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Old 05-09-2010, 10:53   #16
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But the real question is.... should one have bow thrusters in a twin engined cat? (ducking and running really, really fast )
Very true! I once chartered a cat for a couple of weeks in the Carib just to try it. To make a long story short, cats are cats, and monos are monos, and never the twain shall meet -- I didn't like it, being a mono guy.

BUT -- the maneuvring with two engines! It's absolutely fabulous. It's so obvious even to the most hard-boiled mono guy, that I don't think anyone will be lobbing any spitballs your way, so you can stop ducking. I'll miss those two weeks until someone invents a twin engine monohull . . .
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:33   #17
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I have read this thread with interest and concluded those of you that raise your nose at bow thrusters and snobbishly counsel the virtues of seamanship must just like to see your words on the screen. Technology is to be accepted and used. I do not know of any carpenters that use hammers for the majority of their framing, seems they like air nailers. Policemen generally carry semi automatics rather than spears or revolvers these days, and our soldiers seem to prefer modern weaponry to David's sling shot. How many of you bow thruster critics prefer wooden boats?

Now that is out of the way, I have my 34 Mainship, single 250 6bt Cummins, (read economical and long range) on the hard right now installing a Vetus bow thruster. My first mate mutinied, (after 38 yrs.+) and even with experienced crew she (the boat) is a bitch to handle in close quarters. Add in wind to a flybridge and current to a prominent skeg and she seems to go where she wants at times. I see less need for a bow thruster on a boat with twins, especially if they are spread far apart, or a sailboat with a big assed rudder. My boat however, in order to land safely single handing on all but the most favorable conditions and dock, a bow thruster is more of a need than a want.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:40   #18
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wow I didnt raise a thing (in the last hour) I thought this was a discussion. there are other ways to manage windage while docking. A bow thruster is one. Snobbish or not there is a theme about boat handling and alternatives that is helpfull. I take the suggestions to understand your boat and how it handles as suggestions. Im anchoring with a bruce on a mono hull solo sailing, no bow thrusters and a son of a bitch, have paper charts pick my nose etc.. so far it works pretty well.
Words on the screen There are degradations and slights everywhere. Your a bow thruster just became a new one for me. go sail and frig the bow thruster. or get a bow thruster and know you are now one of them. Good god not another bow thruster boater.
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Old 05-09-2010, 13:03   #19
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Warp around pilings...thats great advice if you have pilings to warp around or even a dock cleat.
Have any of you done that off a dock full, and I mean completely full, of Stern to mega yachts.
And have you done this with or with out crew thats has a high degree of experience in such things.
I have a thruster...I went to a great deal of expense and time to put it in and I love it.
I went large ...10in dia...around 11hp
I'm 48ft 39,000lb disp. a full keel and high free board.
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Old 05-09-2010, 13:08   #20
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Very true! I once chartered a cat for a couple of weeks in the Carib just to try it. To make a long story short, cats are cats, and monos are monos, and never the twain shall meet -- I didn't like it, being a mono guy.

BUT -- the maneuvring with two engines! It's absolutely fabulous. It's so obvious even to the most hard-boiled mono guy, that I don't think anyone will be lobbing any spitballs your way, so you can stop ducking. I'll miss those two weeks until someone invents a twin engine monohull . . .
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Old 05-09-2010, 13:15   #21
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Warp around pilings...thats great advice if you have pilings to warp around or even a dock cleat.
Have any of you done that off a dock full, and I mean completely full, of Stern to mega yachts.
And have you done this with or with out crew thats has a high degree of experience in such things.
I have a thruster...I went to a great deal of expense and time to put it in and I love it.
I went large ...10in dia...around 11hp
I'm 48ft 39,000lb disp. a full keel and high free board.
eaghh gad bow thrusting pervert. Tell me you dont have a cqr
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Old 05-09-2010, 13:16   #22
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From your many responses, I get the impression that boaters with bow thrusters like them. Those that don't, disdain them.

I'm going with the $5,500 24-volt option.
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Old 05-09-2010, 14:22   #23
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They lose a lot of their thrust if they get fouled and they're tough to clean.
Glad I have one.
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Old 05-09-2010, 14:58   #24
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Bow thrusters

I have run alot of boats with and without a bow thruster. When it comes to twin engine powerboats over 30' I have not driven very many boats that I would need one. We used to move all the boats into and out of the miami and Ft Lauderdale boat shows every year and I would classify that as some of the toughest manouvering experience you could ever encounter.No thrusters mostly. My last boat was 60' and had arneson 12 surface drives and a huge 24v thruster which I used a little due to the nature of the prop placement. Now we have a 19 ton sailboat with a sewing machine engine and a prop the size of a bread plate. The backing down and general manouvering characteristics of most sailboats is bad to be kind. Our boat won't backdown to port at all, and in a rip or big wind is a nightmare. Bowthruster you bet. Do I want to run around the decks with a bunch of lines like some kind of chinesse fire drill every time I dock. No. Give me the bowthruster.
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Old 05-09-2010, 16:03   #25
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From your many responses, I get the impression that boaters with bow thrusters like them. Those that don't, disdain them.

I'm going with the $5,500 24-volt option.
You're probably right. But on the other hand, there's nothing like watching some unskilled moron drift down on your stern at a high rate of speed, desperately punching his bow thruster in the vain hope that it will overcome the force of a multi-knot wind on his topsides before he crashes into you to give one a jaundiced eye, eh?

By all means spend your money. But also learn to control the boat without as, sure as shooten, when it could be the most help, it won't.

FWIW...
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Old 05-09-2010, 20:30   #26
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... also learn to control the boat without as, sure as shooten, when it could be the most help, it won't.

FWIW...
Aye, aye, Captain!
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Old 05-09-2010, 22:06   #27
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I have often wondered if a simple electric trolling motor could be modified to be a bow thruster. The idea is, hang the trolling motor off of the bow when entering a marina at slow speed. It woud points P&S and be controlled from the cockpit with a simple electric throttle. When not in use the motor would be stowed for use in the ginghy. What do you think?
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Old 05-09-2010, 22:35   #28
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I have often wondered if a simple electric trolling motor could be modified to be a bow thruster. The idea is, hang the trolling motor off of the bow when entering a marina at slow speed. It woud points P&S and be controlled from the cockpit with a simple electric throttle. When not in use the motor would be stowed for use in the ginghy. What do you think?
That would work if you need a bow or stern thruster for a sailing dingy,,,,,
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:09   #29
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We have a heavy full keeled Ketch, if I did not know how to handle her in all conditions then a bow thruster is worth squat. It is very important to you, and the other boats around you to understand how your boat responds in different situations, currents, winds etc. However, with that said it is certainly a nice addition in some tight situations and we are glad that the PO installed it. I would not have. I have no expeirence with very large vessels 100' ++, and then it may be a nessesity? And as I watch the twin screwed vessels I am not so sure thrusters are a real asset, again I am talking about boats up to maybe 80-100'? I have only owed and operated single screwed power and sailing vessels...
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:13   #30
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GET A BIG ONE or just maybe you really do not need one. Use at least 24vdc to power it!!! The voltage drop between the batteries and the load can be a significant portion of the total voltage. Some of the thrusters I looked at when I was considering a thruster required over 600 amperes..........THAT IS A HUGE AMOUNT OF CURRENT.
It is very easy to avoid a large voltage drop and provide very high constant discharge power to the thruster motor if you use a LiFePO4 battery instead of a lead acid battery which will sag much worse and produce far less power by comparison. Ideally an extreme output diesel engine starting LiFePO4 battery will provide far superior performance and can provide well over 1000 amps of current continuously. Also it will have a much longer life than a lead acid battery operating under such arduous conditions.
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