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Old 12-31-2016, 03:54 PM   #1
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Thrusters

I'm in a position to get a " really " good deal on new Stern Thrusters. Being new to larger power boating, the process of docking was always a source of anxiety in this our first year. My " unqualified " thinking is that it's much harder to bring the stern in ... than the bow. ( we have twins btw ) hence my interest in the Stern Thrusters, not to mention the ease of installation.

Would appreciate comments from experienced users of both ... Thank you in advance ... FB
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:07 PM   #2
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Either will help....

Some boats a bow thruster is more effective than a stern thruster due to rudder performance.

With twins it could be a complete toss up...with neither being important unless you lose an engine.
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex Sailor View Post
I'm in a position to get a " really " good deal on new Stern Thrusters. Being new to larger power boating, the process of docking was always a source of anxiety in this our first year. My " unqualified " thinking is that it's much harder to bring the stern in ... than the bow. ( we have twins btw ) hence my interest in the Stern Thrusters, not to mention the ease of installation.

Would appreciate comments from experienced users of both ... Thank you in advance ... FB
Make the prop-walk your friend.

Your Port engine will pull the stern of the boat to Starboard, when in reverse. Your Starboard engine will pull the stern of the boat to Port.

That is all a stern thruster could do.

Put the bow up against the dock first, get a line ashore and fastened to anything. Set the wheel to bring the stern in, put the dock-side engine in fwd, the off side engine in reverse, and in you will go.
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:17 PM   #4
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With some more time and practice, you should be able to pivot your boat around its own axis with the shifters only.

A thruster is nice to have though, and it has bailed me out on a few windy/tight occasions.

If you feel a thruster would be helpful and give you more confidence, I would vote for the bow.

The only reason I would want a stern thruster, was if I had a single engine, larger boat, and I would want both..bow and stern.
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:23 PM   #5
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If you feel you need a stern thruster, go for it. Spend 10% of the total cost on some boat handling lesson from a professional instructor. A year from now you will probably think the latter was a better investment.

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Old 12-31-2016, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex Sailor View Post
I'm in a position to get a " really " good deal on new Stern Thrusters. Being new to larger power boating, the process of docking was always a source of anxiety in this our first year. My " unqualified " thinking is that it's much harder to bring the stern in ... than the bow. ( we have twins btw ) hence my interest in the Stern Thrusters, not to mention the ease of installation.

Would appreciate comments from experienced users of both ... Thank you in advance ... FB

In our situation, twins, controlling the stern is usually easy... assuming both engines are running. Even then, I can have some control -- in at least one or the other direction.

Bow thruster would be my choice, if that project ever bubbled up to the top of my wallet.

-Chris
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:21 PM   #7
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Being on a boat with twins usually makes moving the stern a piece of cake. A good visual of how that works is to think of a shopping cart.


If you are pushing a cart and want to back straight up you would pull back equally with both hands.


If you want to back sharply to the right you would pull back only with your left hand.


If you want to pivot the cart to the left on it's axis you would pull back with the left hand and push forward with the right.


Its the same thing on a boat only you're using your hands on the shifters instead of the handles on the cart.


When I bought my first boat with twins it didn't have a thruster. It took the better part of a summer to really get the hang of moving the stern around the way I wanted it to go. At the end of that summer (using the boat a lot to practice) I had it down pretty well.


I'd suggest you do the same. Save your $$$ and spend it on fuel.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:19 PM   #8
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I`m in the "twins should handle the stern in conjunction with bowthruster" but you see boats with twins and thrusters both ends, so I`m sure it has uses,eg holding against a dock without movement fore or aft. As the stern thruster is probably an external fit it install is easy, and if you get it cheap, and are uncomfortable without one, it could be a good (but discretionary) retrofit.
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