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Old 07-24-2020, 06:15 PM   #1
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Thruster install budget

Hi gang,
Could anyone tell me what a reasonable budget number would be to install a new adequate electric bow thruster for a 50ft 75,000 lb. boat would be assuming a new battery bank would need to be installed forward?
Thanks
Scott
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:22 PM   #2
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Well, it depends on things like, is it a DIY? If you Diy there is a thruster called Exturn which are basically a bolt on external thruster. If I put a bow thruster on our current boat it will be an external one. Pau Hana put one on his boat recently, you might PM him for costs. They can be installed while hanging in the slings.

If you are going to put a traditional thruster with a tunnel it will probably be in the $15K to $18K range. There is a company on the east coast that publishes the price on their web site and they come to you. Sorry I have forgotten the name.

I put a stern thruster on our boat for less than $5K including battery and dedicated charger. Simple 2 day install.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:25 PM   #3
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I think it is East Coast Bow Thrusters but the prices are now call them.

Edit, I just noticed you are in California. Never mind...
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:05 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure Florida Bow Thrusters might still install on the west coast, or has subcontractors. They are also the US Vetus distributor so likely could recommend someone. Excellent reputation and I know from personal experience wonderful customer service many many years after the sale. Definitely worth calling regardless. https://www.floridabowthrusters.com/

Might as well as call around the yards in SoCal and the Bay Area while you are at it, but get references.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:39 PM   #5
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I recently had a bow thruster installed. Was in Mexico so pricing is useless elsewhere.

Cutting in the tunnel is easy - couple hours tops as long as there are no obstructions on interior. Glassing it in properly is a fair amount of work if you want it to look decent, especially the fairing work on the hull. Probably 24-32 hours would be my guess.

Thruster itself isn't too bad. $5k-$6k as a guess. If your boat is 12vdc and you want a 24vdc thruster, you'll need a DC-DC converter of some sort. Plus cables, tie downs, cables, and fuses. Probably pretty easy to have $1500 in install equipment in addition to thruster and controls.

So $12k - $15k on the lower end is probably about right, plus haul and painting.

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Old 07-24-2020, 10:01 PM   #6
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I think the figures around $15-18k are going to be pretty close for a yard install. Mine was 8 years ago and was $12k in Port Townsend.

I would suggest to go 24V if possible. A battery bank at the thruster with good CCA rating. Several options for charging even if rest of boat is 12v.

I bought the largest Lewmar 12v unit available (185 TT 6 kW), and while it is OK with only light winds or current, I think it is undersized. My boat is 50' but a bit lighter than the one the OP is referring to. Windage is a key consideration also - wind can blow you off the dock fairly quickly as you get close and no longer have much forward momentum or steerage at slow speed. In the Lewmar range I'd choose the 250 TT 8.0 kW in 24V. Or equivalent diameter and kW from a different manufacturer if you prefer.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:05 PM   #7
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$15 to $18K ......
Yikes Bligh, Do ya really need it?
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:37 PM   #8
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If you go with an external pod thruster it would cost less than $10K probably.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
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$15 to $18K ......
Yikes Bligh, Do ya really need it?
Ha. Who knows? I'm not confident backing into tight slips at my marina. I can usually plant the boat anywhere else though.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:59 AM   #10
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I don't think I wod want an external bow thruster
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If you go with an external pod thruster it would cost less than $10K probably.
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:52 AM   #11
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Weebles has a good idea. If the boat is still in SoCal, you could take a little cruise to Ensenada if they will let you and have it done there.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Weebles has a good idea. If the boat is still in SoCal, you could take a little cruise to Ensenada if they will let you and have it done there.
Ensenada is mostly closed right now, but with typical Mexican ingenuity, there are workarounds.

I've enjoyed having work done in Mexico. But for anyone considering, best to bring all parts and equipment down. Even though it's just an hour drive south of the border, getting large or high value goods in can be difficult. Mexico has a 16%VAT and a lot of customs paperwork so an agent fee too. There are workarounds for these too, but not sure of legality. The vagaries of doing work in a semi-third world country.

In general, workmanship is very good.

Peter.
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