Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-04-2011, 23:13   #1
Registered User
 
sepeteus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hope Island, Gold Coast QLD
Boat: Nautor Swan57rs
Posts: 121
Images: 9
Bow Thruster

Hello all! Just joined CF and need help! I have bought Beneteau First 47.7 Havent got that much experience maneuvering and docking a yacht this size. I have a hand over this Sunday and then the yacht is for me to park! I will be sailing this yacht short handed even single! What would be the way to go? There is new stuff out there on the market (360 degree motors controlled by joystick) or is the traditional thrusters (left and right) best option? Can anybody recommend a system and brand/model?

cheers
Seppo
__________________

__________________
sepeteus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2011, 23:32   #2
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Bow thruster

The new Bene 360 joystick system requires a special rotating sail drive besides a conventional bow thruster -- megabucks to retrofit if it's even possible.

The first you need is not equipment, but instruction, and patient practice. And lots of fenders!

On a boat that size I would a bow thruster is not essential but is a pretty good thing to have. But retrofitting that is also not too simple or cheap. You have to chop holes in the hull, and there is a lot of heavy-duty wiring involved.
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2011, 23:36   #3
Registered User
 
ozskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NSW Australia
Boat: Traditional 30
Posts: 1,981
Re: Bow thruster

I agree with Dockhead. Spend the $$ on spending a day on board with a sailing instructor or similar professional who has experience with similar boats. Once you have had plenty of practice you can spend the few grand on something else. Good luck either way.
__________________
Cheers
Oz
...............
ozskipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 00:03   #4
Registered User
 
capnorv's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bainbridge Island Washington on the Salish Sea
Boat: Hardin 45 Voyager Alice B., Gig Harbor 10, Orca 7 1/2 sloop, 16' sea kayak
Posts: 364
Images: 1
Re: Bow thruster

We have a 45', and I don't feel the need for a bow thruster, but it would open a few more dock opportunities at times. I had to take a second choice slip just tonight because of wrong wind, ,wrong side, backing in, it happens and a thruster would of made it a mute point. I also singlehand, piece of cake if the helms not to jittery. My only regret is stowing my 10oz main, it's a workout, but lazyjacks are on my list. You'll get it together with time and patience.
__________________
capnorv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 00:28   #5
Registered User
 
markpierce's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: M/V Carquinez Coot
Posts: 3,416
Re: Bow thruster

It doesn't appear there is time before the boat is handed over for docking to install a bow thruster. ... I wonder why you purchased such a large vessel if you planned to sail single-handed yet doubt your ability to handle it. I always took pride on the occasions I safely sailed into the berth.
__________________
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 00:40   #6
Registered User
 
markpierce's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: M/V Carquinez Coot
Posts: 3,416
Re: Bow thruster

A stainless-steel bow-sheath could be handy to protect one's bow when crashing into a dock. I suggest one going further toward the waterline. (Yes, this vessel has a bow thruster.)
__________________
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 00:49   #7
Registered User
 
sepeteus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hope Island, Gold Coast QLD
Boat: Nautor Swan57rs
Posts: 121
Images: 9
Re: Bow thruster

The purpose of the boat is racing and cruising a bit with family. I am sure to go single some ocasions. One option is not to sail at all, eh?
__________________
sepeteus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 01:07   #8
Registered User
 
markpierce's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: M/V Carquinez Coot
Posts: 3,416
Re: Bow thruster

I would be intimidated of the possibility of docking a nearly-50-foot craft single-handed, particularly with little experience with the vessel. My experience has been limited to 24-to-30-foot sailboats.
__________________
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 02:33   #9
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Bow thruster

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
It doesn't appear there is time before the boat is handed over for docking to install a bow thruster. ... I wonder why you purchased such a large vessel if you planned to sail single-handed yet doubt your ability to handle it. I always took pride on the occasions I safely sailed into the berth.
Most of us doubted our ability to handle at least one new to us vessel in our lives. Those of us who pushed the envelope more probably had a few such experiences.

Don't be discouraged, Sepeteus. I've been there myself, I can tell you! The first, oh, 50 times I docked my current boat I was shaking in my sea boots. Up until I bought her and was handed the keys with a hearty "good luck!" from the seller, the biggest boat I had ever docked was 45 feet, which is less than half the mass and bulk of my current boat.

All I can tell you is:

1. Get some instruction.

2. The very first time you go out, find a quiet spot without currents and as sheltered from wind as possible, and experiment going ahead and astern and turning the boat in both directions in ahead and astern. Note very carefully what prop walk does to you in astern -- what direction the prop walk goes, how strong it is, at what speed you get steerage in astern. How fast the boat will stop when you put it into astern; how much throttle you need to make her stop and in what distance. How fast can you spin her around, and is it the same in both directions?

3. When docking go as slow as you possibly can without losing control due to loss of steerage. This is tricky.

4. Put out lots and lots and lots of fenders. You will definitely have to buy more than what came with the boat. Put them out on both sides, and make sure and get the aft quarters as well. Special fenders for the stern counter and the bow are also not at all a bad idea. When people point and laugh at you with your fenders out, you know you have almost enough out.

5. Try not to single hand for a while. No need to make it even harder. BUT -- make sure your crew know enough not to try to interpose any part of their bodies between your boat and any object -- body parts will be crushed with a boat that size, and human bones are much more expensive to repair than gel coat. Having someone with a roving fender is always a good idea.

6. Plan your docking and undocking very carefully considering wind, current, prop walk, and so forth. Think it through completely before making your move. Make sure you understand how to warp off and otherwise use ropes to help you when needed.

7. Don't get psyched out. Don't let yourself get too nervous; don't panic; and for God's sake don't ever shout. You will definitely bang up against something and scratch your own and probably other people's boats. It's not such a big deal. Gel coat repairs are not all that expensive; consider it part of the expense of the first year.


Good luck, and be sure to post about your experiences!
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 03:32   #10
Registered User
 
sepeteus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hope Island, Gold Coast QLD
Boat: Nautor Swan57rs
Posts: 121
Images: 9
Re: Bow thruster

Thanks Dockhead. Nice to hear from positive people and first of all costructive advice. I am a quick learner and surely will get there. keep you posted!
__________________
sepeteus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 05:33   #11
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,970
Re: Bow Thruster

To your original question. In the US, your lowest risk option would be a Side Power thruster. They are quite reliable and common. This is not the type of equipment that favors the pioneer.

You should ask around if there's a favorite brand in Australia. As I remember, the fancy new pivoting drive system on the Beneteau Sense also required a conventional thruster in the bow.

Retrofitting a thruster can be done but it is expensive. Assuming that your boat is 12v, you also will probably need to install additional batteries in the bow because the size you'll need draws close to 500 amps. You'll have too much voltage drop with a long wire run.

In one respect, docking a larger boat is easier -- thanks to Newton's first law. Once "at rest" -- hopefully in some close proximity to a dock -- it usually takes a while for all that mass to get moving again. A puff of wind isn't likely to spin the bow off before you have chance to throw a line.

Just remember to be truly stopped. All that mass is equally happy to remain in motion.

Carl
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 06:06   #12
Registered User
 
Rhapsody-NS27's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: VA, boat: Deale, MD
Boat: 1981 Nor'sea 27
Posts: 1,409
Re: Bow thruster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
When people point and laugh at you with your fenders out, you know you have almost enough out.

I had to laugh at this myself. It's pretty much what I imagine if/when I get my first boat.
__________________
Daniel - Rhapsody Blog,
“A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.” — Bernard Moitessier
"I don't need therapy, I just need my boat"
Rhapsody-NS27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 06:59   #13
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,793
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Re: Bow Thruster

The biggest problem with bow thrusters is they aren't powerful enough to deal with really ugly situations and their use in more nominal circumstances robs you of the chance for the experience that builds skill.

Read Dockhead's posts (good stuff) and get a couple of big round fenders, some line, and dinghy anchors. Anchor the fenders somewhere and practice coming alongside, backing between, doing figure-8s forward and reverse, and putting the bow and transom directly on a fender. Practice regularly and you will be the best boat handler in your marina.
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 07:23   #14
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
Re: Bow Thruster

FWIW, when the yacht is moving slowly, one can pretty easily use the rudder and prop to shove or walk the stern of that boat around and it does rotate about it's keel. For example, throwing the wheel hard a'port and giving a quick blast of throttle will shove the stern to starboard with virtually no effect on headway. Likewise to starboard will shove the stern to port. Further, if the yacht is still or making little headway, a quick blast of throttle in reverse will "walk" the stern to port (or starboard depending upon prop rotation) with little effect on the yacht's for'n aft motion. On our boat (44' LOA), with handling very similar to the 47.5, one can virtualy rotate the boat to port in its own length with the rudder hard to starboard and alternate blasts of foward--shoving the stern to port--and reverse, killing any forward motion and "walking" the stern further to port. Needless to say one needs take into account windage, and particularly windage of the furled headsail, but the Firsts are pretty maneuverable. Just do things slowly.

My 5' tall, 105# wife is the primary driver on our boat as it makes no sense to have a 170# able bodied (for the most part) man standing behind the wheel while such a small woman tries to handle lines on a 21,000 lb yacht. It took her a little while to get used to handling the yacht but did so with a little coaxing. Remember one thing, however. If you're not a bit bored while mooring the yacht, you're going too fast.
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 07:24   #15
JJB
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Boat: Warwick 72 custom
Posts: 235
Re: Bow Thruster

We have a 72ft mono (pics of it on my profile), it doesn't have a thruster, I've put it in some fairly tight berths in ugly conditions, given the size of the boat it is advisable to have a couple of others on board, but if push comes to shove I can dock the boat myself without help from others, but I avoid that if I can.

On a 47 I would have no issue with docking that single handed. Rather than spending $$ cutting holes in your hull spend some more money on getting another person good with boat handling to help you become confident with the new boat. It's a whole lot cheaper and doesn't modify the original design of your boat.
__________________

__________________
JJB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bow Thruster bottleinamessage Propellers & Drive Systems 33 11-11-2011 02:21
Bow Thruster wesail Monohull Sailboats 15 14-11-2010 05:41
Bow thruster lbarnes Propellers & Drive Systems 7 24-08-2008 08:10
What No Bow Thruster Pura Vida Off Topic Forum 3 02-05-2007 19:23



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:09.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.