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Old 07-04-2019, 12:33 AM   #1
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Options for a weak Thruster

My windy ole KK Manatee still has its original 5 HP bow thruster. I recently replaced the three blade prop with a six blade, but performance is no better. Has anyone had one of these motors re-wound for more power. How about winding for 24 volt? Any other ideas before I rip it out? Thanks in advance for brilliant feedback & solutions.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:35 AM   #2
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:28 AM   #3
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Remember I suggested going to an 8hp dual prop thruster when you were replacing the old 5hp thruster? No substitute for horse power. I would go back to the company that told you the dual prop 5hp was adequate for the task and tell them to make it work. Unfortunately you will need to upsize the tunnel and now that will be a major job.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:32 AM   #4
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Have a 24-volt bow thruster that spins the boat like a top.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:28 AM   #5
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What is the make, model, tunnel size, voltage, and distance from batteries to motor?

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Old 07-04-2019, 05:52 AM   #6
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If you are going to spend big bucks , remember the hyd thrusters have no operating time limits.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:58 AM   #7
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Age of battery?
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:13 AM   #8
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Put a voltmeter on motor terminals and read voltage when a helper fires the thruster. See what motor is actually running at.

I have a (I think) 6hp on a single grp 24 batt mounted right at the thruster. I get about 10.3v with motor running. When batt gets old it goes down to like 8-9v and thruster gets real weak. That's my signal to get a new batt.

Do post all the details of your thruster.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:28 AM   #9
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Are the cables to the thruster properly sized? Connections solid and not getting hot?
Any forward motion lowers thruster efficiency.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
My windy ole KK Manatee still has its original 5 HP bow thruster. I recently replaced the three blade prop with a six blade, but performance is no better. Has anyone had one of these motors re-wound for more power. How about winding for 24 volt? Any other ideas before I rip it out? Thanks in advance for brilliant feedback & solutions.

As others have said, look at the system. Give it a good going over. Clean everything, test the battery.



I'd be interested in knowing the specs. The model number or model name would help. Maybe there's a more powerful direct replacement. One can hope.












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Old 07-04-2019, 11:13 AM   #11
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I've had Ballard Electric rewind thruster and winch motors with limited positive results.

They increase sindings with thinner wire that results in a 10 to 15% increase in power.

The motors run a little warmer after rewind so duty cycle is reduced.

The winch motor had a noticeable increase in retrieval speed, not as much with the thruster.

I don't remember the cost, but I didn't think the results were worth the cost at the time.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:20 AM   #12
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The various ways to increase thruster power is thicker battery cables, move battery closer to the battery, install larger motor on existing thruster tube, relocate thruster closer to the bow, install a new, larger diameter, more powerful thruster or install a hydraulic thruster.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:56 PM   #13
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Remember I suggested going to an 8hp dual prop thruster when you were replacing the old 5hp thruster? No substitute for horse power. I would go back to the company that told you the dual prop 5hp was adequate for the task and tell them to make it work. Unfortunately you will need to upsize the tunnel and now that will be a major job.
Dave: Who are you talking about? I haven’t replaced my thruster. It’s original. Can’t agree more that An 8 HP is the only way to go. Just looking for any options before I rip this 32 year old unit out.

I’ll get the model specs together and post them. Battery power is twin 8D’s, one year old, cable is #2 and the run is 19 ft.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:03 PM   #14
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Sorry, I had your post confused with another Manatee owner that had damaged his “weak” thruster and was going to replace it with another 5hp thruster with dual props. I suggested that while he was doing a complete replacement that he should go to a 8hp unit. His insurance was doing the replacement and I thought that it would be worth the money to pay for the upgrade. Apparently his isn’t the only Manatee with an undersized thruster.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
Dave: Who are you talking about? I haven’t replaced my thruster. It’s original. Can’t agree more that An 8 HP is the only way to go. Just looking for any options before I rip this 32 year old unit out.

I’ll get the model specs together and post them. Battery power is twin 8D’s, one year old, cable is #2 and the run is 19 ft.
I know when I put my stern thruster in I used 0000 gauge cable and my run is about 9’ total round trip. I would look at your cable size, #2 sounds very small for 19’. Is the 19’ round trip or one way?
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
Dave: Who are you talking about? I haven’t replaced my thruster. It’s original. Can’t agree more that An 8 HP is the only way to go. Just looking for any options before I rip this 32 year old unit out.

I’ll get the model specs together and post them. Battery power is twin 8D’s, one year old, cable is #2 and the run is 19 ft.
Before you get to far into it. Take the batteries to the bow thruster and wire them with less than 3' lengths of 00 (double ought). Then try the bow thruster. IMO, length and wire size could very well be your issue.

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Old 07-04-2019, 03:16 PM   #17
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I put an 8hp dual prop unit in the stern of my boat. I added a seperate AGM battery very close to it. We were in a marina last year with 30+ MPH wind pinning us to the dock. A fender rolled out from between a piling and the boat. I went out and pushed as hard as I could using my legs with my back to the boat. I couldn’t move the boat even 1/8” off the piling. Then I realized I should try the thruster. My wife activated it and it immediately moved the boat upwind very easily. I was able to reposition the fender. That is the most wind that I have tried the thruster in and was quite happy with the result. My stern has a sundeck with a full enclosure so I probably have as much windage as your Manatee has in the bow. I looked up the recommended thruster on Sidepower’s web site and bought the next size larger. Never hurts to have a bigger thruster.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:17 PM   #18
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Before you get to far into it. Take the batteries to the bow thruster and wire them with less than 3' lengths of 00 (double ought). Then try the bow thruster. IMO, length and wire size could very well be your issue.

Ted
Ted,

He has 2 8Ds. I wouldn’t want to be dragging them around, but I agree with the premise.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:21 PM   #19
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Ted,

He has 2 8Ds. I wouldn’t want to be dragging them around, but I agree with the premise.
Not a problem. I know him well. He'll carry one in each hand.

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Old 07-04-2019, 04:24 PM   #20
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I put an 8hp dual prop unit in the stern of my boat. I added a seperate AGM battery very close to it. We were in a marina last year with 30+ MPH wind pinning us to the dock. A fender rolled out from between a piling and the boat. I went out and pushed as hard as I could using my legs with my back to the boat. I couldn’t move the boat even 1/8” off the piling. Then I realized I should try the thruster. My wife activated it and it immediately moved the boat upwind very easily. I was able to reposition the fender. That is the most wind that I have tried the thruster in and was quite happy with the result. My stern has a sundeck with a full enclosure so I probably have as much windage as your Manatee has in the bow. I looked up the recommended thruster on Sidepower’s web site and bought the next size larger. Never hurts to have a bigger thruster.
What type/brand of stern thruster did you install - also on my list for a very similar boat. Thanks

Oops - just saw Sidepower - external??
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