In my own experience those who express concern about bow thrusters failing are missing the most critical issue. The greatest problem is that thrusters are simply not powerful enough to manage the bow in really significant cross winds or cross currents. That means using a thruster in moderate conditions obviates the practice that would otherwise give you the skill to manage really ugly conditions.
When someone makes a thruster that has serious Wheaties, doesn't pitch black dust everywhere, and doesn't slow the boat down from drag I'll buy one.
sail fast and eat well, dave
beware "cut and paste" sailors.
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