mainship-stern thruster

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jck2843

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Sep 28, 2011
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To the writer looking for a trawler in the 35' range I agree the Mainship is an excellent choice. I actually had a contract on an '83 type three. It was moved to the yard to correct some survey items when hurricane Irene broke the boat and the contract.

While I've never used a stern thruster it would seem to be a handy item on a single screw boat. Most back to port ( Mainships especially so) and a counter thrust would certainly be a help when backing into a slip. When backing the stern becomes the bow and the thruster with the prop should make for "front wheel drive"!
 
Come on, a stern thruster on a 35 footer?! You gotta be kidding.

-- Edited by Fotoman on Wednesday 28th of September 2011 07:06:57 PM
 
I had a good chuckle out of the guys at the marina where I keep little Moonstruck.* They are dealers for SeaRay and Carver.* For some reason the marina guys were bringing a late model 35' Mainship trawler around to put into a slip.* These are the guys you see somethimes acting like cowboys with their regular boats.* The single screw sstraght drive really threw them for a loop.* First they tried to back in to no avial.* Then they tred to turn it around between the docks.* They got it part way around, and it started moving toward the boats on the other side of the fairway.* Then they found the bow thruster.* You could here it grinding all over the marina.* They finally ran out of battery or it timed out on them.* One of their guys came down with a coil of rope and threw it to them.* They finally pulled the boat nto the slip saying what handling problems the boat had.* Real seamen they were.
 
I love our stern thruster on our 35'! They are great tools Willy. I invite you onboard Skinny Dippin' and I can show you. I would love a bow thruster too, but take it or leave it because a stern thruster makes the boat turn on a dime. Think about it... A boat already steers from the stern. A thruster makes it steer better. You still have to watch the bow docking, but that's what the first mate is for ;-)
 
jck2843 wrote:
When backing the stern becomes the bow and the thruster with the prop should make for "front wheel drive"!
*Hmm.... not sure I agree with that one.* When backing the stern is still the stern because that's where the rudder(s) and*prop(s)*is (are)*which makes the stern act totally differently than the bow no matter which way you're going.

In my opinion, if one has a single engine boat and wants the benefits of a thruster, a bow thruster is going to buy you a lot more maneuverability value than a stern thruster.* Unless one has a very specific docking or maneuvering challenge for which moving the stern sideways with the prop, rudder, and inertia doesn't work.* Then a stern thruster may be the solution.

But under most circumstances, a single engine boat already has a stern thruster in the form of the rudder and prop.* If the driver knows how to use them together with inertia, a single engine boat can be backed as straight as a counter-rotating*twin although it might take a bit more time and a few more marine gear shifts to do it.
 
Marin wrote:
In my opinion, if one has a single engine boat and wants the benefits of a thruster, a bow thruster is going to buy you a lot more maneuverability value than a stern thruster.
*I whole heartily agree with the above statement but I have two friends that love their stern thrusters. In theory, however, if you are going to have only one thruster, the one on the bow will give you the most control in all situations.
 

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Moonstruck wrote:
I had a good chuckle out of the guys at the marina where I keep little Moonstruck.* They are dealers for SeaRay and Carver.* For some reason the marina guys were bringing a late model 35' Mainship trawler around to put into a slip.* These are the guys you see somethimes acting like cowboys with their regular boats.* The single screw sstraght drive really threw them for a loop.* First they tried to back in to no avial.* Then they tred to turn it around between the docks.* They got it part way around, and it started moving toward the boats on the other side of the fairway.* Then they found the bow thruster.* You could here it grinding all over the marina.* They finally ran out of battery or it timed out on them.* One of their guys came down with a coil of rope and threw it to them.* They finally pulled the boat nto the slip saying what handling problems the boat had.* Real seamen they were.
*

No comment from me as I probably know the cowboys you are referring there @ your marina Don! *It would have been fun to watch though!!
 
"One of their guys came down with a coil of rope and threw it to them. "

The cruisers low cost , no maint system. Best with a couple of old sail boat winches on each quarter.

Since the time factor is critical on electric thrusters , folks should contemplate HYD , as they have no time limit.
 
jck2843 wrote:
To the writer looking for a trawler in the 35' range I agree the Mainship is an excellent choice. I actually had a contract on an '83 type three. It was moved to the yard to correct some survey items when hurricane Irene broke the boat and the contract.

While I've never used a stern thruster it would seem to be a handy item on a single screw boat. Most back to port ( Mainships especially so) and a counter thrust would certainly be a help when backing into a slip. When backing the stern becomes the bow and the thruster with the prop should make for "front wheel drive"!
*I ran an old 34 Mainship for 14 years. The "back to port" feature actually helped me big time. It never hurt. Once you learn that the boat will do that and only do that, manouvering is easy. Took me about 2 seasons (using the boat almost every weekend) to fully be competent.* IF you add a thruster to that boat a bow thruster is a better choice. I can put the a$$ end of a single screw boat anywhere I want...it's the pointy end thatgives the trouble and where you need control.

All that said, my current boat has a hydraulic stern thruster (installed by the previous owner). It does work and helps*a 40 ft boat with a full fat keel *tremendously, however it only moves the bow when there is light wind. The hydraulic is nice because as FF said, there is no time limit to use. Sometimes I use it to show off a little and to save a few back and fills.

The issue with a stern thruster is depth of the prop. It has to be above the hull bottom so there is no drag under way, so that means when my boat's stern is light, (as in when my water tanks are near empty), the prop is partially out of the water and much much less effective.

*

*
 
Woodsong wrote:Moonstruck wrote:
I had a good chuckle out of the guys at the marina where I keep little Moonstruck.* They are dealers for SeaRay and Carver.* For some reason the marina guys were bringing a late model 35' Mainship trawler around to put into a slip.* These are the guys you see somethimes acting like cowboys with their regular boats.* The single screw sstraght drive really threw them for a loop.* First they tried to back in to no avial.* Then they tred to turn it around between the docks.* They got it part way around, and it started moving toward the boats on the other side of the fairway.* Then they found the bow thruster.* You could here it grinding all over the marina.* They finally ran out of battery or it timed out on them.* One of their guys came down with a coil of rope and threw it to them.* They finally pulled the boat nto the slip saying what handling problems the boat had.* Real seamen they were.
*

No comment from me as I probably know the cowboys you are referring there @ your marina Don! *It would have been fun to watch though!!

*Tony, you can probably imagine the marina guys up at Island Cove trying to handle your boat in a tight spot.
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FF wrote:


Since the time factor is critical on electric thrusters , folks should contemplate HYD , as they have no time limit.
*Folks should contemplate learning how to handle their boat. *3 minutes is the time limit on most thrusters and should be MORE than plenty enough time to get the boat into it's parking spot. *I use mine probably a total of 10 seconds going in and out....and that is just me being lazy. *I could easily do without it...although backing is quite a challenge.

I consider propwalk on a boat a "one way stern thruster". *Like someone said, use it to your advantage and always dock to your "advantaged" side if you have a choice....you should do that on any boat.

Given the choice, I would take a bow thruster over a stern thruster....BUT....Marin mentioned value...and with value, cost must be considered. *I stern thruster is significantly less expensive to install. *Maybe a stern thruster has more "value" in that regard.
 
jleonard wrote:
The issue with a stern thruster is depth of the prop. It has to be above the hull bottom so there is no drag under way, so that means when my boat's stern is light, (as in when my water tanks are near empty), the prop is partially out of the water and much much less effective.

*
There is a bolt-on, electric stern thruster made for just such applications for boats (like GBs, CHBs, etc) that have very shallow draft sterns.* It's sold by Cap Sante Marine in Anacortes, WA.* http://www.capsante.com/stern thrusters.html
 
I love both my thrustes equally and agree that if you need anywhere near three minutes you need lessons. In three minutes I could spin my boat in a circle twice.

Dave
 
magicbus wrote:In three minutes I could spin my boat in a circle twice. Dave
*So could I--- maybe three times--- with no thrusters :)
 
Marin wrote:
There is a bolt-on, electric stern thruster made for just such applications for boats (like GBs, CHBs, etc) that have very shallow draft sterns.* It's sold by Cap Sante Marine in Anacortes, WA.* http://www.capsante.com/stern thrusters.html
*That would certainly help out some, but if there is a little chop in the water, etc., it would still be pushing some air. The only time it's really been an issue is when I run the boat up tto my winter haulout marina. I like to let the aft water tanks run low before haulout.
 
Marin wrote:magicbus wrote:In three minutes I could spin my boat in a circle twice. Dave
*So could I--- maybe three times--- with no thrusters :)

*I am thinking a thruster is cheaper to install and maintain than another engine???!!!...
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Baker wrote:
*I am thinking a thruster is cheaper to install and maintain than another engine???!!!...
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*Absolutely.* So the trick is to buy a boat with two engines to begin with.* That way one doesn't have to spend a bunch of time writing posts to boating forums in attempts to convince one's self that one engine is as good as two.* :) :) :)
 
Marin wrote:Baker wrote:
*I am thinking a thruster is cheaper to install and maintain than another engine???!!!...
wink.gif
*Absolutely.* So the trick is to buy a boat with two engines to begin with.* That way one doesn't have to spend a bunch of time writing posts to boating forums in attempts to convince one's self that one engine is as good as two.* :) :) :)

*thank you for the good laugh Marin.*
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Cost- benefit is important here, a bow thruster is more money than a stern thruster and a hydraulic thruster is more than electric. Since I have run many, many different boats over the years I would go for an electric bow thruster for the best return for the money. I have run many single screw boats without thrusters, the worst was a steel car ferry converted to a dinner theater boat, 70 feet long with a 36 foot beam, yes 36' beam.
The thruster allows an incredible attitude change, that coming to the dock or getting into a tight spot is not the white knuckle worry that it might be without a thruster. Since often the skipper is at the helm and the Admiral is handling lines, a thruster might make things more enjoyable for both parties, and worth the investment.
 
yachtbrokerguy wrote:The thruster allows an incredible attitude change, that coming to the dock or getting into a tight spot is not the white knuckle worry that it might be without a thruster. Since often the skipper is at the helm and the Admiral is handling lines, a thruster might make things more enjoyable for both parties, and worth the investment.
******** The above statements certainly support my own experience.* I do know how to "back & fill" and can put my boat exactly where I want it without the aid of a thruster. The addition of a thruster, however, gives me the tool I* need to smartly land the boat when I'm otherwise distracted.
 
Marin wrote:Baker wrote:
*I am thinking a thruster is cheaper to install and maintain than another engine???!!!...
wink.gif
*Absolutely.* So the trick is to buy a boat with two engines to begin with.* That way one doesn't have to spend a bunch of time writing posts to boating forums in attempts to convince one's self that one engine is as good as two.* :) :) :)

*I have two engines and a bow thruster.* I'm thinking of installing a stern thruster and an auxillary get home engine.
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* Actually my trawler was and my Blackfin is a single screw with no thruster.* Neither have been a problem.* My Mainship Pilot was a single with a bow thruster.* That was a great combination that I would consider again.
 
Moonstruck wrote:
*I have two engines and a bow thruster.* I'm thinking of installing a stern thruster and an auxillary get home engine.
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*
*Don't forget a mast and sails.* With roller furling.
 
Moonstruck wrote:
*Tony, you can probably imagine the marina guys up at Island Cove trying to handle your boat in a tight spot.
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*Indeed! *Actually 1-2 of them could do it. *Typically though....they park boats with their little jon boat as a push boat so I don't get to confirm whether they can do it or not. *Afterall, as you know, it takes a real man to properly handle a single screw trawler. *
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