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Old 08-18-2016, 10:57 AM   #81
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I had a bow and stern thruster installed on my Mainship 390, Docking by Control did the stern. Danny did an awesome job, he really knows his stuff. Now that I have them, I wouldn't want to drive without.
Very nice. Congratulations.

I don't think I could get into many of the places I have without them.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:00 AM   #82
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I had a bow and stern thruster installed on my Mainship 390, Docking by Control did the stern. Danny did an awesome job, he really knows his stuff. Now that I have them, I wouldn't want to drive without.
+1 for Danny at Docking by Control. They performed the installation at Seabrook Shipyard in Texas. Fine work and love the C-Marine thruster he recommended for my installation.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:33 AM   #83
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To me it is a safety issue. With just me and my wife (neither one of us is exactly nimble or fleet of foot) I found that I can hold the boat against the dock while she gracefully steps off and secures the breast line... Both just make life a little safer and easier... and yes this old gal has fore and aft thrusters
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:34 PM   #84
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The issue of bow and or stern thrusters has evolved. Time was members would be criticizing having bow, let alone stern, thrusters. I see sense in them but have neither, I`d like a bowthruster, but the economics don`t work unless for sure I keep the boat long term.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:41 AM   #85
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While shopping for a GB 32 I have test driven boats with both bow and stern thrusters. Not a huge difference in manuverability, but I think the stern thruster I used shoved the stern around a bit faster than a bow thruster shoved the bow around. I have pretty much settled on a Dickson hydraulic ,stern unit for these reasons...less total cost, maybe $5 or $6K total, Much smaller hole in boat, just some bolts and hydro lines, not a 4 or 5 inch hole like the electric ones, no need for dedicated battery, maybe quieter.
My 2 cents...
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:34 AM   #86
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To me it is a safety issue. With just me and my wife (neither one of us is exactly nimble or fleet of foot) I found that I can hold the boat against the dock while she gracefully steps off and secures the breast line... Both just make life a little safer and easier... and yes this old gal has fore and aft thrusters
Precisely why we have both.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:36 AM   #87
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Precisely why we have both.
I get the need, or at least the want, of a bow thruster on smaller boats. But the NEED for a stern thruster some what baffles me.

Since all boats come with stern thrusters, in the form form of props and rudders. Especially boats with twins.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:46 AM   #88
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I get the need, or at least the want, of a bow thruster on smaller boats. But the NEED for a stern thruster some what baffles me.

Since all boats come with stern thrusters, in the form form of props and rudders. Especially boats with twins.
....I too agree that thrusters are a "degree" of making docking easier, safer, etc....

And that some actually prefer the stern thrusters.

I guess like any tool, the better you get at using it, the more it becomes natural......

I hope someday I can get back to running a boat with a thruster.....life should be getting easier, not tougher!
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:18 AM   #89
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I get the need, or at least the want, of a bow thruster on smaller boats. But the NEED for a stern thruster some what baffles me.



Since all boats come with stern thrusters, in the form form of props and rudders. Especially boats with twins.

I understand your point but....

I came from a 40' sailboat with No bow thruster. There were times when a bow thruster would have been nice, but with a big rudder and prop walk, I never even thought about a stern thruster.

Now it is different. I have a boat with a lot more windage, tiny rudder, and while it has prop walk, it isn't nearly as pronounced as the sailboat (likely because my boat is heavier with no fin keel). I still try to use the thrusters as little as possible. I want to develop my skills, and save wear on the gear. I guess I view the thrusters as an adjunct as opposed to a primary tool. However, there are simply a lot of places that I would not be able to get into without them. In those situations I use them happily.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:40 PM   #90
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...
I came from a 40' sailboat with No bow thruster. There were times when a bow thruster would have been nice, but with a big rudder and prop walk, I never even thought about a stern thruster. ...
Have a bow thruster only on my single-engine boat. Don't feel particularly handicapped without one on the stern. With judicious use, rudder and propeller can maneuver the stern, but less simply than a stern thruster.

How much complication does one want in the way of engines and motors? Twin propulsion plants, a genset, a bow thruster, auto-pilot, and a stern thruster?
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:06 PM   #91
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How much complication does one want in the way of engines and motors? Twin propulsion plants, a genset, a bow thruster, auto-pilot, and a stern thruster?
How about a Yacht Controller By the way all the mechanical complications pale in terms of wife complications if docking goes wrong... My goal is to make boating safe and fun not score points for my docking acumen...
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:28 PM   #92
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Engine RPMs

Yesterday, my engine stalled while docking head on. About 8 ft away. I was solo and no dock hand, so crash!! The engine has a stern thruster that runs off the front pully. The thruster slowed the motor to a stall. To avoid another crash, I want to raise the RPMs to 700 or 750. I am now at 650. Looking for imput on this matter Archie Bricker
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:52 PM   #93
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Bow thrusters are pretty common on new single screw boats. Stern thrusters, not so much unless the boat has both. There's probably a reason for this.


Both would be nice but given the choice of one or the other, I'll take the bow thruster.


I think for most of us, cutting two 8" diameter holes in our boat's hull, having them line up and making a permanent watertight seal is beyond our DIY capabilities. I suggest finding a company that specializes in bow thrusters and installation. They will know what is best for your boat and they won't be installing one for the first time.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:54 PM   #94
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Have a bow thruster only on my single-engine boat. Don't feel particularly handicapped without one on the stern. With judicious use, rudder and propeller can maneuver the stern, but less simply than a stern thruster.

How much complication does one want in the way of engines and motors? Twin propulsion plants, a genset, a bow thruster, auto-pilot, and a stern thruster?
That is great that you can handle your boat without need of a stern thruster. I can to, as long as I limit where I try to dock. I don't want to limit myself that much however. I am sure that if I was better at handling my boat, I would have no need of a stern, or bow thruster.

Here is a spot I wedged myself into on my last trip. Langley WA. This is roughly the configuration of boats that were there when I went in. The yellow arrow points to the slip that was open. I added the boats to the google image that were there when we arrived and left. I am not good enough to squeeze into that space without bow and stern thrusters. As it was, everyone there on the dock was very, very nervous when it became evident as to where I was headed. BTW, it wasn't my choice, but where the warfinger directed me as it was the only empty slip in the small harbor and I think I was as nervous as any of the onlookers.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:58 PM   #95
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The charter captain I worked for always advised to never approach a dock faster than you are willing to hit it. Once day we came up the creek, turned hard to starboard to line up for reversing into our slip, when he shifted into reverse the prop said goodbye and we were powerless to avoid hitting the dock in front of us. I don't recall if the prop nut backed off or we snapped the shaft, I believe the shaft snapped just behind the cutlass bearing but there hadn't been the least bit of vibration. Fortunately most Chesapeake deadrises have huge rudders and he was able to avoid hitting any boats and just hit the dock itself. Really powerless feeling to ride 46' of boat headlong into a dock.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #96
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For years spring lines were the thrusters of today.

Does't make them better, but serviceable if you get familiar with them.

Does it make thing safer? Absolutely if trying to do things with a boat you and your crew otherwise couldnt.

Does the average boater need them to cruise or loop? Really debatable as there are some variables.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:04 PM   #97
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The charter captain I worked for always advised to never approach a dock faster than you are willing to hit it...........
That advice gets passed around a lot but you have to balance your speed with the ability to control the boat. Wind and/or current can get you and unlike parking a car at Walmart, you can't just stop and figure out what to do next.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:16 PM   #98
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The trouble with teaching "never" use more power than willing to hit the dock...is that breeds timidity when often a tad more power will keep you from hitting everything else in sight.

Often new boaters wind up hitting so many things that they give up, hard,y use their boats and eventually get out of boating from embarrasment.

If having trouble dock g longer than usual, professional instruction often pays big dividends.

If you use that argument about speed, the same argument can be used to avoid single engines in general and thrusters for docking.

Docking involves some risks. If the unavoidable happens, and the results might involve serious issues and the risks can't be managed....find a different dock or docking conditions.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:16 PM   #99
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That advice gets passed around a lot but you have to balance your speed with the ability to control the boat. Wind and/or current can get you and unlike parking a car at Walmart, you can't just stop and figure out what to do next.
I agree, you have no control at a standstill, it was just a funny example of how sometimes things are beyond your control. His advice was given in an environment of show boating (bad pun) where some charter captains are still reversing at 6-7 knots when the transom passes between the poles. I've heard of shift linkage failures sending 20 tons of boat backwards into a dock packed with onlookers waiting to see the day's catch (something I never experienced thankfully).
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:25 PM   #100
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dhaves, I could dock there successfully but could not single-handedly extract my starboard-walk boat in that situation shown in #94. My shorter boat is less demanding.
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