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Old 28-10-2008, 11:32   #1
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BOW THRUSTERS FOR MY CAT

HI ALL,
THIS IS MY FIRST CONTACT ON THIS SITE, THOUGH HAVE BEEN READING THE THREADS FOR A FEW YEARS NOW.
CAN ANYONE HELP ME
I AM LOOKING TO FIT BOW THRUSTERS TO MY CAT, HAS ANYONE GOT ANY ADVICE OR HAVE THEY FITTED ANY TO THEIRS
I HAVE A LAGOON 440 HULL 220
ANY ADVICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED
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Old 28-10-2008, 12:25   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkolav40 View Post
HI ALL,
THIS IS MY FIRST CONTACT ON THIS SITE, THOUGH HAVE BEEN READING THE THREADS FOR A FEW YEARS NOW.
CAN ANYONE HELP ME
I AM LOOKING TO FIT BOW THRUSTERS TO MY CAT, HAS ANYONE GOT ANY ADVICE OR HAVE THEY FITTED ANY TO THEIRS
I HAVE A LAGOON 440 HULL 220
ANY ADVICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED

Hallo Jenkolav 40

welcome to the forum

I have heard good reports on the jet thrusters made by Willdo both for bow and stern combined

see link

http://willdo.nl/images/WillDo%20Jet...lDo3luikEN.pdf

Greetings
Gideon
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Old 28-10-2008, 12:37   #3
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jenko,

I think the common wisdom is that cats don't need bow thrusters as the widely-spaced engines give you the same manoeuvrability. If it's an absolute need for you, I wonder if you could fit a swing-down electric drive (like Fastcat's GreenMotion) forward? Just a thought.

Kevin
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Old 28-10-2008, 13:32   #4
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How long do you have your boat now?
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Old 28-10-2008, 14:12   #5
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I just took a cruise on a Manta 42 (21 foot beam) that has 2-30 HP diesels. The Captain could make it turn within it's own length when docking. On this Cat there is absolutely no need for a bow thruster. All you need to do is learn how to dock by setting the rudders strait forward and maneuver using forward and reverse with your engines.

Another thought, cutting the hole on each side of the hull may reduce hull strength and if you ever hit a log while cruising you will want all the hull strength you can get.
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Old 28-10-2008, 15:41   #6
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Immediately after I bought my cat (Leopard 46) I too thought that I would love bow and stern thrusters. I was convinced that if I had them my wife couldn't laugh watching me dock. After a short time and with practice I realized that they are not needed due to the manueverability of asymmetrical thrust. I could see the need at a very crowded dock prone to downwind approaches.
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Old 28-10-2008, 16:03   #7
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Hi fellas,
thanks for the advice,
Ive had my 440 lagoon now for just over a year, and as you say it will turn on its own axis, but because of the windage of the boat is high, i find it difficult to reverse into spaces with a cross wind and the bow just wont do as its told, some sort of thruster as mentioned possibly a drop down one(maybe maxpower thruster) would make life easier.going alongside is a doddle, its just that in the med were i keep it. it is all stern to berthing, and even leaving a berth it would be nice to drop the bow ropes early to make sure they sink, if ther is a cross wind when leaving the bow just wants to go sideways even with a bit of power on.I understand that the general concensus is that cats down need thrusters, but i think id have a bit less grey hair if mine did.
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Old 28-10-2008, 16:25   #8
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Vetus makes some decent units.
I can see your need. Only in the last 5-8 years have we had thrusters on houseboats. Before that docking an 85' x 16 floating house trailer was a pain.
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Old 28-10-2008, 23:12   #9
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My Cat is smaller and less prone to crosswinds, but I do feel them. I find than anticipation pretty much cancels the effects of the cross wind. You know what's going to happen and just stay ahead of the curve. Having said this, I do agree with both you and rjrendemd in that moving in a fairway with a good wind astern makes life pretty interesting when it comes time to manuver into a slip. If the wind is 15 knots or greater, I always make the pivot way early and then time it to go in bow first.

It can be done stern to with two people. One handling lines on the stern pivot point, but this does take very good crew communication and coordination. Some days I have that communication and coordination on my boat..... and some days let's just say that I don't. You know how that goes.....
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Old 29-10-2008, 05:49   #10
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Bow thruster for cat

I just had my first experience installing one on my mono hull.

I would take a good look at the possible locations in the hull.

With mine (Side Power) there was an excellent installation manual that gave some very specific ratios between the dia. of the unit and the depth, and the min. length of the tube.
Min was 10 in in dia...The recommended min. tube length was between 50 and 60 cm (20-24 in. depending on were you read)
If the bow is fairly long/narrow, you may have to get quite a ways back to get the proper width.
I would also think the depth may be a problem on a cat.

Are you thinking one...or both hulls?
What about the source of power? .....new, what about the weight?

I have only read a little about the jet types....if the measurements just donít work out, I would have a look at them.

Something that folds down from the bow (external) may be sweet.

Glassing the tube in can be a bit messy on the inside, but otherwise it was a fairly easy job.
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Old 29-10-2008, 07:37   #11
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I must be honest... I don't think you need thrusters on your cat. Practice your maneuvers and I think you will be able to perfect them without a bow thruster. BTW (I have a single outboard on my cat that doesn't rotate).

It is a lot of expense and drag for something that can be fixed with practice. JMHO

Good luck!
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Old 29-10-2008, 10:22   #12
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I must be honest... I don't think you need thrusters on your cat. Practice your maneuvers and I think you will be able to perfect them without a bow thruster. BTW (I have a single outboard on my cat that doesn't rotate).

It is a lot of expense and drag for something that can be fixed with practice. JMHO

Good luck!
Here! Here!

If you have nothing else to spend your money on, and really want another system to maintain, then I guess you should go ahead. Of course putting big turbulance generating holes in the hull isn't going to improve your sailing performence...

But... it is really, REALLY not needed if you do know how to handle your engines and know how to use lines properly to help get in and out of a slip.

If I saw a catamaran comming into the dock, and heard the characteristic whine of a bow thruster, my own personnel thought would be that it was run by someone who would rather open his wallet than learn.

By way of my own qualifications, although I own a monohull, I do teach people how to handle large catamarans, and have never wished I had a bow thruster, cross wind or no.

If you do decide to install one, some installation issues you'll need to contend with: Do you have enough hull width deep enough and forward enough that you can fit it? What size? Although a cat weighs than a mono, it has more windage and more resistance to pivoting than the same length mono. I'm not sure how the equation will come out. Be sure you understand the weight issues. Us leadmine sailors don't care about a (little) bit of extra weight, but the full instalation of a bow thruster forward in one hull will likely upset your sailing trim.

Good luck!
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Old 29-10-2008, 12:26   #13
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Bow thrusters used to be "Cheating" however now that the dock space is so tight and all the marinas put 40 ft boats in 30 ft slips it is not "Cheating" anymore than chartplotters, reverse gears, winches etc. are. Just another device to make ones life easier. Some folks just do not want to be be Josh Slocum.

The only issue on cats is the tube size. The tube(s) should be installed about a full tube diameter below the waterline. Given that most cats have shallow hulls in the front you may need to look at fitting a smaller diameter tube in each hull. Vetus, Sidepower and others have 5" (125mm) units.

Also remember that there are min, tube lengths so the props are not outside the tube. You can down load all the install manuals on most units.
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Old 04-11-2008, 14:10   #14
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I agree, that with good practice, you don't need thrusters on a Cat. I have an end slip and the prevaling winds push me right down the fairway, as Rick stated, start your turn before you get to the slip and let the wind push you. I place my nose on the up wind piling and scoot in nose first. To get out, the first mate/admiral pulls us close to the same piling and I back right out into the Fairway, if the wind isn't to bad I'll spin the boat around and motor on out, if it is strong I'll just back her out where I'll have more room.
Practice makes perfect.
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Old 22-07-2017, 14:55   #15
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Re: BOW THRUSTERS FOR MY CAT

I have had my FP 40 cat for 3 years and yes it turns on a dime. Docking was very stress free anywhere. The dock I just moved into has 1.5 mph of tide depending on time and on a windy day no amount of experience will stop the need for riding piles. I have been unable to get on a t-dock and now I'm considering a bow thruster also. I have consulted some old salts for tips. Lines in some quantum physics set up to winches while juggling is no fun. I just want to sail. If your successful on the install please let me know what brand. Thanks
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