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Old 08-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #21
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To me, thrusters are somewhat like our propulsion engines except that it moves a vessel sideways as opposed to forward and backward. I wonder how the "set-in-their-ways" type people felt when engines were first introduced into boating. Did they say that it was a crutch, and that one will not sail or paddle very well when the engine fails? Just wondering.
Neither set in my way or stupid...to suggest that someone waste their time with thrusters is definitely foolish.

Why not suggest they rip everything out and put in some pod drives and joy sticks so you can not only go sideways and fore/aft...but you can go in ANY direction using your primary propulsion so you can overcome any wind/current.

Plus... we can stop the anchoring arguements too because now we can do dynamic positioning with the proper electronics.

Since you don't understand my point very well I thought I'd go to the extreme to show yours.....
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:15 PM   #22
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Neither set in my way or stupid...to suggest that someone waste their time with thrusters is definitely foolish.

It was the best $2,815.00 I have ever spent. My wife and I (Weekend boaters) now won't be getting a divorce.

Oh, and I love the tenacity and conviction you have.....I am sure you're one hell of a boat captain.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:37 PM   #23
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It was the best $2,815.00 I have ever spent. My wife and I (Weekend boaters) now won't be getting a divorce.

Oh, and I love the tenacity and conviction you have.....I am sure you're one hell of a boat captain.
2 questions...
1. do you have both bow and stern?
2. do you practice occasionally without them or feel you have some skill level past "hands off docking"?

If the answer to both are yes...then great...I'm not against tech/thrusters...I'm just pro skill sets....
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:51 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=psneeld;96886]2 questions...
1. do you have both bow and stern?

No, just a Stern..... but my Father (owns Montery Jack in my pic) may get the Stern thruster next (already has a Bow). They are nearing 70 years old. My mother who has had Juvenile diabetes since she was a young girl, shouldn't be helping him dock as much as she does. I believe it is a wise decision for THEM to have both. That way they can continue doing what they love to do into their 70's and maybe beyond, God willing.

2. do you practice occasionally without them or feel you have some skill level past "hands off docking"?

Sometimes I don't need the thruster. But anytime I am docking in a tight fit marina with current...... you betcha, I use it.

Skill Set is learned over time. And I hope to one day be a stellar skipper like you apparently are. Training wheels (thrusters) are a useful tool for anyone just getting started in boating a larger vessel. Boy did I need those training wheels.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:09 PM   #25
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... which I can't because I have no experience with stern thrusters at all despite thousands of hours and hundreds of boats I have delivered...so they must not be too popular no natter what brand.
I'm not so sure about that....we were at the Mega Dock in Charleston a while back and a fellow came in with a new Fleming...stopped parallel to the dock between two boats, walked out on the bow with a little hand held remote control and commenced to dock his boat....he had bow and stern thrusters on that boat...and the Admiral was mesmerized by how the fellow moved that boat into the dock between the other boats..... Took me a while to convince her it wasn't going to happen soon..and if I'm lucky...one day she might quit reminding me about that boat...
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:12 PM   #26
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Boats with bow and stern thrusters are not that uncommon. I have 2 friends with them, one a twin screw GB42 and the other a Selene 43. They are mostly found on boats owned by people with little ego and plenty of disposable income.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:16 PM   #27
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Boats with bow and stern thrusters are not that uncommon. They are mostly found on boats owned by people with little ego and plenty of disposable income.
Very well put mahal
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #28
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There are plenty of times I would have liked to have been able to move our boat straight sideways. Since we can't we've learned other techniques to get the boat to the same place.

There have been plenty of times as I've watched another boater maneuver into a slip or up to a dock with a bow thruster or, occasionally, both bow and stern thrusters and have thought, "Well, there's a guy who doesn't know how to drive a boat."

But...... he accomplished the same thing I did, but where I used a multi-step technique of angling in, then manipulating the shifters and rudders to move the back of the boat in and perhaps not gotten quite as far in as I'd have liked and so on, this guy pushed a button or two and was there.

I think in an ideal world a skipper should know how to maneuver his boat with all the tools he has available to him as well as with the minimal number of tools he might be left with in the event of a problem. I've had to maneuver and dock our boat with one engine shut down on two occasions and while I'm certainly no expert at it having had that experience at least exposed me to what I'll be dealing with if I have to do it again.

So I say use it if you've got it, but know what to do if you lose it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:43 PM   #29
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Neither set in my way or stupid...to suggest that someone waste their time with thrusters is definitely foolish.

Why not suggest they rip everything out and put in some pod drives and joy sticks so you can not only go sideways and fore/aft...but you can go in ANY direction using your primary propulsion so you can overcome any wind/current.

Plus... we can stop the anchoring arguements too because now we can do dynamic positioning with the proper electronics.

Since you don't understand my point very well I thought I'd go to the extreme to show yours.....
My post was not directed at you but all the participants of this thread. And I do understand your point very clearly.

By the way, what kind of boats have you been delivering? Considering the number of boats you've delivered it is amazing that none of them had both bow and stern thrusters. Any other delivery captains here with the same experience? Yachtbrokerguy? Anyone?
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:03 PM   #30
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I have both bow and stern thrusters, but I do also practice maneuvering the boat without using them. For a 51' LOA boat, our boat is pretty easy to handle. It's a single that backs strongly to starboard, so it is predictable. In a lot of ways our 25' C-Dory was much harder to handle around the docks. It was flat bottomed with canvas over the cockpit and any breeze would knock it off course. I would be lined up perfectly and the wind would blow me sideways at the most inopportune time.

The bow and stern thrusters allow me to do a 180 in a boat length, move the boat straight sideways into a 52' slot, or move the boat down a fairway with zero space on either side of me. You seafaring men may scoff at me, but my friends from the desert think I'm a hell of a boat handler.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:08 PM   #31
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Training wheels (thrusters) are a useful tool for anyone just getting started in boating a larger vessel. Boy did I need those training wheels.
[/B]
I wonder if the skippers and pilots of tankers and container, bulk, and automobile ships consider their bow thrusters to be training wheels?

A long time ago in Hawaii we produced a series of television commercials for Matson Navigation featuring their then-brand-new roll-on, roll-off ships. The "plot" of one of the commercials followed a big farm tractor from the manufacturer in the midwest to Oakland by train, then on the ship to Hilo, and then by road to the ranch it was destined for. I was "volunteered" to shoot the scenes at sea showing the tractor on the ship enroute and other shots depicting the ocean part of the voyage.

This being a state-of-the-art ship for its day, it had a very small crew, and I was given the run of the ship during the voyage. So I spent a lot of time on the bridge and I remember being incredibly impressed when we departed first Oakland and then Honolulu for the last leg to Hilo. While there was a tug standing by, the ship's captain and the pilot didn't need it. With ships moored ahead of and behind us they powered the bow away from the pier with the bow thruster (the first one I had ever encountered) and then simply drove the 600' ship away. Way cool.

So I don't regard thrusters as training wheels at all. They enable a skipper--- be it of a 36' toy recreational boat or an 800' container ship---- to do things he otherwise couldn't do, be it dispense with the aid of a tug or slip a boat into a tight spot on the marina dock in the face of an adverse wind and/or current.

Carey, I think, has the smart approach to using a thruster. If he doesn't need it he doesn't use it. If it will make a docking or departure easier, or reduce the potential for damaging something on his boat or someone else's, he uses it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:17 PM   #32
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To me, thrusters are somewhat like our propulsion engines except that it moves a vessel sideways as opposed to forward and backward. I wonder how the "set-in-their-ways" type people felt when engines were first introduced into boating. Did they say that it was a crutch, and that one will not sail or paddle very well when the engine fails? Just wondering.
Yes, the engine is a "crutch". So is a chart plotter. Sextants and compasses do the job so why a chart plotter?

Again, you can do it the hard way and brag about your skills or you can use available tools to make the job easier and enjoy your time on the water.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #33
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My post was not directed at you but all the participants of this thread. And I do understand your point very clearly.

By the way, what kind of boats have you been delivering? Considering the number of boats you've delivered it is amazing that none of them had both bow and stern thrusters. Any other delivery captains here with the same experience? Yachtbrokerguy? Anyone?
Everything but trawlers...and none of the trawlers I looked at to buy had both...many had bow thrusters which I can see...even and maybe even more so on some big twin motor yachts. I'm sure glad the 54 Sea Rays had them..several I delivered wound up long range on one engine due to engine failures and without a thruster going into unfamiliar marinas late at night, whooped after a long day...you bet I was thankful for them....

I'm my next door neighbors hero because I've backed his 55 Viking out of places that others dare not tread because I understand the use of a thruster and opposire engine backing to overcome a stiff crosswind...they ARE great...don't keep taking me wrong.

This is not I'm more macho because I don't have one....I already know the difference between many of the posters who have them, use them because they feel better docking with them and the complete hammerheads who don't have a clue...it's actually fun to pick out the different boating personalities...

One more time...I think thrusters are great...I just wonder about the skill level of people who need BOTH bow and stern thrusters. Sure it makes it easier...but it's hard to believe both are ever needed for the same situation....if they are...all I'm saying is in those cases...I wait or it can easily be done with a spring line or some other simple technique.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:28 PM   #34
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good point mahal, times they are a changing and if something is avaiable to make life easier then use it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:41 AM   #35
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Yes, the engine is a "crutch". So is a chart plotter. Sextants and compasses do the job so why a chart plotter?

Again, you can do it the hard way and brag about your skills or you can use available tools to make the job easier and enjoy your time on the water.
Ron, I bet you have paper charts, and know how to plot a course. You probably know how to run a compass course, and convert to true or magnetic. I have twins with a bow thruster, GPS, chart plotter, and auto pilot. If I lose them, I can still operate the boat just fine. It just is a little more inconvenient. There are certain skill sets that should be learned. They can be learned as you get familiar with your boat. However, the fear is that the easy way is so convenient that the need to develop the skill sets may not be realized. Also, many will say "someday". You know how that goes.

You can bet that POD drives help sell boats. When a dealer demonstrates the ease of handling, the potential "captain" thinks, "I can do that". He can, but he could be one electronics failure away from disaster. Dealers love them because it takes away the fear of handling the boat.

A capt. has the right to damage his boat anyway he wants. Just leave mine alone.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #36
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I wonder if the skippers and pilots of tankers and container, bulk, and automobile ships consider their bow thrusters to be training wheels?

Marin, I like you. You're a very logical poster on this forum. The 'training wheels' comment is what he wanted to hear..... so I gave it to him....

My thruster, in a way, gives me what twins give you. Twins would be ideal...but in my world they are not available, so on went the Stern Thruster. An important tool in the very heavy prone currents of La Conner. It also allows me to single handle my boat, something that I was unable to do before. So, really it should be called an 'aid' or a 'tool'.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #37
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Ron, I bet you have paper charts, and know how to plot a course. You probably know how to run a compass course, and convert to true or magnetic. I have twins with a bow thruster, GPS, chart plotter, and auto pilot. If I lose them, I can still operate the boat just fine. It just is a little more inconvenient. There are certain skill sets that should be learned. They can be learned as you get familiar with your boat. However, the fear is that the easy way is so convenient that the need to develop the skill sets may not be realized. Also, many will say "someday". You know how that goes.

You can bet that POD drives help sell boats. When a dealer demonstrates the ease of handling, the potential "captain" thinks, "I can do that". He can, but he could be one electronics failure away from disaster. Dealers love them because it takes away the fear of handling the boat.

A capt. has the right to damage his boat anyway he wants. Just leave mine alone.
.....................
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #38
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My thruster, in a way, gives me what twins give you. Twins would be ideal...but in my world they are not available, so on went the Stern Thruster. An important tool in the very heavy prone currents of La Conner. It also allows me to single handle my boat, something that I was unable to do before. So, really it should be called an 'aid' or a 'tool'.
Actually a thruster will let you do something you can't do with a twin and that is to move one end of the boat or the other straight sideways without moving the other end of the boat at all. If I set opposing thrust with our shifters the boat pivots very nicely but it pivots around some point slightly aft of the center of the hull. If I add rudder I can make the boat pivot faster and tighter for the same power setting, but the stern still swings one way while the bow swings the other way.

Most of the time this gives us all the control we need but there are times when it would be nice to move the stern or bow straight sideways while leaving the other end of the boat exactly where it is. The only way I know to do this is with a thruster.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #39
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Mahal,
Loved your comments.
When I was very young I owned and operated several inboard boats that had no reverse gear or no clutch and gear. Some had a moveable idler pulley on a lever as a clutch. I had a sailboat that I sailed into it's slip. More equipment on all would have been nice but they were all great boats and I didn't have trouble w any but on occasion paddled a bit w the sailboat. There was probably a time when sailors thought real sailors rowed their boats and sails were but training wheels. Wars changed all that I'm sure.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:22 PM   #40
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It was the best $2,815.00 I have ever spent. My wife and I (Weekend boaters) now won't be getting a divorce.

Which brand/model do you have? At less than $3k I might just consider going for it.
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