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Old 22-08-2012, 07:45   #91
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

I might just point out that the new QE 2 was built in France, nuff said !
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Old 22-08-2012, 11:23   #92
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Well, if you mean the current Queen Mary, that's true, built in France. Thruster door fell off and there was the tragic collapse of the gangplank that killed like 16 people before it was handed over to Cunard. The current QE was built in Italy though, like lots of other run of the mill cruise ships. Fincantieri. Yawn. After QM2 every other ship is just a big floating hotel barge.
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Old 22-08-2012, 12:30   #93
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

Does your boat have a FULL KEEL? Every owner of a full keel boat has at one time or another wished for a bow thruster, myself included on our small Cape Dory 25D...

You learn to get along without by paying strict attention to where the wind is coming from vs where you want the bow to go.... And backing down is highly frowned on...I only back down to get the bow pointed so I can go forward...

I've become very good at backing and filling when trying to go where the bow won't point.
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Old 22-08-2012, 14:48   #94
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

You need to learn to dock the boat without one. My bowthruster does come in handy when docking in tight quarters, but I only use it to make the job easier and not as a necessity.
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Old 24-08-2012, 03:27   #95
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

Has anyone thought what the insurance company would say if you had a ding that could have been saved by a BT if you had installed one? (Or a judge, or a lawyer for that matter). Wouldn't they allocate more blame to a boat owner that had not installed one when he/she could have?

I have to say that while I don't want one, two situations this year have made a BT go right to, or very near, the top of my shopping list. Of course it was us who got it wrong. While no damage was done, it would have made my very heavy, full keel, go more or less in the cardinal direction I wanted instead of refusing as she did.
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Old 24-08-2012, 04:20   #96
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

Pictures attached are of our thruster works beautiful, in the med you at times need to weave around not only boats but twin mooring lines from the bow of each boat.
Never thought i'd have one on a cat BUT it's so handy especially if one engine is dead.
The thruster retracts into the hull there is no drag what so ever....
Cheers Frank
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Old 24-08-2012, 04:27   #97
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

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Originally Posted by Capn Morgan View Post
Has anyone thought what the insurance company would say if you had a ding that could have been saved by a BT if you had installed one? (Or a judge, or a lawyer for that matter). Wouldn't they allocate more blame to a boat owner that had not installed one when he/she could have?

I have to say that while I don't want one, two situations this year have made a BT go right to, or very near, the top of my shopping list. Of course it was us who got it wrong. While no damage was done, it would have made my very heavy, full keel, go more or less in the cardinal direction I wanted instead of refusing as she did.
it would never come up in court on why you did not have a BT. whats next, why you dont have the latest electronics??

A ding that could have been saved by a BT could also have been saved by better boat handling in the first place.

It could also then be brought up why did you not have a bigger engine,,,why not a bigger rudder, why did you go out that day, why did you buy that brand of boat,,, get the picture. accidents happen with or without BT,,,,
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Old 24-08-2012, 05:10   #98
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

Yes, but, we now live in a world not with the rule of law, but the rule of lawyers...

Ok then, valid point. How about yourself? Would you forgive yourself if you thought that because of your bad day, the BT would have made the difference? Please understand I'm only being the devil's advocate here.... One of my friends in the marina thinks I should have one. He has very good points, but as I said, I don't really want one. Problem is, when I cock it up, he's going to come and say 'told you so...' and he'd be right.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:38   #99
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

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Yes, but, we now live in a world not with the rule of law, but the rule of lawyers...

Ok then, valid point. How about yourself? Would you forgive yourself if you thought that because of your bad day, the BT would have made the difference? Please understand I'm only being the devil's advocate here.... One of my friends in the marina thinks I should have one. He has very good points, but as I said, I don't really want one. Problem is, when I cock it up, he's going to come and say 'told you so...' and he'd be right.
I dont even think about it. what if you put in a 15 HP BT and it was not enough the one time you needed more HP?? would you say to yourself I wish I had put in an 18HP even though 99 percent o the time 15 is enough???

that is what insurance is for



I worked on a 160 foot power yacht that did not have a BT,,, the owner refused to put one in.. his explanation was this, in 7 years the captain has not had an accident,,, it would cost me 150,000.00 to put in the BT,,, my deductible is 50K on the yacht. cheaper not to have the thruster even thought it would have been nice to have. His way of thinking he would just wait and if there was an accident then put the BT in. This way the insurance covers most o the yard bill. cheaper not to have it If that captain can maneuver that yacht without one why can a person not do the same on a 44 foot sailboat. let me see, over 1000 excuses and more of why not. easier to spend the money on the BT than to learn how to drive
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:57   #100
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

I'm with you on that one. I don't want to spend a lot of money I don't have in another hole in the hull. Don't even want to think about dealing with the growth in one of them. BUT, I want to have all the excuses for not buying one.

Still, I sit on the fence because I agree with Dockhead and Carlile Spirit.... Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:10   #101
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

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If that captain can maneuver that yacht without one why can a person not do the same on a 44 foot sailboat. let me see, over 1000 excuses and more of why not. easier to spend the money on the BT than to learn how to drive
So to your way of thinking anyone who gets a thruster on a 44ft boat can't drive......that's what your saying right....???
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:26   #102
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Re: Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

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So to your way of thinking anyone who gets a thruster on a 44ft boat can't drive......that's what your saying right....???
That's how i read it... I guess i throw 40 years away now.............

The vast majority of boats in Europe have thrusters thank heavens.

Hey John you never had a boat listed previous have you lashed out recently or were you keeping mum?

Cheers mate the beer here is almost good!!!! Frank
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:19   #103
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

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+1

Very well said.

Docking and close quarters maneuvering of a sailboat is a very complicated skill. You really wouldn't want to learn it with a thruster, because there are a lot of things you need to be able to do without it, which the thruster will allow you to avoid. You can do quite remarkable things without a thruster, with practice and skill. You can spin your boat around in place, you can do all sorts of other things. Proper use of spring lines adds a lot too.

HOWEVER, at the very same time I would say that I would never again want to handle a boat of more than say 45 feet without one. There are a number of things you can do with a thruster which you can't do any other way. Some of these things become crucially important when the boat is too big for crew to manhandle around.

The two most important things are these:

1. Creating sideways motion using thruster and counter-steer from the rudder;

2. Steering the boat when reversing (using the thruster like a rudder).

My boat is 54 feet on deck, about 60 feet LOA, the beam is 16 feet. She weighs about 25 tons loaded. I don't think I could handle her in close quarters without the thruster. And don't forget that the bigger the boat, the closer the quarters become.

There are also functions the thruster performs which may not be crucial, but are tremendously convenient and add a lot of safety to boot. One of them is getting off docks without scraping along. I always use the thruster to get off any dock -- I steer into the dock, give a burst of ahead, activate the thruster, and the boat moves sideways off the dock without moving forward. This allows me to motor away in whatever direction without scraping along the dock, and with much less risk of tangling with boats moored ahead or behind. Tremendously useful. The same thing could be done with spring lines, but very laboriously and you need enough skilled hands to do it, and besides that, springing off entails lots of risks (lines in the water and on the prop, a line gets stuck on something, etc., etc.). I never use the thruster to get onto a dock unless I need a small correction of the bow position at the last minute, but I always use it coming off.

The comment about sizing the thruster right is right on. A thruster is nearly useless if it is not powerful enough. Mine is 12 horsepower and properly sized. It won't hold the bow into a strong wind (but no thruster will; in fact many smaller boats with a lot of freeboard can't be held into a strong wind with their main engines), but it will hold the bow against a moderate wind trying to blow me off a dock while coming in. If 12 horsepower is not enough, then you need someone pushing in the dinghy with 25 horsepower -- a maneuver we have used on a few occasions (I remember particularly once getting onto a pile mooring in Yarmouth (when Yarmouth still had them) in a full gale).

Coming out of St. Malo a couple of weeks ago, I was rafted up to an Amel 54 on the quay, ahead and behind were rafts of two and three boats-- in a dead-end aisle of the port. I could not go forward for more than two or three meters, and behind I had to get through a spot hardy wider than my boat. Without a thruster, I would have needed to find five or six guys and walk the boat out -- a nightmare with 25 tons of boat and impossible in any kind of wind. With the thruster, we were able to get out under our own power -- I was able to reverse out and precisely -- to a few inches -- place the boat laterally by steering with rudder and with tiny bursts of thruster - like a car with four-wheel steering. A crowd had gathered to watch the inevitable crash as we got underway -- and kindly applauded when we threaded the last needle, and neatly spun around on our boat's axis to get under way towards the lock and out to sea.

So is a bow thruster a "decadent, unnecessary, luxury, not needed by real he-men sailors with salt in their veins"? Imagine yourself in that situation before you answer.
This is a perfect description and reason to have one if you can afford one. One crash avoided will pay for the thruster. No amount of "he-man" talk about not having one will pay for the damage avoided.
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:36   #104
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

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This is a perfect description and reason to have one if you can afford one. One crash avoided will pay for the thruster. No amount of "he-man" talk about not having one will pay for the damage avoided.
I respectfully disagree. Spending time develop the skills to move your boat around is a better use of time and energy.

In high winds and/or current stabbing impotently at the button on an underpowered bow-thruster (and they are all underpowered) instead of moving the boat with the main engine (5 - 10 times the power) and rudder and if need be springs is much better in my opinion.

I'm an active delivery skipper. I move a lot of boats. I do believe in being able to use all the tools at my disposal so I exercise with the thruster on any client boat that has one. Without exception, the stress level is lower ignoring the extra set of controls and just driving the boat.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:11   #105
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Interesting comments. If everyone agreed we'd all own the same boat. Different strokes for different folks. Everything in sailing likely holds advantages and disadvantages.
The one issue not discussed is hull weakness from an installation. I would worry about a collision with or without watertight bulkheads.
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