Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-10-2014, 08:39   #1
Registered User
 
gunkylump's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Boat: Stevens 47
Posts: 358
Bow thrusters...

Considering the installation of a bow thruster on our Stevens 47....any comments on good and bad? Which manufacturers, if any, stand out above the others?

Pros and cons?

Any sailboat owners in the 45 to 50 foot range with a bow thruster your comments would be greatly appreciated....it's a big $$$ item, how well do they really work when the winds are working against you when docking?

Thanks!!

gunk
__________________

__________________
gunkylump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 08:54   #2
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: Bow thrusters...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunkylump View Post
Considering the installation of a bow thruster on our Stevens 47....any comments on good and bad? Which manufacturers, if any, stand out above the others?

Pros and cons?

Any sailboat owners in the 45 to 50 foot range with a bow thruster your comments would be greatly appreciated....it's a big $$$ item, how well do they really work when the winds are working against you when docking?

Thanks!!

gunk
HolyCrimeny gunk...

A thruster will change your life.... Sure you can live without one, but I wouldn't want to with a heavy boat over 45'

I don't use it a ton, but when ya need it, it will make your grin visible from 5 docks away...

Yes... a big expense... Don't know what I got as it was original build...
Cons... $$ and if you count on it when your batts are down=make a separate bank, or tie to your windlass bank if you have one...

Pro's... I can spin a 50' 20 ton boat around like a windmill from it's stern...
__________________

__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 09:06   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Bow thrusters...

With a single screw it is worth it if you want to spend the money.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 09:22   #4
Registered User
 
gunkylump's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Boat: Stevens 47
Posts: 358
Re: Bow thrusters...

Thanks for the comments guys....

gunk
__________________
gunkylump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 10:03   #5
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: Bow thrusters...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunkylump View Post
Thanks for the comments guys....

gunk
No problemo man!

Personally I would still go with a tube trough hull... But they are making strides on externally mounted... There's a few threads here on those if you do some digging...

PS... anybody on the dock is also immediately drawn to the WAAAAAA.... of a thruster bump... Knows exactly what it was... And wished they had one...
__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 11:23   #6
Registered User
 
Jehoshaphat's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wa
Boat: 44'
Posts: 17
Gunk,

A lot of purists would say it's not necessary, that with practice you can learn your boat and it's habits under power in fwd and reverse, even a single screw can be enough to move a boat nearly within its own length. Ours is able to do it, owing to its deep fin and deep rudder not to mention lg Perkins. BUT.....

when we spent 4 years refitting, we had an opportunity to do it and after much consideration we went ahead and fitted a Side Power Thruster. The main argument FOR it was the fact that it allows an option in those moments at the dock where wind and current are less than ideal, not to mention tight quarters in unfamiliar marinas.

We chose an internal/tube design because it's less the thruster and more the tube, it's location on the hull and DISTANCE BELOW WATERLINE that give you the power you need to move a heavy boat laterally. External designs lack the tube, the ability to specify the ideal location and IMHO create more resistance in the water.

We chose to create an eyebrow IN FRONT of the tube opening on the hull rather than a teardrop shape behind it after much research which suggested to me it was more hydrodynamic. This can be argued.

I use it more than I probably need to, to keep it cleared of growth, lubed and operational, but it's a convenience more than a necessity.

In all honesty, if you have any talent with glass you could even do it yourself. We had ours done professionally while other hull work was already underway.
__________________
Jehoshaphat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 11:31   #7
Registered User
 
Jehoshaphat's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wa
Boat: 44'
Posts: 17
Re: Bow thrusters...

Photos of the installation and eyebrow.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0369.jpg
Views:	316
Size:	401.0 KB
ID:	89986   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0367.jpg
Views:	417
Size:	393.9 KB
ID:	89987  

__________________
Jehoshaphat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 11:57   #8
Registered User
 
crazyoldboatguy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Chicago
Boat: Alden auxiliary ketch 48'
Posts: 857
Re: Bow thrusters...

Due to my hull being carvel planked over frames (2 1/4" on 9" centers) using the typical tunnel type thruster would be difficult. I am looking at a type that uses more of a jet ski thruster. Nozzles much smaller than with the more traditional type. hollandmarineparts.nl

The price is hefty. I have been looking at off the shelf components to make my own. Not sure I can pull it off, tho
__________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
crazyoldboatguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 12:17   #9
Registered User
 
scotty c-m's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: catalina 400 MKII
Posts: 188
Re: Bow thrusters...

I have a Vitus bowthruster on my Catalina 400 (a 40' boat). I don't use it a lot, but when I do, it is really nice.
__________________
scotty c-m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 12:26   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 324
Re: Bow thrusters...

Jehoshaphat - That is a sweet looking instalation !
__________________
Arthur Garfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 13:13   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Live in Boise, boat is in Titusville, FL
Boat: 56' CNSO Mikado Ketch S/V Solace
Posts: 231
Re: Bow thrusters...

While I was dry docked for an extensive refit I installed a Side Power bow thruster. I got a deal I couldn't pass up on the motor and worked with Side Power on purchasing the leg, prop, tube, etc. They were awesome to work with and sold me demo parts from a recent boat show at less than half price. I ended up installing it myself after a lot of internet research. There was definitely some pucker factor as I was cutting a 10" hole thru the hull! I put a lot of thought on wiring and ended up installing an 8D AGM battery forward in the sail locker. The bow thruster is 12V and the windlass is 24V so I incorporated a 12VDC to 24VDC converter into the circuit. All in all I am very happy with the installation and the performance is amazing. Like the majority of equipment on a modern sailboat you could live without it but it sure makes docking in tight quarters a lot less stressful for me.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF0899.jpg
Views:	323
Size:	424.3 KB
ID:	89988   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF0901.jpg
Views:	333
Size:	426.5 KB
ID:	89989  

__________________
Mikado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 13:51   #12
Registered User
 
gunkylump's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Boat: Stevens 47
Posts: 358
Re: Bow thrusters...

Some great comments, I appreciate what has been put forth so far. Some beautiful sailboats in those pics!

We've had the Stevens for 3 weeks now....I haven't been perfect so far in backing into our assigned dock here in Pensacola, but have done quite well most of the time. Small adjustments, watch the power goes a long way.

We said when we bought her we would try without a bow thruster, but after yesterday's lesson from Mother Nature, I am really inclined to spend the mega bucks and get it done. I was really hoping not to, but...yesterday was just plain not nice.

I fear hitting someone else's yacht..and doing damage. Not what I'm here for.

So...Lawrence? Vetus? SidePower? Which is best, or is there a clear cut heads above the competition brand out there?

Another question, has anyone used Florida Bow Thrusters for an install?

gunk
__________________
gunkylump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 14:17   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,965
Re: Bow thrusters...

I've only has Sidepower in three sailboats and been happy. They seem to have the largest share of the 40-50ft boats. Their installation manuals are online. Make sure you can meet the spec for depth and length.

The 12v or 24v question is worth thinking about. I've always done 12v with a battery forward. Its very hard to get enough amps with a long cable run. Converting between 12v and 24v always seemed to have "gotchas".

Get a big one. You'll sometimee need to fight a crosswind. I was once told by a guy who knows about such things that the drag from the tube on a sailboat is minimal because the tunnel is normally submerged (unlike a planing powerboat where the tube goes in and out of the water a lot). Submerged, it's just a solid tube of static water that creates no turbulence to water flowing along the hull. I don't know if this is correct but it sounds possible.
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 14:40   #14
Registered User
 
Steady Hand's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Crewing All of 2017 Available Globally
Boat: OPB = Crewing in 2017
Posts: 4,851
Re: Bow thrusters...

Since some folks here have had the thrusters installed in older boats (that did not have them already), I would like some idea of what the costs are for the total package including the yard work (labor) to install. Rough estimates are OK, but would be helpful to know. In short, what you would budget to include one on an older boat during refit. Please indicate whether you include a separate battery etc.
__________________
Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, Med, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2017? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
Steady Hand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2014, 17:44   #15
Registered User
 
gunkylump's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Boat: Stevens 47
Posts: 358
Re: Bow thrusters...

There is a guy here from Texas in a Irwin 46, he installed the Side power model, not sure what size, or if he had to add the battery or ran off of his windlass, will find out more tomorrow, but he said it was between 11 and 12 thousand total for his install. Said he loves it!

gunk
__________________

__________________
gunkylump is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BOW THRUSTERS FOR MY CAT jenkolav40 Multihull Sailboats 27 25-07-2017 01:56
Bow Thrusters markpierce Engines and Propulsion Systems 29 06-09-2010 08:13
Bow thrusters. CARL Propellers & Drive Systems 22 15-07-2008 12:10
BOW THRUSTERS ANCHOR WINDLASS nythll Meets & Greets 5 10-10-2007 21:21



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.