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Old 10-08-2012, 02:07   #1
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Hmmmm - Bowthrusters ??

They sure look useful(bowthrusters), but I've never had one. So I just wanted to know what I'm missing out on
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:35   #2
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

In my opinion very little. They are a convenience. In my experience they aren't powerful enough to push the bow in high winds or current. The problem is that if one gets used to the bow thruster in benign conditions there is no chance to build skill and experience maneuvering the boat when things go pear-shaped.

Add to that the consumption of storage space and the black dust that accumulates from the motor brushes and the added resistance from the open tunnel.

Not an effective capability in my opinion. YMMV.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:37   #3
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

I've never had a bow thruster until this summer in my new boat. Generally, those who have boats without them say "If you can sail you don't need one." Those that have them say "It's a god send"

Having had it both ways I think I can have an informed opinion.

Auspicious is right when he says that if you start with one, you will never build the skill set to sail without one. So if your's breaks down then you are in deep ****.

And he's right that unless you greatly over dimension it it will be too small for use in heavy winds.

Having said all that- it does make docking in very tight places much easier. I spent most of this past summer docking in harbor on the island of Bornholm where virtually all the harbors are extremely over-crowded and very small. Jockeying a 40 footer around in tiny harbors with boats laying 3-4-5 on the outside of each other can be tricky and I certainly enjoyed having a thruster
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:03   #4
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

The two previous posts crystallize the pros and cons better than any brochure you will read.
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Old 10-08-2012, 16:02   #5
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I've been debating the same thing in my head for the past few months. My boat had one that is installed, just no longer works. I'm getting better docking without it but I think when I can sort out all the hydraulic parts I'm going to get it up and running. I think the expense is justified if it saves my bacon just one time. I know twice now I've had to power out of some sticky situations where if I had a thruster I could have just swung the nose a bit and been good.
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Old 10-08-2012, 16:33   #6
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

If getting a bow thruster you might want to consider a stern thruster also. they come in handy on 35 foot boats. There is also another system called DP. it keeps you in one position for as long as you want. this way you don't have to anchor, just keep the engine running all night to power the DP and all the other electronics along with the AC units.

real sailors don't need thrusters
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Old 10-08-2012, 16:46   #7
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

Love mine. Lot of hard work to install but worth every cent. I have a 43' with a lot windage.
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Old 10-08-2012, 18:00   #8
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

I have installed a great many thrusters in all sorts of boats. The opinion I have formed is that they are great-for powerboats. In a sailboat, even if you install as I do with a fairing brow, the effect of the exposed tunnel creates way too much drag, all of it in an area which will strongly affect helm trim and noticeably affect boat speed. Of course this issue has been solved by the invention of retractable thrusters, but they are very expensive and much more tricky to install than traditional tube thrusters. Unless you are at the high end of the market or on a stinkpot I wouldnt even consider it, for all the reasons stated here. I have been on clients boats before and after install and the difference in efficiency under sail is noticeable, I try hard to talk our clients out of it unless they can afford retractable or have a particularly difficult boat that spends a lot of time maneuvering in close quarters and not much time sailing.
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Old 10-08-2012, 18:10   #9
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainKJ View Post
If getting a bow thruster you might want to consider a stern thruster also. they come in handy on 35 foot boats. There is also another system called DP. it keeps you in one position for as long as you want. this way you don't have to anchor, just keep the engine running all night to power the DP and all the other electronics along with the AC units.

real sailors don't need thrusters
DP on a 35ft sailboat.....hahaahahah....i needed a good laugh!
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Old 10-08-2012, 18:15   #10
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

last time I used a thruster on a sailboat it had BOTH, bow and stern,,,,then again the boat was 120 feet long,,,sailed like a dream,,,,
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Old 10-08-2012, 21:44   #11
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Mount an electronic outboard on the bowsprit. That way you can remove it when you are sailing. And I think they are cheaper than bow thrusters ? Just for fun.
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Old 10-08-2012, 22:03   #12
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Hmmm... A little more negative than expected. No matter, putting a bow thruster on a C&C 40 seems crazy!!....to me at least
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Old 10-08-2012, 22:07   #13
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

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Mount an electronic outboard on the bowsprit. That way you can remove it when you are sailing. And I think they are cheaper than bow thrusters ? Just for fun.
This would only work on boats so small they don't need a thruster, because a sailboat of any size would have too much freeboard. The outboard would have to have reverse as well. Maybe an outboard well in the forefoot? What's next?
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:46   #14
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

Azipods and Hydrofoils.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:52   #15
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Re: hmmmm bowthrusters??

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Mount an electronic outboard on the bowsprit. That way you can remove it when you are sailing. And I think they are cheaper than bow thrusters ? Just for fun.


If you mounted 4 of them, one on port bow, one on port stern, one on starboard bow, one on starboard stern, you could hook them up to one controller and have a sailboat DP system long with thrusters.
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