, it would seem that the general consensus from a bunch of very experience cruisers here is that you would be quite well served with a single diesel
and a bow thruster if you need it
The reason I say if you need it
is because you may not be docking
in a slip that is tight and requires high maneuverability. However the biggest factor is the vessel itself. The vast majority of all recreational "trawlers" out there (Albins, Grand Banks
, Defevers, etc.) are either (1) semi displacement
hulls; or (2) light and of high windage, flybridges, oxygen tents, etc.
If however you were to acquire a very heavy, deep draft
, low windage vessel with a long keel
and a large rudder
(perhaps modified with a fish
tail) then I seriously doubt you would need a bow thruster in 99% of all conditions you find yourself in.
In any case, when you buy your boat, but before you commit to spending thousands on any thrusters, invest in one weekend of training with a very experienced skipper
who is familiar with handling your type of vessel.
From first hand knowledge - when I bought my monster boat I was intimidated as hell for months. I practiced docking
a hundred times and constantly screwed up. Then one weekend I asked a retired freighter captain
to teach me while taking me to the commercial fuel
dock. It was wonderful what that one weekend did to my self-confidence and abilities!