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Old 15-05-2007, 07:02   #16
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Originally Posted by bottleinamessage
I see Lewmar has them now. Any feedback in theirs?
What I'd really like to find is someone who has used a specific brand and their feedback. Yes, I still believe in Santa.
I actually talked to the Lewmar rep about theirs and asked why their thrusters look so similar to SidePower's (particularly the motors). He almost admitted they copied SidePower. The IMTRA rep verified and said Lewmar used to sell SidePower (rebadged as Lewmar). Then they stopped and made their own, essentially a copy. Where this might be a concern is the motor. Sleiper AG (sister co of SidePower) does nothing but make eletric motors for all sorts of applications, so the design and support is probably good.
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Old 15-05-2007, 07:17   #17
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Actually thats a bit inaccurate. Lewmar never re-badged Side Power units. There's never been a licensing agreement between the companies. They entered the market in the late 80's when they bought a UK company called Richfield Thrusters which was mostly large yacht hydraulics. It wasn't until the 90's that they introduces the electric small boat TT line. There have been several different motor suppliers. Lewmar has a good match with the current supplier. The units are extremely reliable (I do warranty for them as well. IN the past two years, only had two claims and 1 of those was for an older unit with a bad motor, which was not supplied by the current vendor) they also have been proven to have the lowest draw and longest run time compared to the competitors.
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Old 15-05-2007, 08:09   #18
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We've a 12v Maxpower retractible and its fine (but only just) for a high freeboard 46 footer.
Personally, for a 40 footer, not sure I'd bother with any bowthruster. Unless you've a long keeled jobbie thats a bugger to steer in reverse...............
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Old 15-05-2007, 09:17   #19
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Sounds like a waste of money,time, space, electricity and boat speed for a 40 footer. Why do you NEED one??
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Old 16-05-2007, 09:26   #20
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Might be. We're not getting any younger and we both think it would make life much easier for us in certain docking situations.
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Old 16-05-2007, 13:44   #21
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Yes havign a bow thruster can make life so much easier. Especially with the very tight manouvering conditions of many marinas these days, as they try to pack more and more boats in to the same area. I was in one the other day that was so small for me, I really struggled getting around. A thruster would have really made a difference. For me, the cost out weighs the benifits in my situation, but to someone else, it can save a ot of stress. If you can afford one, go for it. Well worth the money.
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Old 16-05-2007, 14:31   #22
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Old 06-12-2007, 13:48   #23
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Hi folks,
quite interesting things about bow thrusters here. Nevertheless, I am experiencing quite a scary period because I made up my mind to install one on my vessel.
She is a 42 foot ketch, long keel and skegged rudder, therefore poor performances when backing on engine prop. Hence, my decision to install a bow thruster after years of struggled manoeuvers came out very quick.
But here's the problem, Sirs. Having chosen the right bowthruster for my needs, I am just trying to untie the knots about the possible structural damage from a huge hole. Of course, taken for granted that the ship yards works fine, and the bowthruster is good, does anyone know whether the overall fore side of the keel will not suffer for the big hole? There is real evidence that the "surgery operation" (when everything is made properly) will not cause structural stress?
Thanks
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Old 06-12-2007, 19:49   #24
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Funny I get this question a lot. You are actually making the boat stronger with the addition of a bow thruster. The fiberglass tunnel is quite stout and adds a lot of strength to the hull, not less, as long as you get a high quality installation. Choose your installer carefully. You should be using a 185MM tunnel and about a 5Kw (80 kg thrust) of power for your application. 6 KW (95-100 Kg of thrust)would be the best system as you have a lot boat below the waterline to push around. When the wind and tide are not in your favor you will be very happy you opted for more power.
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Old 06-12-2007, 20:42   #25
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We disagree - we believe that Arcturus (American Bow Thrusters) is superior.

I just ran across this thread and found a few inaccuracies.

For one Arcturus makes all their own parts and based on the search I did back in 2000, has (in my engineering opinion) the most robust bow thrusters on the market.

I've visited the factory in Northern California, talked to other owners and their head of engineering and was (and am) very impressed with their operation.

see http://www.thrusters.com/

We have their smallest electric unit - 8" 24V 7.5 HP on Raptor Dance, our Valiant 50.

We love it. It's helped us get out of some dicey situations - like coming into a slip with a 35 knot cross breeze and a 1 knot current (going the other way!).

Also, by cutting and filling with our engine and pulsing the thruster, I can move our 37,000 pound boat sideways.

Thrusters are not absolutely necessary if you know how to drive - but they sure make life easier and give you a great margin for getting out of trouble!

They may be the most expensive units on the market, but their worth it!

Cheers,
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Old 06-12-2007, 21:13   #26
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There is a bow thruster out know that uses waterjets, has a central waterpump and directs flow to whichever jet is required only involves fitting of through hull type fitting and running hoses, not sure of name but google search would probably find it
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Old 06-12-2007, 23:24   #27
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Hey yeah, I saw that too. Real cool idea. I thought that would be a very easy way to do a bow thruster for my boat. Just fit skin fittings and your away. I think it would be to difficult fitting a thruster tunnel to an FC boat. But the water jet idea would work a treat.
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Old 07-12-2007, 00:08   #28
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As a relative monohull newbie with 32,000 pounds of boat and a Max-Prop on the keel (not a lot of prop-walk)... I have been eyeing thrusters. I have a couple of 70-pound thrust trolling motors around the lab from the Microship project, and really want to try what I've been calling the redneck bow thruster: one or both on a frame that can be flopped over the bow and cinched back with a vee-shaped fixture molded to the stem. I have a handy tang at the waterline (for changing the anchoring point) and with a bit of fiddling could probably winch it back solidly enough to do the job.

Definitely ugly and perhaps silly... but not there when not needed, and a lot cheaper than the $10K or so that I've been quoted. I know there is a product that operates on this principle so I'm not breaking radical new ground... has anyone actually tried this approach with a heavy boat in the 40s? It's a kluge that might or might not be effective, but would be a fairly simple experiment.

Cheers,
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:51   #29
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Just to advise that I did eventually not have the guts to make a hole on my boat's bow. Didn't install the bow thruster...

I'll do the french way....mooring bow to the jetty.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:17   #30
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Re: Bow thruster

A note of caution - I have a factory fitted Max Power thruster with a control circuit problem. I emailed the manufacturer with a request for information and I have been ignored. The factory refuses to provide info. over the 'phone. Check out their web site, they provide no information of any value!
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