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Old 08-29-2020, 10:17 AM   #21
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When I got my boat , the bow thruster ran off the 8d house battery. I did notice sharp drops in volt gauge when I used it. To solve this I added a group31 Glass mat 2’ from the motor. I did the same with the stern thruster. I then bought 2 single bank 10 amp chargers. 1 for each battery. This isolated everything. If one system was to fail it can not cause any other problems. Also all charging systems are separate. I left the old power wires that went to the bow thruster in place but disconnected. Should I ever drain my 2 8d’s I can always connect them back to the thruster battery for an emergency start.
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:19 AM   #22
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we had a bow and stern thruster. While the stern thruster did help with turning it was limited in its ability to bring the stern into the dock in even moderate breeze. So, my suggestion is if you plan to get a thruster, make sure it is big enough to really get the job done. I would oversize - additional cost is minimal once you commit to do the job. Also, make sure batteries are up to the job. These things draw a lot of amps.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:14 AM   #23
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I would definitely have a dedicated battery for each thruster. It is easy to do and doesn’t add a significant cost to the project. We added an Optima for the stern thruster with it’s own 15 amp charger. I still ran 4/0 cable even though it is only about 3’ run. The dedicated battery and heavy cable are a one time expense that will pay off the whole life of the system. Less problems with low voltsge, bad for the thruster motor and no problems for other systems on the boat like the engine if you have an electronic engine. Our total cost was under $4500 for the oversize thruster, battery and charger. Since I installed it there were no labor costs. It was a fairly simple install.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:17 AM   #24
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Hi Mike

Was that you heading North up Houstoun Passage yesterday afternoon, 5 ish?
I waved.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:23 AM   #25
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hmmmm, a thought..... AC powered hyd pump and then hyd thrusters.
Dumb idea? Sounds expensive to make the change over.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:28 AM   #26
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Hi Mike

Was that you heading North up Houstoun Passage yesterday afternoon, 5 ish?
I waved.
Hi Keith
It was not us but here is a virtual wave to you..........
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:42 AM   #27
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I think of the anti-thruster boaters as I do sail boaters! I bet they go to the dentist with a bad tooth and say no pain killer don’t try to save the tooth with your skills, just take a stick and a rock and knock the bad tooth out!
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:08 PM   #28
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To solve this I added a group31 Glass mat 2’ from the motor. I did the same with the stern thruster. I then bought 2 single bank 10 amp chargers. 1 for each battery. This isolated everything.
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I would definitely have a dedicated battery for each thruster. It is easy to do and doesn’t add a significant cost to the project. We added an Optima for the stern thruster with it’s own 15 amp charger.
A question for either or both of you: What type of chargers are these? What powers them?

I've never had a setup like this, but a few boats I've looked at have a bow thruster powered from the house bank. Looking at the amp draw, I'm not so sure I like what that might do to instruments, etc. Especially since I might want to use the thruster a bit in locks where you have the engine shut off.

Your "isolated" systems sound good, so I'm wondering where the chargers get their power and when.

(Figured this might be of interest to the OP as well.
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:18 PM   #29
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A question for either or both of you: What type of chargers are these? What powers them?

I've never had a setup like this, but a few boats I've looked at have a bow thruster powered from the house bank. Looking at the amp draw, I'm not so sure I like what that might do to instruments, etc. Especially since I might want to use the thruster a bit in locks where you have the engine shut off.

Your "isolated" systems sound good, so I'm wondering where the chargers get their power and when.

(Figured this might be of interest to the OP as well.

This reminds me of something I didn't mention in my post. For the dedicated battery I added for my stern thruster, I use a DC to DC charger from the house battery. This has worked out well for me and allowed me to avoid having to re-do any portion of the original 12v battery charging setup that came with the boat.
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:22 PM   #30
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Attached is a detailed description of my DIY install on my last boat.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SternThruster.pdf (1.55 MB, 81 views)
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:26 PM   #31
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Attached is a detailed description of my DIY install on my last boat.

Wow! That's one top notch "how to" document, boathealer!
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:34 PM   #32
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Quote:
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A question for either or both of you: What type of chargers are these? What powers them?

I've never had a setup like this, but a few boats I've looked at have a bow thruster powered from the house bank. Looking at the amp draw, I'm not so sure I like what that might do to instruments, etc. Especially since I might want to use the thruster a bit in locks where you have the engine shut off.

Your "isolated" systems sound good, so I'm wondering where the chargers get their power and when.

(Figured this might be of interest to the OP as well.
I recently changed my charging device for my bow thruster 24V battery bank. It now charges with excess power from the 12V house bank. Here is a detailed writeup: DC-DC 12-24V Charger Install
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:35 PM   #33
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Wow! That's one top notch "how to" document, boathealer!
Thanks - you are too kind....
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:27 PM   #34
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I'm with Dave on this one. I have 2 SidePower SP95's on my 34 Mainship and they do fine for me. You have more windage than I do so one size larger would not be a bad idea. These are discontinued but they have newer replacements in the same range. Mine are not the variable speed but I have heard good things from others with them. I did install the wireless remote and it has come in handy at times as we do a lot of locking and I've been able to assist my mate in wind & turbulent situations. I also use them periodically to pick up bow lines from pilings after into my slip but not any help there if you only add a stern.
Dedicated batty with short 4/0 runs is the way to go. a pair of GP31 AGM's should work well. I have an 8D AGM thruster batty but looking to switch to a pair GP31s when my 8D dies.
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:47 PM   #35
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I put in a 15 amp Promariner charger for the stern thruster. Had it in for 3 years now and so far so good.
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:31 PM   #36
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There are many ways to charge the thruster batteries. I choose to use 2 separate promarina 10 amp charges. I wanted totally independent systems. They charge when dockside or when Gen is running. You do not need to charge those batteries when running the boat . No one uses thrusters for any length until docking. There is more then enough juice for minutes of operation. I did not want anything connected to the DC boat side . 300 amps can cause strange things to computers and instruments.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:12 PM   #37
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Arc raises a valid point about caution when / if connecting thruster battys to other battys aboard.
I chose to include the ability to charge my thruster bank from my main eng alt and chose a Sterling CVSR to make the connection. If interested in more details they can be found at

https://dkloeber.wixsite.com/bacchus/project-pg-4
Alt & 110V Charging System Mods

This systems has now been in operation since 2015 w/o any issues.
I originally looked at the ProIsocharge relay bit it was not recommended for this application.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:28 PM   #38
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My Vetus thruster and windlass are both 24v powered directly from my two 8D starts in series with their own battery switch and punch breakers.

This has been fine as my thruster, when used at all, is soon after leaving dock to go through the lock or at the end of my run when returning through the lock or entering a marina slip, when the batteries are fully charged.

Plus the use is usually three or four bursts of two to three seconds or less.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:45 PM   #39
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My GB 32 (18,000 pounds) came with a Dickenson hydraulic stern thruster. It really makes close in maneuvering very easy and much more controllable. Highly recommended!
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:54 PM   #40
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Thanks for the additional input, everyone.

A DC-DC charger sounds like a great idea. My future boat may well not have a generator, and - at least in the past - I have tended to be more of an anchorer than a plugger-inner. I suppose an alternative would be something like a Sterling APD just for the instruments (leaving the thruster on the house bank); but I like the DC-DC charger/separate battery concept.

Haven't found the boat yet, so who knows what the details will be; but now I have some better ideas of how to set things up. Up to now I've done a fair bit of living by DC, so I'm familiar with that; but no thruster. Smallish windlass was the only big load, and the amps that drew pale in comparison to what I'm seeing for thrusters Possibly running thruster(s) without the engine on just makes it worse.

OP, I hope this semi-tangent was of use to you.

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