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Old 07-05-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Booms & Stern-thruster add-ons

We are new owners of a 1999 Mainship 350 in the SF-Sacramento, CA Delta. We are considering two "improvments": a stern-thruster; and modifying our standard factory-installed radarmast by adding a "boom" so that we can use it as a hoist to lift bikes & kayaks onto top deck, and we would also like to add a "hinge" on the mast so that we can lower it a few feet to fit under more places (like covered berths, bridges, etc).

Suggestions about how & where to do this work?
Thanks, Paul
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by corvifortuna View Post
We are new owners of a 1999 Mainship 350 in the SF-Sacramento, CA Delta. We are considering two "improvments": a stern-thruster; and modifying our standard factory-installed radarmast by adding a "boom" so that we can use it as a hoist to lift bikes & kayaks onto top deck, and we would also like to add a "hinge" on the mast so that we can lower it a few feet to fit under more places (like covered berths, bridges, etc).

Suggestions about how & where to do this work?
Thanks, Paul
Hi Paul, welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy the new to you Mainship. That is a very spacious boat. Being an east coast boater I'm not familiar with how many Deltas there are in Calif. We have several members boating this week that may have info for you after this week.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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With out knowing how the radar mast was installed and was it intended for lifting, it is hard to advice. Two years ago we replaced our wood mast and boom in preparation for fish stabilizers. At the same time we increased the size/strength of the stanchion backing plates.

As for a stern thruster is the boat single or twin engine, and does the boat have a bow thrust? If I was going to install a stern thruster it would have to be able to be installed above the water line. No new holes below the water line. There was a resent discussion on a bow thruster that was installed above the water line.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. I can vouch for the Sideshift Stern Thruster as a solid option and something anyone with a few skills can do themselves. Do a search for my thread. As far as Stern or Bow, go with the stern thruster over a bow for single screw boats and a the Bow thruster for twins. PM me if you'd like any additional info, good luck!
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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General practice for single-propellered boats is to have the thruster, if any, at the bow.



Skippers of double-propped boats brag they have no need for thrusters.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:30 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Moonstruck;92836] Being an east coast boater I'm not familiar with how many Deltas there are in Calif. QUOTE]

The Delta is part of the San Francisco estuary. It consists of several rivers converging (so it's quite unique) about 50 or so miles inland. There are many channels, and one must be conscious about water depths. Get out of the channel, and the depth will suddently change from deep to shallow. (Hey, check the charts.) Don't see anything unique about the environment regarding thrusters and dinghy hoists. But one needs to pay constant attention on one's channel position/water depth.

While this river/channel looks broad, boats with any draft need to keep in a narrow channel. (Wake here gives a clue where shallow waters start.)

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Old 07-07-2012, 12:50 AM   #7
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General practice for single-propellered boats is to have the thruster, if any, at the bow.
I agree that bow thrusters are 'general practice'. With that said, My father has a Bow thruster/single and I have a Stern/single. I Drive both boats and from my personal experience, It doesn't matter one bit. it's a mind set (bow/stern) when driving more than anything. Bow thrusters are popular because that is what they put on Twins (rightly so) and it's what boat yards make the most cash on..... So they always push towards it. It also requires the most maintenance with junk (mussels etc...) continually getting lodged up inside the tunnel. Regardless, both options are great training wheels
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:01 AM   #8
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I suspect the OP's boat has two propellers. If I was he, I'd practice handling the boat over a period of several months as is and assess whether a thruster is needed before spending the $$ on a thruster.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:36 AM   #9
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I suspect the OP's boat has two propellers. If I was he, I'd practice handling the boat over a period of several months as is and assess whether a thruster is needed before spending the $$ on a thruster.
I agree...a lot of twins are so uncontrollable with one engine out many owners opt for a thruster. It's because what's the sense of having twins if you can't get home on one because it handles so bad??? (so...some twin owners are actually closet triple guys)...
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:56 PM   #10
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(so...some twin owners are actually closet triple guys)...

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Old 07-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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I've said it before, so it must be worth repeating. All boats come with a stern thruster. It's called a combination of propeller and rudder, which can direct the thrust over quite a range of angles. It's all that's needed to get the stern to the dock. However, short of a bow thruster, once your bow gets away from the dock, it can be difficult in certain situations to get back to the dock, hence, the wonder of the bow thruster. If you already have a bow thruster, and simply have money to burn, and feel you are one item away from a full array of bells and whistles, then by all means add a stern thruster. In my mind, single or twin plays no part in the decision process. IMHO of course.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #12
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sternthruster & boom for Mainship 350

Thanks for all your replies. Our boat came with bowthruster factory-installed and single Yanmar. Lots of windage on a windy day in the Bay makes me want to install a sternthruster to avoid damaging other boats. Suggestions about brand, size, and a good installer? Svendsen's in Alameda?

The factory-installed-radarmast is apprx 5' tall x 6" diameter, raked astern, attached by apprx 8 stout screws at base (a mechanic tried to remove it, but it was tougher than expected). We are hoping to make the mast functional by installing the least expensive radar to our existing Lowrance HDS5, and perhaps adding a hinge at the base (now clearance above waterline is almost 18', and we hope to do the Great Loop), and also add a boom & perhaps more height to the mast, so that the boom can lift a dinghy onto the flybridge. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, Paul & Linda
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:22 PM   #13
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There's a Mainship owners group out there, and if some of the 350/390 owners might have done similar mods they could also advise...

FWIW, our kinda-sorta "thruster" was really inexpensive: a 50' length of 3/4" double braid, used as a spring line

-Chris
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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(Paul & Linda-- Sent a PM with stern thruster info)
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:12 AM   #15
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so that the boom can lift a dinghy onto the flybridge.

We started out wanting to haul a tiny plastic canoe or kayak , now its a dink.

Big difference in what is required to haul a paddle toy and say a 13ft Boston Whaler with a 25 HP 4 stroke Honda.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #16
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We installed a new 20 ft aluminum mast, 4 round thick wall, and boom, 3 round thick wall. However I would not want to lift more than about 300 lbs. We have a 12 ft Livingston with a 20 hp that is about the limit I feel comfortable with. The hieght is not the limitation its the plates and stanchions support.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #17
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If you are going to limit the lift to lightweight toys like kayaks and bikes and not a dinghy, consider using one of the motor lift hoists which sell for under $500. (I think). If you want to be able to lift a dinghy and motor, look into the cost comparison of a dinghy crane versus adding a mast and boom. My guess is the dinghy crane may be cheaper, is use specific and can be easily lowered.

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Old 09-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #18
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>My guess is the dinghy crane may be cheaper, is use specific and can be easily lowered.<


A small crane can usually be very easily moved to a different location.

At the bow for a good sized anchor , at the stern to pull a larger outboard , or as a MOB hoist , as well as on the fly bridge as toy lift.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #19
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A small crane can usually be very easily moved to a different location.

At the bow for a good sized anchor , at the stern to pull a larger outboard , or as a MOB hoist , as well as on the fly bridge as toy lift.
Fred, can you post a link or photo of the crane you are recommending? I'm having a tough time picturing exactly what you mean. Thank you.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:21 AM   #20
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Fred, can you post a link or photo of the crane you are recommending? I'm having a tough time picturing exactly what you mean. Thank you. ________

I can post a photo of 2 styles after 1 Nov , return to FL.
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