Our crew of 2 is pretty proficient with maneuvering Entropy, a 43 ft Beneteau
(11 t) in close quarters. However, there have been tight situations where only luck prevented damage, and in some situations it would be extremely reassuring to have an oh-crap button which might turn the tide.
My take on a bow thruster is that I'd consider it as an insurance
rather than a "standard maneuvering device". I'd still plan maneuvers to be done without it and also not use it unless actually needed.
I have read all the existing CF threads about Bow Thrusters and have a pretty good impression on the pros and cons of adding a Bow Thruster to a boat
For our situation I'd appreciate thoughts and opinions if it actually makes sense technically and from a usability standpoint.
We have the boat
at a Beneteau
authorized workshop, and they have obtained the original Beneteau plans how to add an aftermarket bow thruster to the boat. I am confident that the workshop does a good job, and the quotation (~4900 EUR for thruster, cabling, work
, ~2300 EUR for lamination works and ~1750 for woodwork on the berth) looks not exactly cheap
but OK to me.
The 43 ft Monohull
has a large water
tank (360 l) below the front berth. It is not possible to install a thruster in the bow in front of the tank, rather it would have to be done behind the water
tank, directly below the "head" end of the bed
This would mean that the large wooden drawer below the berth would have to be removed, in its place the tunnel and the thruster would have to be installed.
Now the problem I see is that this is a non-optimal place for the tunnel for various reasons
- it is about 3 m from the bow, reducing torque during operation
- the tunnel would have to be quite long, about 1.6 - 1.8 m. The thruster manufacturer recommends a maximum length of 6 times tunnel width, that would be 1.1 m.
- with the thruster mounted in the middle of the tunnel, how would one do the maintenance
on the propeller
and anodes? I doubt that an arm could reach the propeller
from the side. This sounds like a huge maintenance
problem to me.
I am interested in opinions of fellow sailors if this sounds more like a "it looks like a problem but in practice it isn't" or "don't do it, you'll waste space and money
for a solution which will generate more problems than it solves".
If anybody has experience with a similar layout, i. e. a very long bow thruster tunnel, I'd appreciate some feedback how this works out.