Really? Another thing for us to compare scar tissue on someday. Maybe I'm the old fart. Maybe I've just had one too many thruster controls wired backwards. *sigh*
One of my favorite stories with no humility at all is backing a brand new HR into a slip at the end of a fast trip from Florida to Maryland with the broker and the new owner standing on the dock. I came in absolutely dead center and lined up, crew dropped the dock lines of the pilings on the first toss, and I shut off the engine. The owner made a comment about how nice it was to have a bow thruster to which I replied "I didn't use it." *grin*
Stern thrusters can be pretty nice on larger yachts, expecially when running something like the Erie Canal shorthanded... Always seems to blow hard up there in the fall, and with the windage most motoryachts present at the top of the lift, handling the boat with lines alone can often be a bit of a stuggle..
Most folks don't realize how impossible the visibility aft from the bridge helm of most motoryachts today has become, backing into a slip you can't see a thing from the helm... Reliance on video cameras has become the norm, along with a second control station aft...
What's really becoming popular now, are wireless remote control consoles... As usual, I think this is a very dangerous trend - a friend of mine was aboard a 72' Marlow when one went haywire while docking at Ocean Reef, resulting in about a $50K repair job to the transom and swim platform...
The Future of Yachting - Yacht Controller Commercial - YouTube
One good thing about bow thrusters on other's boats, however... They can often serve as a sort of Distant Early Warning System, similar to an AIS alarm... When sitting in a slip in a place like Beaufort Town Docks, for example, and a boat shows up that's gonna be directed to an adjacent slip - if you start hearing the thruster whine when the guy is still 100+ feet away from the dock, you know it's probably a good idea to grab a spare fender or two, and stand by in a self-defense posture... (grin)