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Old 03-19-2014, 11:20 PM   #21
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I really think a hydraulic thruster makes the most sense.. although I did have a Vetus 12v thruster and I never over temp'd the undersized thruster on Volunteer .. and I used it a lot in the locks going up stream on the Columbia/Snake River trip. Most docking in and out of the slip never used more that 30-40 sec. of use per trip.

The big issue with hydraulic is to get the system sized correct so that if it is powered by the main, the main doesn't have to be throttled up to get adequate thrust. The Nordhavn I spend time on has a main pump.. but also a pump on the get home and that is used every time the thruster will or may be called into use.. as a side benefit this gets the get home exercised on a regular basis.

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Old 03-20-2014, 08:14 AM   #22
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I have a Dickson hydraulic thruster (stern) and what's nice is it can stay running for as long as I want without worry of anything tripping.
I have run it for minutes at times.
It has been trouble free for at least the 7 years I have owned the boat and no telling how many before that.
Runs off a double V belt off the added pulley on my Ford Lehman 120.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:22 AM   #23
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It was most likely tripping because it was too small and underpowered, and possibly using undersized cabling. Another reason to have it spec'd and installed by someone who really knows these things. Yes, like anchors, it pays to go "one up" form the base recommended size, especially if your boat is heavier than normal for its length, and/or has more windage; note how much emphasis Vetus puts on windage.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
I have a Dickson hydraulic thruster (stern) and what's nice is it can stay running for as long as I want without worry of anything tripping.
I have run it for minutes at times.
It has been trouble free for at least the 7 years I have owned the boat and no telling how many before that.
Runs off a double V belt off the added pulley on my Ford Lehman 120.
Minutes at a time? Wow. I'm curious as to what drives that much use.

15 seconds seems like an eternity; take a look at your watch and imagine the thruster going for that long. Don't think I have run my Vetus for more than 20 seconds (once) and more normally no more than 10 when using it to make an ultra-tight 180. Mostly around 3 or 4 second bursts. It is rated for 2.5 minutes continuous, or also not recommended to exceed that over the course of an hour. I can't imagine coming close to half that.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:01 AM   #25
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Minutes at a time? Wow. I'm curious as to what drives that much use.

15 seconds seems like an eternity; take a look at your watch and imagine the thruster going for that long. Don't think I have run my Vetus for more than 20 seconds (once) and more normally no more than 10 when using it to make an ultra-tight 180. Mostly around 3 or 4 second bursts. It is rated for 2.5 minutes continuous, or also not recommended to exceed that over the course of an hour. I can't imagine coming close to half that.
I have the same Dickson as as j. Minutes? maybe a slight exaggeration on how long we actually use it, but true nonetheless. I think j will agree that it is a bit undersized and mine doesn't have a tunnel around it (that's why we call it 'The Toe Chopper'), so it's NOT the most efficient. Still, it works well-ish and can run for extended periods without worry while it holds the stern to the dock when handling lines. You also are not supposed to operate it over 1000 rpms or it will throw the belts. That's about the only restriction that it has.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:54 AM   #26
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Minutes at a time? Wow. I'm curious as to what drives that much use.

15 seconds seems like an eternity; take a look at your watch and imagine the thruster going for that long. Don't think I have run my Vetus for more than 20 seconds (once) and more normally no more than 10 when using it to make an ultra-tight 180. Mostly around 3 or 4 second bursts. It is rated for 2.5 minutes continuous, or also not recommended to exceed that over the course of an hour. I can't imagine coming close to half that.
A couple of times I left it on to hold the boat against a wind while docking so I could leave the helm and secure lines.
Also sometimes while anchoring to keep the boat in line while backing down letting out rode.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:59 PM   #27
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What is the price difference between the DC or Hydraulic? What did the yard quote you? Curious since I'll be doing the same thing in a few months.

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Old 03-20-2014, 01:13 PM   #28
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I don't have a firm price yet. They want to see the boat first. I'm bringing it from Chesapeake, VA to Solomons, MD next week. I'll have more specifics then. They did suggest around 12-14K.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:03 PM   #29
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A couple of times I left it on to hold the boat against a wind while docking so I could leave the helm and secure lines.
Also sometimes while anchoring to keep the boat in line while backing down letting out rode.
Interesting.

Single screw, single crew boat I take it ?

So your thruster is not far forward, therefor doesn't end up pivoting off the dock kicking the boat's stern out?

I am not sure I understand the anchoring issue. Does your boat easily fall off beam-to when pointed into the wind?

Having anchored out a lot on a variety of boats with thrusters, this use has never occurred to me, so the inquiring mind has been awoken. Have to say ditto about a thruster being able to hold a boat flat to the dock on its own, but then again have never used your particular type of boat. I have seen to it done with both bow and stern thrusters used at once. Even then a total Klutz like me can usually get a spring line on in less than a minute if dealing with cleats and pilings rather than bull rails. I could see where hydraulic stern and bow thruster combo would be awesome. Anyway, always interested in picking up some new tricks, I need all I can get!
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:12 PM   #30
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Post #22....His is a stern thruster....?......?......
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:03 PM   #31
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Interesting.

Single screw, single crew boat I take it ?

So your thruster is not far forward, therefor doesn't end up pivoting off the dock kicking the boat's stern out?

I am not sure I understand the anchoring issue. Does your boat easily fall off beam-to when pointed into the wind?
Single screw, with a first mate. Thruster is STERN. Usually the 1st mate handles spring and bow lines, but if the wind is strong off the dock or piling, the thruster keeps it along side until I can get a line. I winter in a marina on the CT river and sometimes I need it there for an extended time as well if the current is running hard.
Boat does fall off the wind easily, esp if I am anchoring in 20 knot plus. I use the thruster to keep directly on the wind so I can best judge my position.
Not saying I MUST use it, but it's there so I do. It's all about practising different options.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:40 PM   #32
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I have done it that way too. Not always, but it has happened. Bess ties off the bow and heads to the spring. I left the prop in idle reverse and left the stern thruster going while I came down from flybridge to grab and toss the stern line(s). If I left her there long enough, I'm sure she'd get a bit wanky, but with two people and a dockhand on lines, it didn't take long.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:01 PM   #33
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Agree with Caltexflanc... I saw first hand what Fl Bowthruster does for customers. My neighbor was "maxing out" his bowthruster in a strong current and strong west wind last Sunday and he lost the bow thruster on his 53' Hattaras - just suddenly quit. Monday, Paul called Fl Bowthruster in J'Ville and spoke with a tech there. The BT had been installed by the PO 8 years ago, and the tech was able to pull the file and see the install photos and he walked Paul through the troubleshooting process. He told Paul where a fuse was in the BT that Paul didn't know about, but the fuse was good. Next the tech had Paul trace power from the batt, but pwr was not reaching the BT... the only thing in line was the off/on switch which had failed. Easy fix. I don't think you can go wrong using FL Bowthruster.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:03 PM   #34
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The yard recommended a Side Power SE100/185T.
Good choice. It gets a lot of thrust in a small sized tunnel. We went that route--24V, with controls at upper and lower helm plus a remote control. Our yard recommended a separate battery and separate charger.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:29 PM   #35
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just a couple of points
the SE100 side power thrust is a good unit but for about the same money - just a tad more you could install the 125kg unit in 12vdc. Electrically these are almost identical but the 125 produces thru a 250mm tunnel a lot more thrust and should be about the same money to install.
* on the run time of thrusters
DC thrusters run series wound electrical motors where the volts and amps act differently to what most expect - for example in a DC engine of this type as the voltage drops so does the current. Using the SE100 as an example its designed to run at the mid 500a range at 10.5vdc and has a run time of about two and a half minutes. Sleipner allow for a voltage drop on the cable but if you get 12vdc at the thruster under load then you increase the current and therefore the heat and reduce run time (there is a thermal fuse). I have seen DC thruster run for 20 minutes as they run down the battery due to running at low current and therefore low heat and will not trip the thermal.
I take the view that if the yard recommends the 100 go one size up for your vessel; the one crappy day that you need the grunt you will quickly forget the small amount more it would have cost you.

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Old 03-30-2014, 08:06 AM   #36
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ALL electric units will have a max run time before a cooling cycle is REQUIRED

Look in the Da Book from the mfg before any purchase.

The virtue of Hyd is it does not have this limitation.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:34 AM   #37
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FWIT, I merely presumed a 12v system since that is what I have on board. They may well have a 24v system in mind. I'll know more when I get the boat to Washburn's.
Congrats Greg,

I have a Vetrus that puts out 132 lbf. It works fine, though like Larry, I try to minimize my use of it and usually now a days, I actually don't use it much anymore.

It's 12v and connected to my house bank.

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Old 03-30-2014, 11:05 AM   #38
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Motor hp, tube diameter, and batteries size are common things people discuss about thrusters. *I guess because they have numerical values that we can grasp and readily compare.

However if you look at a thruster as a system, instead of a component, then it becomes apparent that they are really only two attributes in selecting a thruster. *Installing a thruster is really about optimization and efficiency.* A lot of it comes down to placement of the tube.

The first thing is to determine the interior location for fitting a thruster, that is, if you are installing a thruster in a boat that is already finished.* Keep in mind that these are big motors that will throw carbon off of the brushes.* The space will get dirty and it should be no other flammables or explosives (hydrogen from a charging wet cell battery).*

You want the tube to be as far forward as you can get it to achieve the most leverage. *But you do have to take the depth of the tube placement in consideration. Optimally you want the tube at least one diameter below the water line to ensure adequate head pressure.* I’ve also seen it recommended that you want 1/3 diameter distance from the bow and* the keel to prevent circulation.* Tube length is recommended to be 2-4 diameters.* Too short it will cavitates as the water won’t be laminar flow prior to prop.* Too long, and you have additional frictional forces in play.

Keep in mind that the tube to be physically able to be installed as well.* I say this from experience.* It is hard to tab the bottom of the tube.* The more clearance, possibly the better quality layup at the end.

Large radiusing the inlet of the tube at the hull penetration makes a huge difference in efficiency.* This allows the thruster to make its rated torque, and also quiets the thruster down significantly. **I look at some “professional” installations and cringe.* They do everything right electrically, structurally, and cosmetically, but then then leave the tubes with a hard edge at the hull.* Why?* Because they either don’t know, don’t believe, or quite possibly because it adds a lot of time to the job.* You have to create a big fillet on the inside in order to obtain the radius on the outside.* I would ask to see photos of previous installations of other boats if I was paying someone to install for me.* Or I would learn to live with a noisy cavitating (rocks in a blender) thruster.*

I was fortunate that I had my boat on the hard and I could measure all dimensions and fit up directly.* I had drawings of my boat that I could use to measure to scale with.* I was able to call Nordic Tugs and ask their advice.* In fact a good thing to do is to look at sisterships that have thrusters fitted from the builder.* Ideally they’ve spent some time and effort optimizing the location. *

That’s why sometimes, but not always, bigger is not better.* A smaller tube diameter with lower thrust may be able to give more leverage to a boat than a larger tube that is further aft.* With the blunt bows profiles of many of our boats this may not be an issue.* I actually ended up installed a bigger bow thruster than is typical for my boat because I could easily make it fit with all of the above design attributes.* I have a Sidepower SP55 with all of the upgrades (Q prop and electronics) .* I’m pretty pleased with my install.* It took a longer time than I had anticipated, but it was done right.* It provides fantastic thrust with very little noise and cavitation.

*
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:29 AM   #39
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"don’t know, don’t" and "I’m"

What is happening here? Makes a good post very hard to read. Plus all those asterisks? Is it just my machine?
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:43 AM   #40
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"don’t know, don’t" and "I’m"

What is happening here? Makes a good post very hard to read. Plus all those asterisks? Is it just my machine?
I put all the stars in there because each and every sentence is special...
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