Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-16-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
Newbie
 
City: Langkawi
Country: Malaysia
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4
bow thrusters

Can someone comment on bow thrusters or stern thrusters as to the necessity of them. Are they an item that someone with little experience should consider getting when they purchase a boat.
__________________
Advertisement

coke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
TF Site Team
 
Pau Hana's Avatar


 
City: Seattle, WA
Country: Good Ol' US of A!
Vessel Name: Pau Hana
Vessel Model: 1989 PT52 Overseas Yachtfisher
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,647
Thrusters are a nice addition to a boat- no doubt. I've never had them, and have no problems maneuvering our boat. What I HAVE seen are boat owners not being able to dock when their thruster goes out......

Translation; not required, but nice- and know how to dock your vessel without them. As you mention "little experience", you may want to get a vessel with thrusters to ease the learning curve, but practice getting into your slip without them.
__________________

__________________
Peter- Marine Insurance Guru & tuna fishing addict!

1989 52' PT Overseas yachtfisher
Pau Hana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by coke View Post
Are they an item that someone with little experience should consider getting when they purchase a boat.
If you have a twin engine boat, I say they're not needed. If the boat is a single, they're really nice to have.
__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
mahal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 436
You will know if you need thrusters or not after owning a vessel for little while. So I suggest buying a boat first. Who knows, you might just be very good at boat handling to where a single screw 40 footer is easy for you to handle. But on the other hand, you may be just the opposite where you would struggle to dock the same size boat with twins. So go boating and find out. Good luck.
mahal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,265
For me with a single engine, the bow thruster is a near necessity. For a couple of months while my thruster was inoperable, I made a lot more throttle and gear changes during difficult close maneuvers.

With twin engines/propellers, thrusters aren't essential unless you have a very difficult maneuvering environment.
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 12:40 PM   #6
Newbie
 
City: Poulsbo, WA
Country: Washington
Vessel Name: Teakless In Seattle
Vessel Model: 2007 Mainship 34 Trawler
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
We had a single engine 34 foot CHB with lots of sail area(enclosed fly bridge). We found that a bow thruster was a neccesity anytime the wind was blowing. We had a QL (Volvo) but replaced it with a Vetus due to the failure of the QL. Yes, you get used to it but it certainly takes the pressure off when docking and undocking. Our new boat has both bow and stern thruster with single engine. Very nice to have as you can spin the boat about its axis and get into almost any slip. We know others with twin engines who also depend on their thrusters.
teakless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
Guru
 
gwkiwi's Avatar
 
City: Juno Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Takes Two
Vessel Model: Defever 49 RPH
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 500
With a 50' boat that has a lot of windage I have been struggling with the same question and have received several quotes for a bow thruster installed.

The cost of $13,500 + haul out etc is alot for us and that money can go along way in our cruising kitty so for right now we are going to keep it in our nice to have but not essential line item.

When I spoke with the owner of the stabilizer company that installed our stabilizers for the PO he said that he installs alot of thruster systems, he recommends going with a 48v system that is designed for continuous use. He also said spend time aboard and in different situations and most people can get use to working their boat fine without them.
gwkiwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwkiwi View Post

When I spoke with the owner of the stabilizer company that installed our stabilizers for the PO he said that he installs alot of thruster systems, he recommends going with a 48v system that is designed for continuous use. He also said spend time aboard and in different situations and most people can get use to working their boat fine without them.
Have only a 24-volt thruster. Never been "timed out" since I use short bursts. Can do a 180 in less than 10 seconds. Perhaps, however, continuous capability is warranted for very large boats where movement is glacial.
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
Guru
 
bligh's Avatar
 
City: Santa Cruz, CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Frisky
Vessel Model: 99 Nordic Tug
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,097
I was taught to maneuver boats without thrusters unless in an emergency. In fact , when I learned maneuvering, like many on here, thrusters were only installed on very large yachts and commercial ships. This practice may take more time to dock your boat, but will give you more experince in maneuvering, judging approaches, winds, and currents. You will also gain experience with spring lines. Thrusters sure are nice to have, but when you dont have them is when everyone on the dock finds out what caliber of captain you are.
bligh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,703
I put a bow thruster on our boat when we bought it and, while I don't use it often, it's very nice to have when I need it.

I have twins and a boat with a lot of sail area. I use the thruster most in two situations...when we're backing into the slip and the wind is blowing hard and when we're in a lock and the wind is blowing.

Yes, I can back in without it and go through the locks without it, but it's a nice addition to the boat.
__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 03:51 PM   #11
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by bligh View Post
I was taught to maneuver boats without thrusters unless in an emergency. In fact , when I learned maneuvering, like many on here, thrusters were only installed on very large yachts and commercial ships. This practice may take more time to dock your boat, but will give you more experince in maneuvering, judging approaches, winds, and currents. You will also gain experience with spring lines. Thrusters sure are nice to have, but when you dont have them is when everyone on the dock finds out what caliber of captain you are.
Sounds like you'd like to be in a knife fight with your hands tied behind you.

Al FlyWright, why didn't Gene use his thrusters, or didn't he have any, while we were fighting the Bot's high profile in the strong winds while we were trying to repositioning the boat (no, it's a yacht) at the dock?

__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 03:56 PM   #12
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by bligh View Post
I was taught to maneuver boats without thrusters unless in an emergency. ...
From observations of professional mariners, they use available helpful tools, such as thrusters, in the normal operation of their vessels.

__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:09 PM   #13
Guru
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
City: Port Credit
Country: Ontario
Vessel Name: DIRT FREE
Vessel Model: Benford Fantail 38
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,012
I have a dock neighbor who could not handle his 47' boat and got flustered at having to deal with four levers (2-throttle/2-shift) so he added bow and stern thrusters and now has six levers to contend with.

Watching him dock is like watching that guy that balances spinning plates on bamboo poles .... he does not know which one to grab next and the lot come clattering to the ground.

I've never seen the need for thrusters on a twin engine boat (i've run at least a hundred of them). A bow thruster on a single might be nice but tens of thousands of commercial fishing pilots have been doing without them for over a hundred years and most of them can do anything a recreational boater with twins and thrusters can do.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:16 PM   #14
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,265
OK ... the time has come for those without thrusters or who don't use them even if installed to beat their chests.
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:19 PM   #15
Guru
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
City: Port Credit
Country: Ontario
Vessel Name: DIRT FREE
Vessel Model: Benford Fantail 38
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
OK ... the time has come for those without thrusters or who don't use them even if installed to beat their chests.
I actually do have bow thruster on my own boat (a single) so I guess you must be referring to someome else
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:22 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
jukesy's Avatar
 
City: Victoria BC
Vessel Name: LUCKY US
Vessel Model: American Tug
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 268
I gotta go with Bligh and Boat poker on this. Thrusters are great! No doubt. But should not be a must have. I'm old school but in my opinion, if you can't dock without a thruster, maybe you shouldn't be docking at all.
jukesy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:29 PM   #17
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by jukesy View Post
I gotta go with Bligh and Boat poker on this. Thrusters are great! No doubt. But should not be a must have. I'm old school but in my opinion, if you can't dock without a thruster, maybe you shouldn't be docking at all.
And two-propeller boats are cheaters!
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:32 PM   #18
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by bligh View Post
I was taught to maneuver boats without thrusters unless in an emergency...
Same here. When we started boating, I didn't even know what a bow thruster was. After 50 years of running single engine boats I'd never used one. Now that we have one we don't depend on it to get us in our out of a slip. If we can't get into a slip or to the dock, without using the thruster, we don't go there.
Larry M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:35 PM   #19
Guru
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
City: Port Credit
Country: Ontario
Vessel Name: DIRT FREE
Vessel Model: Benford Fantail 38
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,012
Never really saw the point in twins either
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 04:36 PM   #20
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I have a dock neighbor who could not handle his 47' boat and got flustered at having to deal with four levers (2-throttle/2-shift) so he added bow and stern thrusters and now has six levers to contend with.
Well, perhaps we almost all think we're better than most everyone else. ... Perhaps the most experienced helmsman of multi-engine boats are multi-engine-airplane pilots.
__________________

__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012