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Old 07-03-2018, 03:55   #1
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Bow thruster control panel location

I'm currently fitting a Sidepower bow thruster to my long keeler which is tiller steered. The manufacturer's advice is to mount the touch control panel close to the steering and engine controls for obvious reasons so it could go either on the port locker side panel next to the engine control or on the cockpit rear bulkhead.

The problem is that the panel switches are marked port and starboard but mounted on the rear bulkhead would be back to front. This is my preferred location and I can easily remark them but I wonder where others have fitted theirs.

I'm also fitting a wireless remote so the fixed panel will mostly be used to enable/disable the controls, but it still needs to be clear to anyone using it which way the boat will go when they press a button!!

Paul
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:20   #2
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

Just reverse the controll wires at the joystick and it will appear to work as labled. I did it with my Sidepower.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:31   #3
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

Hi Phil
thanks for the reply. I can do that with the push button controller version that I have but the colours will be wrong. Not that it matters that much and maybe a bit of touch up paint will do the trick.
Do you have tiller steering and if so where did you mount the joystick?
I'm also looking at Velcro mounting the wireless remote fob onto the end of the tiller.
Paul
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:47   #4
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

I have wheel steering but over the years I have had to hot wire the controls to comensate for electrical problems in the thruster head.

Nail varnish works to recolor things.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:02   #5
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

Red nail varnish I can borrow from my wife's boudoir, however I don't know that green would be in there; I sincerely hope not!!

I have actually just found some little red and green triangular stickers that came with a year planner that are a perfect fit, always assuming they can be persuaded to stay put of course.

Unless someone comes up with a better location it'll be going on the cockpit rear bulkhead.

Thanks

Paul
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:44   #6
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

Can you mount it upside down? Then the colors would be correct?
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:05   #7
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

I thought of that but I'm going to change the arrow colours on the buttons as it would look a bit odd with all the writing upside down.

Paul
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:46   #8
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

I just use the remote. Hard wire is just used as back up. I have the remote on a lanyard which ensures control if Iím off the boat tying up single handed.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:47   #9
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastgrandad View Post
I'm currently fitting a Sidepower bow thruster to my long keeler which is tiller steered. The manufacturer's advice is to mount the touch control panel close to the steering and engine controls for obvious reasons so it could go either on the port locker side panel next to the engine control or on the cockpit rear bulkhead.

The problem is that the panel switches are marked port and starboard but mounted on the rear bulkhead would be back to front. This is my preferred location and I can easily remark them but I wonder where others have fitted theirs.

I'm also fitting a wireless remote so the fixed panel will mostly be used to enable/disable the controls, but it still needs to be clear to anyone using it which way the boat will go when they press a button!!

Paul
I am not familiar with your boat by my 2cents worth will be to assume the position that you take when helming the boat during berthing/leaving berth. Then find a place for the panel, such that you will be able to both use the tiller and press the buttons while not losing your vision of what's going around. Maybe on the tiller itself?
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:29   #10
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

As moon dancer said, you can swap the port and stbd control wires, which will make both the labels and the colors correct on your backward mounted panel. The way I do this is to back the pins out of one of the connectors at the panel end of the cable and swap them. You can back the pins out by using a thin, narrow blade to depress the little tab on the pin that holds it in the connector body. I made my own connector tool by grinding a small screw driver to make it thinner and narrower. You may have to bend the tabs back out before you put the pin back in the connector body so that it will latch in the body.

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Old 07-03-2018, 09:29   #11
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

Maybe a corded or cordless hand held control would be helpful for you. I have a cordless one for my windlass and that is all I use. Still wire the panel for when (not if) the cordless stops working.

If the switches themselves are color coded can they be removed from the panel and the positions switched?
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:35   #12
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

Definitely put the remote on a lanyard around your neck so that once partially moored etc you can adjust lines without effort; well at the bows anyway.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:18   #13
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

I think for the small percentage of time that you actually need to use the bow-thruster the remote would just get in the way if you put it on the tiller. Better on a lanyard temporarily clipped somewhere handy under the sprayhood.
Andrew
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:58   #14
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

I had a Sidepower switched on the pedestal with the wheel and the throttle. In tricky situations would want to manoeuvre all three simultaneously - eg to jump the ship 2 meters to port, get a bit of forward way wheel amidships, and at the same second hard into reverse (use prop walk to port), wheel 1/2 to port, and port thruster, and then ease the revs so you don't actually make way to stern, and begin to straighten the wheel.

Problem was, only had two hands. Tricky.

So always wanted a toe switch for the thruster. Probably dismountable so it doesn't get kicked during the 99.5% of time you don't use it. Aside from you question about where to mount the hand switch, think about that for your remote. Cheers.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:04   #15
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Re: Bow thruster control panel location

i would leave it the way it is as you wont be looking at the control panel after the fist 2 days ,, (MMMMM THATS A NICE PANEL)
No really you wont it will be a natural movement to just drop your hand and steer the bow ,

If its that much of a drama ,, maybe a mirror ,, ( just joking ) ,,, My vote leave it as is ,, you will be ok
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