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Old 03-14-2012, 06:13 AM   #1
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Electric bow thruster batteries?

Our boat has a Vetus*electric bow thruster powered off the house deep cycle battery bank via a 15' (guesstimate) cable.* This does not seem a very efficient set up.* Wouldn't starter type batteries be more suited for the application? If so, how do you size the batery bank?* Thinking about building a separate battery bank just for the thruster closer to the motor.


-- Edited by glennwhiskey on Wednesday 14th of March 2012 01:52:59 PM
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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RE: Elecric bow thruster batteries?

That's pretty much how mine is set up. Not the most efficient perhaps, but it works fine.

Some folks think the bow thruster should be connected to the starting batteries. I'm not going to change mine though.

If you install batteries closer to0 the thruster, you have to be concerned with hydrogen gas and possible leakage from the batteries unless you go with sealed AGM batteries.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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RE: Elecric bow thruster batteries?

Rather than run huge cables a long way in the boat, I set up a battery bank under the forward berth with their own charger. They saved my butt once when my house and start banks went dead at an anchorage. I used AGMs. You'd need to get the specs / recommendations for your thruster to size the bank. Don't need too much extra capacity, since it'll overheat and shut off after a time.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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RE: Elecric bow thruster batteries?

My bow thruster was originally tied to an 8D starting battery. Some years later, I switched to a group 31 that still does both. I also have about a 12' run of cable. I really don't know why I would need to change the setup.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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RE: Elecric bow thruster batteries?

To size a battery bank, you have to multiple the amps by the estimate time it will be used.* I dont think a start battery is going to make a difference as its the bow thruster amp draw and is long as the amp draw is the same the kind of battery should not a make difference.*
*
Deep cycle is usually used because some boaters use there bow thrust sever hours.* **Like going though locks, under bridges, maneuvering. **So most are concern about total amps of the battery bank rather then the maximum canking amps.* Usually the amp demand/used is great than can be recharged.
*
It seems the bigger the boat the more they have a separate battery bank for the thruster close to the thrust as the cable run becomes quite long. *Many have the battery bank under the bow state room bed. for the Eagle*it would be 40+ ft.*
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:33 PM   #6
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Vetus has some terrific technical data available on their website. Their catalogue also discusses battery cable runs, sizes and batteries.

USA

I'm using the Vetus 285 (21hp, 48V) unit as a bow thruster with perfect results. After doing a lot of research, I upsized 2 larger than was specified and am glad I did.

The 24V bank is made up of 4 dedicated AGM batteries and a charger bank mounted under the v-berth, along with the wireless remote panel and assorted other components.

I'm thrilled with the results.

I hate putting holes in her, but this was a BIG one!!


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Old 03-31-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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External Mount Thruster

Anyone got an opinion of this? I am thinking it may stick down too far and there is a risk of striking it near shorelines but looks like less work and faster to install.

Yacht Thruster - Bow and Stern Thrusters Applications
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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Seems like an accident waiting to happen to me!
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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I've got a 24-volt bow thruster with the electricity coming from the house batteries located about 12 feet from the thruster. No problem, but then I only use the thruster during close-quarters maneuvering, as when dual-engined boats operate their propellers in opposite directions. (I'm amazed how much thrust/power these little propellers have in "spinning" the boat.)

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Old 03-31-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Two fellow boaters have installed stern thrusters, transom mount, in the last two years and they love them on their single screw boats. Granted a bow thruster would have been best but regardless , the stern thrusters do an admirable job helping. Space and cost precluded the bow thrusters.
I don't know the mfgr.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Breeze NL View Post
Anyone got an opinion of this? I am thinking it may stick down too far and there is a risk of striking it near shorelines but looks like less work and faster to install.

Yacht Thruster - Bow and Stern Thrusters Applications
Not a bad solution for a stern application but I would be very concerned having that on my bow.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:21 AM   #12
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Just for information , could folks with electric bow thrusters look in Da Book and tell us how many seconds of on time / cooling time the mfg suggests?

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Old 04-01-2012, 10:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Just for information , could folks with electric bow thrusters look in Da Book and tell us how many seconds of on time / cooling time the mfg suggests?

FF
We have Side-Power bow and stern thrusters. The manual says:

"The maximum continued usage time of the electrical thruster is
approximately 3 minutes. The electromotor has a built in thermal
cut-off switch that will shut off the electromotor if it is overheating
and re-engage it when it has cooled down some. This should be
considered when planning your maneuvering.

This also means that the thruster will limit its total running time per
time period so that you can not count on the thruster to hold you
in a current and side wind for extensive time periods. Depending
on the surrounding temperatures etc. the thruster will be able to
run approximately 10 % of the time."

For what it's worth, (and knock on wood) by following the rules of not running them for too long at a time, our thrusters have never failed us!
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:10 AM   #14
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Bow Thruster

I was very glad to find this topic. If I have already asked this of you all, I apologize. I just received my SidePower thruster from IMTRA, it is 24v as well as the Lofrans windlass. My plan, (and this is where I need help) is to run both windlass and thruster from a bank of AGMs mounted in stbd v-berth which is huge and very deep. The dedicated battery charger will also be located there and the control box. I have been told that AGMs do not off-gas hydrogen so it would be alright to install them in a "living space". Does everybody agree with this? The manufacturer says the thruster is certified for 3 minutes of continuous use at full power. (power is metered)
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:30 AM   #15
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Our bow thruster is powered by a 12v. 8D gel battery located below the floor of our forward cabin.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:49 AM   #16
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I have been told that AGMs do not off-gas hydrogen so it would be alright to install them in a "living space". Does everybody agree with this?

Cant speak for "everybody" but I would have no problem with this.

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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I've had two under my berth for about 8 years with no problems.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:00 PM   #18
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I too have a 24 volt bow thruster and windlass that I drive off a pair off AGM 8Ds, currently tucked under my bow stateroom. Those batteries have been there a long time with their own charging system and love the location and performance. Just not looking forward to the day I need to lift them out of the hole. Good luck
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:47 AM   #19
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Just not looking forward to the day I need to lift them out of the hole.

True but the weight of lead is what does the work.

Doesn't your dock have younger boaters that need a beer?

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Old 04-12-2012, 06:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Doesn't your dock have younger boaters that need a beer?

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