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Old 04-17-2011, 11:04 AM   #1
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Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

We're considering adding a thruster for close quarter operations in a marina where boats are backed into slips.

*

Has anyone had experience adding these tools, and has anyone added a stern thruster only.

*

Jay Seale

34' Californian LRC
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

I've never installed a thruster. I have one, and I do appreciate it when I back into a slip. I have a single engine, and limited steering in reverse at slow speeds. If I had twin engines, I don't know that I would spend the money for a thruster. I would choose a bow thruster over a stern thruster. Having both is overkill in my opinion, but you know what they say about opinions.*
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Quote:
Carey wrote:
I have one, and I do appreciate it when I back into a slip. I have a single engine, and limited steering in reverse at slow speeds.... I would choose a bow thruster over a stern thruster. ..
******* I agree...My bow thruster is a valuable tool when backing, parallel parking, or just correcting for judgement errors when entering my slip. I have talked to people, however, who have both a stern & a bow thruster and they swear by them.

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Old 04-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Our boat has both. Using both, you can spin the boat around as if it were on a pivot. Coming from twin engines to our current single, this almost makes the boat perform as if it had twins.

It is very nice to be able to kick either the bow or the stern or both at the same time when coming into a slip or onto a float side.

There are a few people who would prefer only a stern thruster if they had to chose one or the other. And, of course, a stern thruster is usually easier and less expensive to install. I'm not sure of the reasoning. Maybe someone else can chime in on this. If I had to choose between on or the other, I'd pick the bow thruster.


-- Edited by dwhatty on Sunday 17th of April 2011 12:22:09 PM
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:28 PM   #5
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Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Perhaps I'm irrational, but I'm leery of underwater appendages subject to be snagged or broken off.* Rudder and propeller are enough to worry about.* The extra apertures*for the Coot's front thruster*are bad enough.




-- Edited by markpierce on Sunday 17th of April 2011 12:34:05 PM
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:03 PM   #6
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

I think having the thruster control adjacent to the pilothouse door is good because it will be accessible when stepping out to the deck if that was needed for greater visibility when maneuvering.* If it was on the other side of the wheel, it wouldn't be.

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Old 04-17-2011, 01:37 PM   #7
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Have both, and appreciate both.* It makes possible single handing Delfin in and out of marinas with some wind.* Not necessary, but then again, neither is a flush toilet.* Bow thruster is usually the default, since you can use engine thrust and the rudder to kick the stern if need be.* I try to practice tight maneuvering without them since you can do most of what you can do with thrusters if you know how to use the keel, rudder and power, but usually am too lazy.*

*

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Old 04-17-2011, 04:08 PM   #8
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

We installed both bow and stern thrusters even though we have twin screws... we have never regretted the extra expense, it makes docking so much less stressful!
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

I have a hydraulid stern thruster. Installed by the previous owner.

It works well. Nice thing is it can be left on...for minutes, hours I suppose . I think a bow thruster would be better for boat handling, but I am getting used to the stern thruster.* Very nice at the dock, if the wind is blowing and I can't reach a piling aft I run the thruster and then go aft and do my lines, then go back to the helm and shut off the thruster.

I use it when anchoring to keep the boat into the wind, comes in handdy many times. But...I think a bow thruster would be better...if the wind is stout I have trouble moving the bow...if no wind I can pivot the boat* on center.

*

*
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:45 PM   #10
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

We have a bow thruster and have recently added an articulated rudder to our Mainship 390 (single engine). The combination is superb....using just the rudder hard over the boat appears to pivot in it's own length, and by using the thruster and rudder together and short bursts of throttle, I'm expecting to be able to side-slip the boat (I've actually had very limited experience with the the rudder...it was installed late last Sept.). I was originally thinking of adding a stern thruster, but the cost/complexity of the installation and maintenance/servicing issues put me off. Of course, these performance expectations have evolved during the hours spent dreaming about the boat throughout our long frigid winter, and when you throw in a decent amount of Scotch/Rum as is required to survive that season, well, anything seems possible!!
Interesting sidenote......the original owner of our boat took delivery in the water at the factory in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. After something like 10 miles or so the hydraulic steering failed, but he was able to return to the factory and dock perfectly fine using the bow thruster alone. Not a common failure, I know, but nevertheless having that backup get-home capability made all the difference.
Nick,
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #11
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Quote:
tachyon wrote:
Interesting sidenote......the original owner of our boat took delivery in the water at the factory in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. After something like 10 miles or so the hydraulic steering failed, but he was able to return to the factory and dock perfectly fine using the bow thruster alone. Not a common failure, I know, but nevertheless having that backup get-home capability made all the difference.
Nick,
Ottawa,
Canada.
*Not trying to be picky, but thought that you would like to know this.* The factory was on the San Sesbastion River at St. Augustine, FL.* I picked up a boat there, and did the outfitting across the river.* Tidal currents run pretty strong in there.

*
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:28 PM   #12
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Quote:
jleonard wrote:
I have a hydraulid stern thruster. Installed by the previous owner.

It works well. Nice thing is it can be left on...for minutes, hours I suppose .*

*
*Yep, that's my get home option when I take my single screw out on a sem-submerged container.* Bow and stern hydraulic thrusters on and I'll get home sideways.* Then the book deal......YES...

*
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:38 PM   #13
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

We have a small hydro stern thruster and love it. It's on the small side, but works ok enough. May add a electric bow thruster during the winter haul-out. I got a big-ass promotion at work and there are now a few more options on the table... YAY ME!
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #14
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

On a single a bow thruster is best as the stern can by moved by thrusting the stern, and a stern thruster on the twin as the bow is moved not the stern.* We have a hydraulic bow thruster which we have run for a couple of hours waiting for the locks.* Most electric bow thrusters are dead by then. *I would take an articulating rudder over a stern thruster on a single.*


*
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:32 PM   #15
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Our boat is a single that had a bow thruster when we got it and I added a stern thruster.* I just got back from a weekend of putting the boat back in the water after 5 1/2 months of storage.* Where I'm moored, I have to turn 180 in a tight space, back around a couple of docks, dodge a water taxi and smaller boats coming off of a sling launch.* Then it's around the bow of a sailboat, and hard to starboard to the dock.* After the 5 1/2 months off of the boat, the bow and stern thruster allowed me to dock with no drama.* There is less stress on both my spouse and my neighbors with the bow and stern thrusters.* I still practice turning and backing the boat without the thrusters, but when the wind is blowing I just use the thrusters and get to the dock.

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Old 04-17-2011, 07:48 PM   #16
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Quote:
tachyon wrote:
We have a bow thruster and have recently added an articulated rudder to our Mainship 390 (single engine). The combination is superb....using just the rudder hard over the boat appears to pivot in it's own length, and by using the thruster and rudder together and short bursts of throttle, I'm expecting to be able to side-slip the boat (I've actually had very limited experience with the the rudder...it was installed late last Sept.). I was originally thinking of adding a stern thruster, but the cost/complexity of the installation and maintenance/servicing issues put me off. Of course, these performance expectations have evolved during the hours spent dreaming about the boat throughout our long frigid winter, and when you throw in a decent amount of Scotch/Rum as is required to survive that season, well, anything seems possible!!

*I've often thought that the bow thruster/articulated rudder combo would be the ideal set-up on a single screw, so hopefully you can report back on your experiences after the upcoming cruising season. (Including any that involve Scotch/Rum if you care to divulge!)

*
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:17 AM   #17
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RE: Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Kind of in the minority here.* But every once in a while, the fenders actually do their job.

Regarding thrusters,*I just don't want to pay for installation or maintainance.**If I were to sell this boat, installation of a bow thruster would be a requirement for broadening the market of potential buyers.* So, when the boat was rewired in 2009, everything was set up for future bow thruster installation.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:01 AM   #18
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Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

Not trying to be picky, but thought that you would like to know this.* The factory was on the San Sesbastion River at St. Augustine, FL.* I picked up a boat there, and did the outfitting across the river.* Tidal currents run pretty strong in there.

************************************************** ************************************************** ********************************************** Yes, of course it was.Thanks for correcting that.........this six-month hibernation thing messes with your brain..........feeble excuse, but it's all I have!



-- Edited by tachyon on Monday 18th of April 2011 06:25:54 AM


-- Edited by tachyon on Monday 18th of April 2011 06:37:32 AM
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:07 AM   #19
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Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters

I have a single screw trawler with a bow thruster. Even though it is smaller than what might be ideal, I don't think I could reliably dock in my slip without it. There's a narrow fairway and tidal current most of the time along with wind that may or may not be present.

I have necer installed one and it's been suggested that it's not a DIY job.


-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 18th of April 2011 06:08:03 AM
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