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Old 08-30-2020, 12:57 PM   #1
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Exturn bow thruster review - EX35 Single 12V

With some products, finding user reviews are few and far between; this is one of those products so I thought I'd throw a review in here at TF for those searching for real life experience using this style of external mount thruster.

First a link for a quick overview and saving me repeating the main selling points for this product:

https://side-power.com/kategori/1831...RoCLIMQAvD_BwE

This is the model I purchased and at first I was worried about whether I should have gone one size up as my purchase was the "base" size: [EX35 Single 12V thruster]

https://side-power.com/produkt/20481...-12v-thruster/

I don't have a great deal of thruster experience. I have used a bow thruster on a Back Cove 34, side tunnel, don't recall the brand. What I did notice is the lack of power it seemed to have. This thruster worked but worked slowly and noisily. It is the cause of the noise that is the problem. The noise comes from cavitation as tunnel systems are close to the water surface, sometimes too close. In a marina you don't even have to look to know someone is using their tunnel thruster.

This thruster is deeper in the water and by default is water cooled. This thruster does not have the typical washing machine sound, more a buzz than a slush. The EX35 Single has 25 kilograms of thrust (55) pounds and I was worried that for my boat it might not be enough and I should have followed the practice of sizing one up. The chart says this model is for boats 6-9 meters long, mine is 8.3 or something like that, long.

Because there is no cavitation, this bow thruster moved my boat briskly around. It was nice to not have to concern myself about over heating as the motor, mounted under the water has nature's cooling system.

My boat doesn't have a flybridge and I was wondering if a larger side profile of a boat in a similar size with a flybridge in a decent wind might be affected. Even though the increased height, thus a larger area side profile presenting, I believe this thruster would handle the above situation much better than many with tunnel thrusters.

I would say the chart presented for choosing what thruster to install can be trusted unless a boat is unusually heavy with a larger than normal side profile, then maybe go one size up.
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Old 08-30-2020, 01:47 PM   #2
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Sweet.

Where did you pull the power from, or did you plunk a dedicated battery nearby?

How 'robust' does its physical connection to the hull appear to be?

Did you have to disassemble much of the interior to access the inside of the hull?

You should be able to run it for a good long time in BC waters
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:37 PM   #3
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If we keep our current boat I will install one of the Exturn thruster on the bow. I do not have physical room for a tunnel so this is a viable option. I have herd good things about them from a couple of people.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:02 PM   #4
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Installation: Because of the wood keel, the hole was intrusive and would compromise the integrity of the wood. In other words, once the hole was drilled, there wasn't a good amount of wood on either side. Aluminum, quite thick aluminum was brought in as side braces on either side and generously epoxied in.

Power: I had purchased 6 Firefly batteries, and originally 4 in the house bank and two up front for the thruster and windlass. But it was decided to tie the two up front batteries into the house bank. With the two batteries up in the front with the thruster, the heavy duty gauged wiring didn't have a long run. Usually you don't use the windless and thruster at the same time, if you do use the thruster just after pulling up anchor it will be just a short blip to head the bow in the right direction. It is recommended there be a least one battery up front for the thruster.

I'm not too worried about depleted batteries, the Fireflies have more energy density than AGM's and FLA's. My total amperage is 694 amps. But I also have solar and an Efoy methanol fuel cell so I can generate suitable power albeit not quickly.

How robust the connection? My refit guy did something different. The thruster has three hull connections, the main big one and two others to stop the unit from twisting, etc. There is a "collar" that comes with the unit surrounding the large bolts. My refit guy built up a bed for the thruster made out of fiberglass. So this thruster has more support than probably almost all others.

Disassembling the interior. I did a complete gut job on the interior of the boat. My fuel and water tanks where 50 years old and I decided that when in refit to get rid of them and install new ones, yucky plastic taste to the new fresh water holding tanks. The fresh water tank was removed that was in the bow area (focsle?) under the V birth and moved further astern installing two smaller tanks rather than the larger one the boat currently had.

I am not a high water volume user. My toilet is a new Airhead composting unit. My shower is in the cockpit area, not in the head. So water use for us is dishes and clean up mainly. My hot water tank is only three gallons. The old fresh water tank had to go to make room for the battery and access to install the thruster. From the inside, there is one large hole (with brackets) and wiring, that's it; nothing like a tunnel thruster with a large motor etc on the inside.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:31 AM   #5
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Good morning!

We installed our Exturn on 2015 and it's been flawless. Here's my writeup with photos:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ays-22979.html
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:19 PM   #6
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With the size and configuration of your double thruster, it must move your boat around briskly, my smaller unit even though a "single" is very responsive.
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:13 PM   #7
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Yes, it does move the boat quite well- we’re very happy with it.

Especially my wife!
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:35 PM   #8
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Yes, it takes the stress out of docking not to mention not having to horse the boat around by hand.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:34 PM   #9
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Any concerns of the motor being in the water?
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:40 PM   #10
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Well, actually the motor is in the thruster housing. Exturn has been around for a while now and I have not heard any problems with them so they must be made well enough to keep the water out of the housing. It does help keep the thruster cool so run times are extended.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:41 PM   #11
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No more, no less than damage done to my hull in case of a hit or whatever. In fact, I just had my boat out for sea trials trying out the new motor and leg installed. Within 20 minutes of being on the water, the boat hit a log. As the boat was on plane, the thruster was out of the water.
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