Is a bow thruster worth having?

Andydent2000

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My pride and joy is coming to the end of an extensive re-engining and will be back in the water very soon.

The conversation about fitting a bow thruster came up - something that up until now I have not really considered.

Is it a worthwhile item to fit?
 

taormina

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Well, having just fitted one, seems to be a good move, bit more confidence in tight spaces etc, but trying to reconcile the outlay, guess will help sell boat when time comes...
 

Elessar

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My pride and joy is coming to the end of an extensive re-engining and will be back in the water very soon.

The conversation about fitting a bow thruster came up - something that up until now I have not really considered.

Is it a worthwhile item to fit?

Not enough info to know. Single engine shaft drive it is pretty much essential if you wish to go to many places. Twin shaft 30fter then virtually no point.
 

JAR

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Whilst out being taught how to berth, mine over heated and shut down temporarily, coming back in with wind and strong tide without the thruster took four attempts to berth and the instructor was at the wheel :D (40 footer on outdrives) so a yes from me, takes away the stress.
 

MapisM

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Is it a worthwhile item to fit?
Considering that you seem pretty new around here (apropos, welcome!), you might be interested to know that this matter has been already debated in great detail.
The real expert is the forumite HLB. He's the one who can explain you better than anyone else why you MUST fit it.
Hopefully he'll soon show up and enlighten us. :D
 
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Delfin

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In the interests of full disclosure, my current boat, Delfin was an empty shell when purchased but was fitted with bow and stern thrusters. The ability to turn her 360 degrees makes it possible to maneuver places I couldn't otherwise go, single handing, and without endangering others or scaring the horses .

On my prior boat, a 36' Cape George cutter, I gradually learned to turn her in the same tight circle using just rudder and engine. So, I am not sure that a bow thruster on a sailboat under 40' is necessary, but they are a delight to have all the same.
 

OAF

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You can look at it like this, Do you have Air con in your car? do you have power steering in your car?, do you have a stereo in your car? The answer is probably yes, Do you need them, the truthful answer is probably no, are the nice to have, Bloody right they are.

I have had lots of boats with and without thrusters, a twin engined boat can be manoeuvred without out a bow thruster but they are a very welcome item when you do want the use of one.

I have one on my current boat and do use it.
 

MapisM

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In the interests of full disclosure, my current boat, Delfin was an empty shell when purchased but was fitted with bow and stern thrusters. The ability to turn her 360 degrees makes it possible to maneuver places I couldn't otherwise go, single handing, and without endangering others or scaring the horses.
Is Delfin the boat shown in your avatar? If so, she does look a proper small ship!
Judging from your reply, she must be a single engine, I guess?
Because actually, turning 360° is dead easy with any (well, most) boat on twin shafts, with no thrusters at all.
It's moving sideways which is much more tricky, and in this respect obviously bow+stern thrusters can make life easier.
 

Morpheous

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I would too, people buying boats do look for them, especially if they have had one before. If you are down to a choice of 2 boats and one has the bow thruster it can be a deciding factor.
 

mjf

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IMHO when you do need them they are not powerful enough.

Up to F3 on my boat I tend not to use it F4+ and gusts its not good enough to hold the bow or arrest a swing.

That said the new sexy prop I fitted has improved it by 25% I reckon so might be talking **** now as not really tried it in anger recently....
 

jfm

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IMHO when you do need them they are not powerful enough.

Up to F3 on my boat I tend not to use it F4+ and gusts its not good enough to hold the bow or arrest a swing.

That said the new sexy prop I fitted has improved it by 25% I reckon so might be talking **** now as not really tried it in anger recently....

Mjf, that is a reason not to have an underspecced b/thruster, not to not have one. Many UK builders underspecced them 10 years ago, but have got better since. Not wishing to knock Princess in general, but they are badly behaved on this point imho. They still underspec the b/t on small/medium boats, and then they fail to quote hp in their spec sheets and instead quote kgf. That's bamboozling, conveniently hiding the low hp figure. Basic laws of physics tells you it is power that matters here, not force
 

neale

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While many boats leave the factory with an underspec BT, retrofitting one gives you the chance to choose the spec so is not an issue. My advise would be go at least 1 size bigger than recommended.
 

rafiki_

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I have a twin engined 30+ footer, and my bowthruster is invaluable when I am mooring and the wind is gusting. In a flat calm I generally don't use it, but how often do we use the boat in a flat calm?

I think a thruster is something that will help you to sell your boat if and when you come to it. It was on my shopping list.
 

Delfin

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Judging from your reply, she must be a single engine, I guess?
Because actually, turning 360° is dead easy with any (well, most) boat on twin shafts, with no thrusters at all.
It's moving sideways which is much more tricky, and in this respect obviously bow+stern thrusters can make life easier.
Yes, she is a single Cat 3306, and now that you mention it, going sideways when docking is quite handy. In fact I am going to go all mealy mouthed and qualify my previous post. It sounds like the OP's boat is 46', and I may be wrong in assuming it was sail. Power boats, especially those designed for speeds faster than displacement have such dinky rudders that a thruster becomes almost essential. An example would be an Albin 28' that will cruise at 26 knots. At docking speeds, its tiny rudder is pretty useless.

So put me down as a yes, a no, and a maybe on bow thrusters depending on the boat..:rolleyes:
 
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