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Old 08-09-2012, 07:39 AM   #21
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I would say at least 90 percent of boaters can barely handle their boats in benign conditions...throw in more than 10 knots of wind or a knot of current and they are just barely able to maneuver in tight quarters.
I don't know if the percentage is that high.... but I agree that there are boaters out there without the ability to properly handle their boats in difficult conditions. We were tied up on a face dock at a marina in New Hampshire where the current runs at about 7 knots and the tides are up to 10 feet. A cruiser tried to dock in front of us and lost control... he rammed into our bow, almost took off our pulpit and ground into us for about 10 minutes before he was able to back off. I certainly wish he had a bow thruster that day!!!!
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #22
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I don't know if the percentage is that high.... but I agree that there are boaters out there without the ability to properly handle their boats in difficult conditions. We were tied up on a face dock at a marina in New Hampshire where the current runs at about 7 knots and the tides are up to 10 feet. A cruiser tried to dock in front of us and lost control... he rammed into our bow, almost took off our pulpit and ground into us for about 10 minutes before he was able to back off. I certainly wish he had a bow thruster that day!!!!
I live at a fuel dock in a busy marina with not 7 knots but a typical 2 knots which challenges many. I would say 90% around here because there ARE so many...busy East Coast, RICH, coastal town so every inch of waterfront has docks and boats.

While your example certainly doesn't support my angle all the way...the extension is that is that you need enough SKILLS or COMMON SENSE that what happened to you never happens whether a boat has a thruster or not. All I'm saying is that many boaters with thrusters become complacent or bold as to where they try close quarter manuevering...if the the thruster's capabilities are overpowered or if it quits...then the same may occur. A single driver without a thruster and caution may never even attempt the manuever...thus never being in that situation. But if you have a thruster...your skills without it are hopefully better than the average single driver in case of the scenarios suggested.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:41 AM   #23
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the extension is that is that you need enough SKILLS or COMMON SENSE that what happened to you never happens whether a boat has a thruster or not.

Agreed..... don't know where he left his common sense that day, because it really was plain to see that his skill level didn't match the conditions...

and to make the situation sadder from our point of view, we had only recently taken possession of our 'new to us' trawler and had never even had it off the dock before its first 'accident'!
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:03 AM   #24
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Agreed..... don't know where he left his common sense that day, because it really was plain to see that his skill level didn't match the conditions...

and to make the situation sadder from our point of view, we had only recently taken possession of our 'new to us' trawler and had never even had it off the dock before its first 'accident'!
Yep..I fully support the current situation where anyone with the $$$$ can go buy a 50 footer with all the bells and whistles and go out and wreck my boat.

Even better have a forum full of experience people that help support that notion too!!!

Just kidding...I know what most of you guys mean about having a thruster and using it...I just hope we all try an stay within not only our limits and our boats...but to be thinking ahead so we never disappoint some other boater by ruining his day through our "misfortune".
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:04 PM   #25
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While I don't think it's particularly necessary for a recreational boater to practice every "engine out" scenario he can think of with his boat, I do think that he should have the common sense--- or practice having the common sense--- to recognize a situation that is beyond his (or her) limitations.

The example posted by Della Rose above is a good illustration of this. Instead of stubbornly plowing ahead with a determination to get the boat to the dock no matter what, if the boater had realized that the challenge posed this particular time by wind, current, etc. was outside his ability to handle he could have backed off at which point several options open up to him. Go to another dock that's easier to get to, think the situation through and come up with a better plan, ask for help, etc.

There is a phenomena in flying that, for want of a better term, I call "landing tunnel vision." While not limited to newer pilots, it can be quite common with that group. The two times I've come close to having an accident in an airplane were when I was a passenger with the same relatively new pilot. For a variety of reasons, he felt he was inherently safer on the ground than in the air so he was determined to make the landing work regardless of the situation. So instead of going around and trying again, which in his mind would have simply prolonged the uncertainty and even fear of remaining in the air, he was absolutely determined to put the uncertainty and fear to an end by landing the damn thing the first time no matter what it took to do it.

Sometimes it works, but sometimes the pilot can get into some very nasty situations with the extreme result being a crash or an out-of-control situation on the ground.

I think boaters do this too. They are so determined to get the boat into the slip or up to the dock and thus end this uncertain situation with current or wind or whatever that they will press on even if the situation is deteriorating rapidly.

My wife and I have a policy, perhaps as a result of our flying experience, of backing away if a docking or some other maneuver begins to look like it's not going to go the way we want it to go. We often have current and winds to deal with in our marina and while we usually get it right the first time these days, if I've misjudged the current or the wind or our speed or our rate of turn or all four, that becomes pretty apparent fairly early in the docking process. So rather than try to "fix" it, which in our case would usually put us in a position of having to fend the boat off a piling and physically force it to line up with the slip, we simply "go around"---- back away before things get bad, go back out into the turning basin, and try again.

But to do this one has to be very cognizant of their limitations and also have the ability to recognize early enough that things are not going according to plan while there is still time to back away and try again. Or return to the safety of open water and come up with a Plan B if it becomes obvious that Plan A isn't going to work today. We have gone to another slip in the marina when very strong adverse winds simply made it too difficult to get into our own slip with the boat handling skills we had at the time. And we would do it again today if we were faced with the same situation.

I have noticed through the years that nobody pays any attention to a boat that backs away from a slip, goes out into the fairway or turning basin, and comes in for another try. But EVERYBODY in the marina looks up and watches at the sounds of shouting and crunching.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:21 PM   #26
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A bow thruster is nothing more than a tool. A tool to make boat handling easier. Radar, chart plotters, depth sounders are in the same category - tools.

Some of the "old timers" take pride in doing things the hard way, while others go with the flow and the technology.

If you have or can afford a bow thruster, why not use it? What are you proving by not having or using one? Who are you proving it to?
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #27
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A bow thruster is nothing more than a tool. A tool to make boat handling easier. Radar, chart plotters, depth sounders are in the same category - tools.

Some of the "old timers" take pride in doing things the hard way, while others go with the flow and the technology.

If you have or can afford a bow thruster, why not use it? What are you proving by not having or using one? Who are you proving it to?
I'm not proving anything...just suggesting that overconfidence brought upon by overreliance on certain tools can lead to problems.

It's not an "old timer thing"....it's from a current, highly educated and trained boating instructor and professional captain who thinks having certain skills is an asset...

It's a widely accepted concept in all kinds of operations (feel free to read up on it) ....certainly is true of boating also...that's all...if you read carefully...I have said buy and use them if you want...just don't crash into me because of overconfidence or equipment failure.

Failure of a main engine is one thing...mishaps because of thrusters are much more avoidable.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #28
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I just ran accross this low priced bow thruster.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:15 PM   #29
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It seems to be installed backwards. Add more 5200.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:31 PM   #30
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I just ran accross this low priced bow thruster.

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Old 08-21-2012, 04:47 PM   #31
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I just ran accross this low priced bow thruster.
Wow, a bow thruster that is also a stabilizer. 2-in-1, like a radar/plotter combo.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:35 PM   #32
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Looks like there might be hidden costs for maintenance.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:34 PM   #33
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Am I right in assuming it runs on beer? Could get exxpensive!
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #34
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Are those proprietary flippers? Just want to make sure that the parts will be available locally.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:47 PM   #35
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Toggle switch fails

The toggle switch that controls the hydraulic fluid direction has failed on the same side twice. Going to port. It pulls in the clutch fine ,then starts to miss. Not good when docking!! New switch, tight, clean connections and starts all over. Port direction only. Any suggestion?? Archie Bricker/Remedy
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Old 08-30-2016, 05:22 PM   #36
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A useable thruster came on this CHB I bought last spring and having run boats enough with one prop, I didn't figure I would have much use for it but I admit it is real handy to have in close quarters. I also know I can run the boat without it because I had to on a couple of occasions and sometimes just forget its there. I forget what brand it is but it works well when needed. Thruster is a Wesmar, looked at the survey.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:01 PM   #37
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My guess is that a hydraulic sandwich was included in the development of this technique.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:26 PM   #38
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I don't want this to turn into a "Real men don't use thrusters" thread.
In my situation I would just feel more comfortable with thrusters. I bought my first boat in 1981 and have progressed from 16 ft to 38 ft with many in between. One thing I've learned in 30 years is a, stress free happy captain makes for a better journey.

I do plan on doing this myself. A friend is a fiberglass man and we're going to swap services. I have done most if not all of my own work, So I am plenty capable of doing it. It's also the only way I can afford boating. $3500 budget is what I'm thinking (hoping).

Plan is to do this during winter layup so I'm doing my homework now.
All replys are greatly appreciated.
Clay
i also have a single engine boat (Cheerman PT 38) and just like you I plan to install a bow thruster and do most or hopefully all of the work myself during the winter haul out. I am leaning toward hydraulics but am undecided right now. I hope a few more people on this forum can provide some factual advice on installation, cost, advantage of hyd. vs electric and whether there are brands to stay away from.
So far three or four of the many posts have been very helpful. The rest ..... well.... what can i say?
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:27 PM   #39
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Me thinks you doth protest too much

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I'm not proving anything...just suggesting that overconfidence brought upon by overreliance on certain tools can lead to problems.

It's not an "old timer thing"....it's from a current, highly educated and trained boating instructor and professional captain who thinks having certain skills is an asset...

It's a widely accepted concept in all kinds of operations (feel free to read up on it) ....certainly is true of boating also...that's all...if you read carefully...I have said buy and use them if you want...just don't crash into me because of overconfidence or equipment failure.

Failure of a main engine is one thing...mishaps because of thrusters are much more avoidable.

I remembering the same BS about using calculators when I was in high school, while still using a slide rule. Some people argue that we should not be allowed to use calculators because batteries might die, calculators would be few and far between, and what would happen if they broke, God for bid.

Using a technology, such as a bow thrusters, does not mean that someone is reliant upon it. The only people in my Marina who tease me about using a bow thruster, are those who don't have one. Now, I have to admit, that I often forget I have one and only use the two engines. But on the few occasions I have needed one I have been happy that it was there.

Add oh, by the way, I learned that with two engines and a bow thruster I can walk a boat perfectly sideways in either direction. Those of you with two engines and no bow thruster good luck with that.

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Old 08-30-2016, 08:37 PM   #40
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It is amazing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delia Rosa View Post
I don't know if the percentage is that high.... but I agree that there are boaters out there without the ability to properly handle their boats in difficult conditions. We were tied up on a face dock at a marina in New Hampshire where the current runs at about 7 knots and the tides are up to 10 feet. A cruiser tried to dock in front of us and lost control... he rammed into our bow, almost took off our pulpit and ground into us for about 10 minutes before he was able to back off. I certainly wish he had a bow thruster that day!!!!
How quickly we are ready to criticize others. I have been on boats for the past 20 years, but have never experienced a seven not current anywhere docking or otherwise. So even though I have a great deal of experience I can imagine that trying to dock a boat and a seven not current for the first time would definitely make me anxious.

I doubt there are more than one or two people on this forum who have ever Docked a boat in seven knot current. Those of you who have done this, you are simply boater gods and can pat yourselves on the back.

Gordon
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