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Old 29-05-2011, 07:44   #1
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Bow Thrusters

I have a Wellington 47 very heavy 45000 lbs and I have to back into my slip. When the wind is out of the West it's almost an impossible feat due to the height of the bow off the water. Any insights into Bow Thrusters tunnel vrs. retractable what brands are good and which not so good.

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Tom
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Old 29-05-2011, 08:05   #2
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Re: Bow Thrusters

Hi Tom,
THe deeper you can operate a thruster the more effect (and less noice) it will have. Don't know you underwater profile but guessing with the cut away forefoot you'd get one to operate lower if it were retractible - and we had only good experiences with our previous Maxpower on a 47 sailboat.
We currently have a big Vetus tunnel trusted on our 22 ton motor cruiser and whilst it moves the bow when required, we prefer to only use it in emergencies due to the noise it makes.
Cheers
JOHN
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Old 29-05-2011, 08:36   #3
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Re: Bow Thrusters

Retractable is better in every way, except two: (1) cost; and (2) complexity. Maybe the biggest advantage is no loss of sailing performance - tunnel-type thrusters create hydrodynamic drag - very undesirable.

That being said, retractable thrusters are out of reach of at least 90% of us, even those of us with relatively large, expensive boats. I have a tunnel-type Sleipner Sidepower on my boat, and love it to bits. Wouldn't have a boat over 45' without one. It totally transforms close-quarters handling. With practice, you can make the boat move almost sideways. Saved my butt more than once!
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Old 29-05-2011, 08:43   #4
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Re: Bow Thrusters

P.S. Keep in mind when you're thinking about this that electric bow thrusters consumes a huge amount of power. You will need lots of battery power and might need to add some. The current required is so huge that it's not practical to transport it over much distance at 12v - hence dedicated battery banks are often used ($$$). If you have 24v on board, it's somewhat easier.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:17   #5
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Re: Bow Thrusters

Bow thrusters make life a great deal easier when docking, and I love mine. That said, the judicious use of power and rudder can do wonders in tight quarters, but if the slight drag induced by the tunnel and cost is not a barrier you won't regret having them. You might also look into hydraulics. Depending on whether you have a genset or not, a pump can frequently easily be added to provide sufficient flow for a thruster, as well as an eventual superior windlass replacement. Hydraulics run quietly, do not burn out, are cheaper to maintain than electric and the motors are more compact although powerful. This may be an impractical suggestion for your boat, but if it were possible to go this route you might ask for a quote to have it to compare.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:54   #6
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Re: Bow Thrusters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have a tunnel-type Sleipner Sidepower on my boat, and love it to bits.
Thats a ditto for me as well...nice piece of equipment.
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