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Old 02-01-2018, 05:50 PM   #1
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Dock Star thruster

I've seen this at the boat show, and will be giving it a go methinks. Check out the videos on the site.

https://www.dockstarthrusters.com/
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:04 PM   #2
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I noticed when they came bow into the slip they stopped the boat about half way into the slip. I'd be VERY fearful of going a bit too far into the slip and tapping that rail and thruster against the dock..
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:47 PM   #3
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True, thatís a concern for sure.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:01 PM   #4
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You will have to remove them each time you dock or someone will just remove them for you...
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:11 PM   #5
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Another valid point!
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:29 PM   #6
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It may last longer if mounted as a stern thruster.


Also - if I was making a promotional video for a thruster, I wouldn't be hitting the dock like he does at 4:50 in the video. Especially when it looks like perfectly calm water and no wind. (actually I would, but I'd do another take)
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:05 PM   #7
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Cost, no tunnel, and ease of fitting is a huge plus. Power sounds adequate.
In addition to the reservations above, would it interfere with/foul the anchor chain if left in situ? And as to the windy day exercise, the water looked unusually glassy. Would the boat need to be out of the water to fit the bow guide, not sure about that.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:24 PM   #8
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I initially was drawn due to the low initial cost. Iím not concerned running it into a dock, I usually back into things more than the other way Ďround. But I am concerned about the anchor fouling issue. With it deployed, there should be enough room for an anchor to pass by as its being retrieved, but the thruster could be ruined if a mishap occurred. Iím going to speak with Randall again tomorrow about it. A stern application for it might make mores sense.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:26 PM   #9
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They donít give the power in horse power as most thrusters. How do you compare the actual thrust to others without a comperable rating? Also in salt water even with powder coating I would be concerned about the longevity of the thruster. Are you willing to give it a fresh water washdown every time? As has been mentioned it was dead calm in the video, anything can move a boat in the video conditions. Even when they said it was windy, it was calmer than most any days here...
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:53 AM   #10
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Thruster power is often quoted in ft/lbs; the video says "up to 70lbs".
An interesting innovation is the Li batteries are part of the device.They would need a charging connection, but no external battery,which can be a significant install expense.
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Old 02-02-2018, 06:36 AM   #11
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"Cost, no tunnel, and ease of fitting is a huge plus. Power sounds adequate."

The usual Rule of thumb is 1 hp will create about 20 lbs of thrust .

Why not stow your dink outboard forward ?, a 6 hp should do about 120 lbs of thrust , with no time limits as is common for electric motors.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:33 AM   #12
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I suppose I should watch the video...Similar to one I removed from my boat. It cannot be retracted with any way on at all, it has so much resistance the support bends and it won't move. Its heavy, despite being entirely aluminum and is hard to retract with the armstrong method and won't move with any boat motion. Ugly. The aluminum mounts were tough on my boat but they had been damaged by dropping it in the water while moving or hitting the dock. My wife is an excellent dock hand but she couldn't retract it herself. Somebody turned it on while it was retracted and a propeller hit the hull and was damaged. Heavy wiring required too, plus all the normal installation fuss and a way to attach it to a glass hull.

Basically a POS. I cut it up to make supports for my windlass. If anyone wants the motors...?
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:35 PM   #13
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Another option

I have a SideShift unit. Very similar. Mounted on the stern of DeFever 39. Mounted myself while boat was in the water. Easy peasy. Saved my marriage.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:33 AM   #14
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I could see using this bow thruster, but not with the permanently mounted stainless steel bow T-track which could get damaged any number of ways.

I'd try and figure some way of quickly deploying and bracing it; probably by attaching two V shaped guides to the vertical aluminum housing (so it fits snugly to the bow) with lines coming back from the guides (perpendicular to the housing) tied off to the bow rails so the device stays in place while the thruster is working.

You're not supposed to have it deployed past five knots, so it could be dropped into place and secured while approaching a marina at the same time as deploying the fenders. Once berthed or underway again, it would be pulled aboard and put in a secure location where it also gets charged.

Sure it would add two extra steps when entering or leaving a marina but that's a small price to pay, especially when boating solo in wind and/or tidal currents.

This first iteration is pretty small at 70 pounds of thrust, but would be a game changer on our 30' boat.

Thinking seriously about this one...
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:02 AM   #15
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I talked to him again yesterday and he is going to try to address the theft issue. I looked at the pole/sailtrack assembly a little closer, there is a stop at the bottom, and a lanyard setup for raising and lowering, and the assembly is easily slid up and off for stowing and charging. He says run time is 10min. which isn’t a long time if you’re trying to hold station waiting for a lock, or clearance. But most likely for us it can help docking in the tight fairways we may encounter. It’s a startup company and the product will evolve, he’s a good guy and he’s listening. I’m going to give it a go.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:58 PM   #16
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What prevents it from getting forced up (then slam back down) when you hit a big bow wave?
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:07 PM   #17
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Sorry, too many goofy things/flaws to get me interested. Look at the jet thrusters if you have no room for a tunnel.

With respect, if you are having such issues with docking that you have to rely on that thing, something is fundamentally wrong. Maybe there is another solution?
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
What prevents it from getting forced up (then slam back down) when you hit a big bow wave?
You wouldn't have it submerged underway.

<snip>
With respect, if you are having such issues with docking that you have to rely on that thing, something is fundamentally wrong. Maybe there is another solution?
</snip>

Not really having issues per say, in the slip we're in, we have about 3-4ft left to the opposite boat when backing aft before I need to stop and throw the wheel hard starboard then do the fwd/aft walk. If my wife could stand on the bow with the remote, she could kick us out probably much sooner when we actually have the clearance forward that I can't see.

The only time I had a hard time was coming in from a storm.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:55 AM   #19
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A $100 trolling motor would do the same.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:04 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=dhmeissner;633337]You wouldn't have it submerged underway.

<snip>


Not saying that it would be submerged. I'm saying that a bow wave that washes your anchor will be trying to drive the thruster up on it's track, then it will slam back down.
What stops this? (other than taking it off and storing it while underway)
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