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Old 11-15-2013, 08:20 PM   #21
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Since I already have a thruster in the boat, the process of centering would not be so involved I suppose. The tube for a 7 HP unit is likely a bit larger in diameter than my own, so I guess I'd just scribe a larger diameter around the existing tube. Still.....?!?!
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:47 AM   #22
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... I guess I'd just scribe a larger diameter around the existing tube.

That would make it much simpler. Keep in mind that the alignment isn't as critical as line boring a crankshaft or doing a shaft alignment. It really doesn't matter if the thrust is off a degree or three.

The connection to the hull is what matters most.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #23
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boatpoker, you got bigger huevos than I do. Ain't no way I'm going to attach my hull with any kind of saw.

The bid your yard gave you sounded really high. I got my thruster installed for $10K, and it was larger by two sizes than what the manufacturer's charts recommended for my boat.

I've never regretted upsizing. My boat weighs in the neighborhood of 65,000 pounds loaded (full fuel and water, etc.) and I've found the thruster really moves it. If I stay on the control for more than a few seconds the boat builds up too much momentum and I have to give a shot in the opposite direction to stop the movement.

Here's a shot of what it looks like from the outside....



and from the inside of the hull. They installed four large 12V batteries so I have two in parallel and two in series for a 24V operation and lots of battery reserve.


I'm finding I don't use it as much as I thought I would. We live in a high wind area and most of the time I don't use it when I'm backing into the slip. We use it most when we're inside one of the locks on the Columbia or Snake rivers to hold the bow against the wall while getting our line secured to the bollard.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:03 AM   #24
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I've got a 5HP Lewmar on my 25,000 lb. Manatee and it is marginal at best. Another friend's Manatee has a later model 7 HP Sidepower and it kicks "A".
I've just purchased a KK42 that had a 4HP(3kW) Lewmar, 12v. I'm in the process of changing it out to a 7.6HP (5.7kW) Lewmar, 24v. No glass work as the tube size is the same. Adding two Optimas nearby. Since I'm nearly doubling the HP and switching to 24v I'm hoping to see some big gains without the price tag of a complete refit. I'll report the results when I get her back in the water.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:31 AM   #25
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I've just purchased a KK42 that had a 4HP(3kW) Lewmar, 12v. I'm in the process of changing it out to a 7.6HP (5.7kW) Lewmar, 24v. No glass work as the tube size is the same. Adding two Optimas nearby. Since I'm nearly doubling the HP and switching to 24v I'm hoping to see some big gains without the price tag of a complete refit. I'll report the results when I get her back in the water.
There will be no surprise ..... the 24volts, the 5.7kW and the Optimas which can unload current faster than conventional wet cells will be massive difference. put your seat belt on
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:34 AM   #26
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I installed a sidepower on mine about 6yrs ago. Unit has been very reliable. Can't remember model/hp, but it was 2nd from largest for the 8" tube. That way if I need to upgrade, tube needs no change.

Installing the tube is nothing special- The j-tip steel rod is key. I went a step further and made a J-type jig that held a die grinder with carbide tip. That way as I swept it around, I was actually doing the cutting with tip parallel to axis. I did not cut all the way through, keeping some material intact to hold jig in place. Made for a clean hole with minimal grinding to fit tube. Your eye really plays tricks on you when viewing the various curves. Trust the jig!!!!

Another trick was to transfer measurments from outside to inside hull or vs versa- Not easily done without drilling holes!! Came up with a trick: Got a big strong magnet and positioned on hull skin. Got some little needle bearings and sprinkled them on other side of skin. They stuck at the magnet location. Now you know where you are both in and out.

Mount thruster as low and as far fwd as you can. Mine is a planing hull, so I had a additional complication as I wanted thruster above running WL. Not really necessary in hindsight, as if faired well the hole does not present much drag. Anyway, tube ended up right on top of keel so I could go no lower.

Put battery right next to unit. 24v much better for larger units. I use 12v, and have a charge link via 10ga wire back to house batt. I installed a relay in the charge link so it goes open circuit when thruster motor runs. That keeps from overloading charge link and allows a light cable run. 20a breaker does not trip. There is no other charge source for the batt, super simple and it works.

If you use a series/parallel solenoid, you can run your 24v thruster and charge from a 12v source.

I would not go hydraulic on a smaller recreational boat. Too much complication and mess. If you find yourself over running your batts, you can always upsize batts.

I run a basic grp 24 starting batt. It's cheap, light, but only lasts about 3yrs before it starts losing grunt. May try a deep cycle next.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:41 AM   #27
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No .... I'm a Scot. I just could'nt bring myself to fork over 15K. I thoroughly planned my approach, assembled everything I needed and ran through the job in my mind a hundred times. When I was ready to start .... well to be honest and sat and looked at it for a couple of weeks before I could drum up the courage to drill the first hole. I was scared shi..less. Once I got started it was much easier than I thought. I am totally convinced the average handyman could do this job with a little forethought.
This is my logic as well. I get a quote. Then I get thoroughly disgusted. Then I plan the job myself. Then I execute. I'm not up to bow thruster skill just yet - maybe a long ways away, but I have done this way because contractors have pissed me off with high quotes and jackass attitudes. I'm at the early point in the learning curve on many projects, but building skills and knowledge gradually.

My hat's off to you boat poker, well done.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:17 PM   #28
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This is my logic as well. I get a quote. Then I get thoroughly disgusted. Then I plan the job myself. Then I execute. I'm not up to bow thruster skill just yet - maybe a long ways away, but I have done this way because contractors have pissed me off with high quotes and jackass attitudes. I'm at the early point in the learning curve on many projects, but building skills and knowledge gradually.

My hat's off to you boat poker, well done.
It never ceases to amaze me how naive and stupid most of these installers think we are. On certain things I will consider hiring it out mainly because of my time cost vs the $ cost of the contractor. But some of these guys think they're worth hundreds per hour and we should pay it because it starts with BOAT. In actuality there is very little most of us can't do on our boats. It might take us a little bit longer but so be it.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:19 PM   #29
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It never ceases to amaze me how naive and stupid most of these installers think we are. On certain things I will consider hiring it out mainly because of my time cost vs the $ cost of the contractor. But some of these guys think they're worth hundreds per hour and we should pay it because it starts with BOAT. In actuality there is very little most of us can't do on our boats. It might take us a little bit longer but so be it.

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Funny, I feel the exact same way about ANYONE who charges hundreds per hour....boy that's starting to sound like a lot of different businesses and professions.....
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:59 PM   #30
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Funny, I feel the exact same way about ANYONE who charges hundreds per hour....boy that's starting to sound like a lot of different businesses and professions.....
My last was $80 per hour but estimated "30-40 hours" to swap the water hoses and pump on my Lehman.. My slow ass with bad tools could learn it and do it 4 times in that amount of time.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:07 PM   #31
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My last was $80 per hour but estimated "30-40 hours" to swap the water hoses and pump on my Lehman.. My slow ass with bad tools could learn it and do it 4 times in that amount of time.
Was it the marina? or a marine servive that also calculates travel time to/from job and to/from parts stores?...

Where I'm from Diesel shops charge around $300/hr including travel. marine services are down around $75-$100/hr and include travel if more than say 15-30 minutes. Marinas don't include travel but charge $75-80 for non-skilled labor, and $120-$150/hr for skilled labor. These numbers jump around depending on how clever and cuthroat everyone wants to be.

Some of the really good ones plastic wrap your rugs/furniture near hatches and spend a bit of time cleaning up nicely...usually the high end guys and that's what you are paying for. I know people that complain about the cheap guys then hire cleaners to come in and clean up after a mech ....that probably boosts the hourly rate by $20 or so on average.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:56 PM   #32
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Psneed - this was Neuse River, NC. I already bought the hoses. Plus I was on the yard where the guy had his shop. Nothing in writing, no detail. Was told he was really good by a few people, but pricey. So what he gave in rate, he made up in exaggerated hours. I asked him that his hours seemed high, his reply was he'd rather start high and come in favorable at the end. Maybe so, but trust was lost on that day due to his flip attitude and silly time estimate.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:07 AM   #33
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They installed four large 12V batteries so I have two in parallel and two in series for a 24V operation and lots of battery reserve.

Great , but what is Da Book RUN time limit for the unit according to the mfg?
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:00 AM   #34
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When I read all thes posts on how mechanics and shops are "ripping people off" with their high labor rates, it makes me wonder what they do or did for a living. Myself, I own a pretty nice boat because early on I learned how to do things that most people were incapable of doing for themselves (correctly) and I was well paid for it.

Remember, the person you are paying has spent a lot of time learing how to do what you are asking him to do and may have a lot of money invested in tools and equipment. He may also be paying for a shop, help, taxes, and other government imposed fees.

Unskilled or semi skilled work like washing or waxing a boat or scraping bottom paint may be good jobs to do yourself to save money. Others, like internal work on your diesel engine are best done by professionals with training and experience in the field. You can easily make matters worse by doing something wrong.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:22 AM   #35
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WesK, while what you say is all true & valid; I have experienced the "Skilled Rate" done by the "Unskilled" labor. People just except that as normal. I say "I may Be slow, but when done I know it is right" You cannot even embarrass some of these so-called experts. At the end of the day, they got your money and you have problems.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:39 AM   #36
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WesK, while what you say is all true & valid; I have experienced the "Skilled Rate" done by the "Unskilled" labor. People just except that as normal. I say "I may Be slow, but when done I know it is right" You cannot even embarrass some of these so-called experts. At the end of the day, they got your money and you have problems.
Good point and a reason to go with a marina that has "shops" with supervisors and not just the marinas that have "a shop" with a yard and/or service supervisor....those are the ones that sent the "available person" to do many jobs instead of the "correct" person.

When I worked for a large, well known dealership as a training/delivery captain....the service department decided to use me more and more as a service tech when they were busy.

Their idea of using me (I got paid about 1/2 of what the diesel mechanics got) was to have me go out and swap parts from one engine to the other to see if it resolved the problem. 9 times out of ten it would and the marina saved a bundle as the problem was easily resolved and they trusted me to make sure the good disturbed engine was retuned to service at or better than I found it. Unfortunately not every tech had the work ethic I am used to so using other techs like me wound up costing the marina and the customers.

I really have little respect for the marine business in the area of the country I'm from and much of the area I cruise. I don't always blame the individuals but I blame the whole system of seasons, strangling EPA requirements for dredging, greed at levels outside of the lower levels, etc.

For what you often get versus what you pay for is not as even as it should be. I'm not saying the great marine mechanic service guy, sole proprietor in a van shouldn't make a great living...not at all...but he better have the ethic and performance that goes along with it. Plus the marinas that are charging the same rate as the one next door when they have the water turned off, the wifi doesn't work, no able TV, and the rest rooms are a mess...gimme a break...how can the one next door do it or lower your price as the service doesn't meet the standard.

Yep...boating is rampant with bad service for the dollar...but it is hit or miss so praising or condemning has to be pretty specific to be accurate.

I can see Ben's frustration with a sky high quote and yet the guy next slip over here was just telling me he got a lowball estimate on rebuilt engines and found after the fact that a full repower was not that many dollars more.

It's never easy unless you are nearly as exert as everyone you employ to do something for you.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #37
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Here's a shot of what it looks like ... from the inside of the hull.
The port side of the tube looks like it is barely bonded and the starboard side looks like it has half a can of spray foam with a thin coating of resin over it ...

What kind of material is the tube?
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:15 AM   #38
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....... I say "I may Be slow, but when done I know it is right" ........
That's only true if you actually know how to do it right. I can't count the times when I was working that I was called on to fix something that another person had attempted to fix.

We have greatly different levels of skill on boat projects and only you can guess what your skill level is. In my experience, lots of folks get this wrong.

The other side of the coin is, a "professional" is someone who gets paid to do work. Not all professionals are as skilled as they should be or say they are so you need to check on their reputation and refferences if possible. I've been burned by "professionals" myself.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:26 AM   #39
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That's only true if you actually know how to do it right.
Or when to not do it, and call in the pro.

I typically err on the side where I think I cannot do something. I'll fret over a project thinking how complicated it is, then once into it, I am slow and meticulous, sometimes backing up and repeating a step.

I trust my anxiety and step-wise approach most days to the pro who might be looking to run up cost.

Note - the one guy is not the majority I have experienced, he just left a bad memory.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #40
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Also that is exactly where boards like this come into play! Usually more than one person responds to a DIY Question giving the OP a lot to think about IE: his skill level, tools needed, what makes the most sense, ETC. THEN they can determine which course of action to follow. One of the Great things about the Boating community is that there are always other boaters willing to teach & help each other.
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