Originally Posted by Adelaide
Marin, we'll have to agree to disagree on the value of a relatively inexpensive stern thruster on a single engine trawler.
No disagreement. If a boater has one or can afford to install one he should use it. If we had one on our boat, even with two engines, we'd use it. Same with a bow thruster.
My only point is that if you don't have one it's not the end of the world. There are techniques to accomplish the same result, but they do require more understanding and practice than pushing a button or lever.
99.9 percent of the boats I see when we're out don't have stern thrusters and from my observation they all seem to do just fine when docking, be it calm conditions or adverse winds and/or currents.
So I think it's a great tool if you have one but I don't think it's a necessary tool for precise maneuvering if you don't.