought as to whether or not an external mount unit at the bow would be a drag on resale. It would certainly be an oddball that would need to be explained and you might end up paying to have it removed and the hull repaired.

Thus you might be better off hauling out and putting in a standard tunnel model.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:19 AM   #8
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.......you might be better off hauling out and putting in a standard tunnel model.
You say that you "desperately" need a bow thruster yet you are looking for a cheap way out! Bite the bullet and do it the right way! Pull the boat and install a tunnel unit....you'll never regret it.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:35 AM   #9
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Surely the cost of a haul-out is pretty modest relative to the cost of a bow thruster?? Why not take your time researching the best option for your boat and then buy it at the best possible price....apply the savings to the haul out to inistall.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:43 AM   #10
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My father's 86' Mainship 34 III has a sideshift stern thruster that was mounted by the previous owner. If you find yourself in the Southern Maryland area you could try it out. It was mounted on the transom below the water line but could be mounted on a sturdy swim platform. When my father bought the boat last fall, the swim platform was in poor shape (fixed now) and was likely already degraded when the thruster was installed so that may be the reason it was mounted on the transom instead. His boat does not have a bow thruster, the stern thruster does provide similar help in turning in tight spaces and backing into a slip, it does not provide the same control of the bow when the wind or current is catching it or you want to slide into a dock.


Side shift does have a bow mounted unit that can be installed with the boat in the water, it does not flip down like the houseboat units (that sideshift also makes). The mounting bolts are all above the waterline and the unit is just below the surface.


I avoid using the thruster but my father really likes it for backing into a slip and in tight situations. You might consider hiring a instructor to come out on your boat and coach you up on using the back and fill technique to maneuver the boat as is. The boat has lived it's entire life so far without a thruster and could probably make it through another season.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:36 AM   #11
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First, back up a moment to the desperately need a bow thruster on a 34' Mainship. Are you sure you don't just need a little training?

Now, assuming you need one, don't take the easy way out. There have been many external types, but how many people do you know actually using them? Work great in theory, but I prefer to know more about how something works in extensive practice and use.

I'd either go no thrusters or go the traditional route. Having to have the boat hauled to install is to me a completely non issue. It's such a small cost compared to the other costs.
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:44 PM   #12
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I don't have a bow or stern thruster on any of my current boats.
But my friends yacht (not a trawler) has both and its awesome.
When i buy a trawler it will have both.
Even once you are docked just let both run and hold you against the dock and casually tie up, then shut down.
Docking his 85 foot Son ship is easier than docking any other boat i have been on.
My Sea hunter 37' had a bow thruster, and man i was easy to dock to even with no stern thruster.
Just as handy for undocking when idiots tie up wayyyy too close and leave you no room.
Or fishing to swing around as you fight a 200 pounder.
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:37 PM   #13
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Millard, is the concern with a haul out one of cost, or as I suspect now that I have thought about it, one of scheduling. I suppose that the boatyards could be scheduled out quite a ways this time of year.

I like the Exturn pod and know some sailboat owners that have them and are very happy. However, you still need to haul out to install it. I would not go with any type that don't need a thru-hull connection.

If scheduling is the issue, I would forgo the thruster this season and have it installed at the end of your season. A thruster would be nice, but a 34' boat should be able to be handled under most circumstances without it.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #14
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I put 2000hrs over 6 yrs on my 82 34 Mk1 Mainship before I purchased my current boat. It was my first inboard. I too wanted one, but the cost would have been 25% of the total boat, likely not recouped in resale. The boat was already decades old, and no one else had installed. Figured I was missing something. Then I learned to drive the boat. Never looked back. Learn about prop walk, learn what the boat will and wont do. Never try to make it do something it wont. Hire a captain to instruct, it will be cheaper, and give you more experience in the long run. FYI, current boat is single with no thruster.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:14 PM   #15
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First, back up a moment to the desperately need a bow thruster on a 34' Mainship. Are you sure you don't just need a little training?

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Old 06-21-2016, 09:24 PM   #16
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Never had a boat with a thruster although it would be nice to have. Had a single engine GB 36 for 15 years without a thruster and never missed having it.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:21 PM   #17
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I researched the Exturn a while back. One issue was drag on non planing boats, like trawlers, which do not raise the unit out of the water in normal operation. I wondered if the traditional tunnel might also cause drag or turbulence or some other drag on movement.
As to installation cost, because the unit bolts on externally, there is no cutting a large hole across the bow with all that entails, no glassing in a tunnel for the propellers, probably requiring several days out of the water.
Figured I could get by without one so never made a choice.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:25 PM   #18
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The Exturn is pretty popular with sailboaters. The idea is that it provides maybe even less drag that the tradition tunnel. The other advantage is that it is lower in the water than a tunnel, so less potential problems with cavitation or sucking up surface scum.

Again, I have never owned one and have a tunnel bow thruster now that I really, REALLY like.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:26 PM   #19
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I researched the Exturn a while back. One issue was drag on non planing boats, like trawlers, which do not raise the unit out of the water in normal operation. I wondered if the traditional tunnel might also cause drag or turbulence or some other drag on movement.
As to installation cost, because the unit bolts on externally, there is no cutting a large hole across the bow with all that entails, no glassing in a tunnel for the propellers, probably requiring several days out of the water.
Figured I could get by without one so never made a choice.
I'm a huge fan of thrusters. Even if I ordered a boat in the 35' range new, I'd get them. However, if I had a boat in that range or was buying a used boat in that range, then I would not go through what it takes in work or cost to add them.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:32 PM   #20
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Again, I have never owned one and have a tunnel bow thruster now that I really, REALLY like.
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