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Old 19-01-2015, 19:40   #1
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Bow Thruster Advice

Grand Banks 36 Europa, single in line prop. Thinking of adding a Bow Thruster to increase maneuverability for docking and such. PNWB in active marine environment, looking for advice on manufactures, pit falls and annual maintenance requirements.
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Old 19-01-2015, 19:51   #2
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

I put a Lewmar on my GB 32. Worth it's weight in gold. Just replace the zincs each year. Need a dedicated gel cell battery.


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Old 19-01-2015, 21:15   #3
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

Why a dedicated battery, 20-feet away I have two banks of batteries or can do hydraulic off the main engine.
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Old 19-01-2015, 21:21   #4
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

Electric thrusters draw a lot of current. The voltage drop over 20 feet is the problem. Look into several thruster manufacturers, and read their installation manuals. It is critical that you provide recommended battery and wiring conditions.
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Old 19-01-2015, 21:24   #5
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

you will wonder how you docked without one , i have a 12.5 hp twin blade one on my 58ft ketch ,wow now i can go places. this is the first one i installed ,i've since done 2 more.easy but keep your batteries as close as possible. cheers
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Old 20-01-2015, 02:08   #6
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere View Post
Electric thrusters draw a lot of current. The voltage drop over 20 feet is the problem. Look into several thruster manufacturers, and read their installation manuals. It is critical that you provide recommended battery and wiring conditions.
ok, they need a lot of current,
either a dedicated batterie with a 'small' line to the engine alternator,
or a large line direct to engine battery (always fully charged)
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Old 20-01-2015, 16:45   #7
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

These things draw hundreds of amps for short periods of time.


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Old 21-01-2015, 11:31   #8
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

Get a hydraulic one. The endless usage you will never get tired of. :-)
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Old 22-01-2015, 07:50   #9
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

Forget DC power; go hydraulic if you have it.

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Old 22-01-2015, 09:37   #10
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Bow Thruster Advice

Sorry forget hydraulic , it's will cost two to three times as much or more depending on the installation , get a good brand like side -power or similar , ( sleipner motor) , you may need a separate battery in the bow, but I have boats with about 20 foot runs and alls well.


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Old 22-01-2015, 10:11   #11
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

I have had a hydraulic Keypower thruster on my boat for 17 years. It has only required zinc replacements, and has been totally trouble free. I believe that they also make electric versions. You can see more information here: bow thruster, roll fin stabilizer, get home drive, hydraulics
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Old 23-01-2015, 04:57   #12
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

I've got a pair of 24V Side Power thrusters (front & rear), each with its dedicated battery bank and charger. They can spin my 40-ton baby around like a top!
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Old 23-01-2015, 12:07   #13
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

You don't need a dedicated battery but you do need serious battery power and serious cabling. Maintenance is nothing more than replacing anodes and cleaning growth off the tunnel and propeller (as part of your regular bottom cleaning).


There are some companies that specialize in installing bow thrusters and since you need a couple of very large, perfectly aligned holes in your hull, I suggest finding one of these companies and having them do the entire job. They do it all the time, have the tools and have the experience.


I have a bow thruster, it can be a big help.
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Old 23-01-2015, 12:53   #14
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
You don't need a dedicated battery but you do need serious battery power and serious cabling. Maintenance is nothing more than replacing anodes and cleaning growth off the tunnel and propeller (as part of your regular bottom cleaning).


There are some companies that specialize in installing bow thrusters and since you need a couple of very large, perfectly aligned holes in your hull, I suggest finding one of these companies and having them do the entire job. They do it all the time, have the tools and have the experience.


I have a bow thruster, it can be a big help.
Personally, I'd opt for a dedicated battery & charger that you can run off of the existing house circuit, rather than having to route a really BIG cable from one end to the other of the boat. I can't see the added bow weight as being a problem on a 36' boat, and if you use a remote, you won't even have to hard-wire the controls back to the helm.

This said, I totally agree that a professional installation is the only way to go. They'll know what you need, where to put it, and how to do it.
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Old 23-01-2015, 14:52   #15
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Re: Bow Thruster Advice

My 24-volt bow thruster runs well off the house batteries 12 feet distant.
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