I appreciate the various opinions for and against the use of bow thrusters. However, I was hoping that I would bring forward some discussion regarding the actual retrofitting of units to existing boats as well as discussion of the issue of power management in association with use of electrical driven units.
As I have already decided it would be a nice feature to add to our boat and that I would go the electrical route.
In my case, the admiral in charge has made it abundantly clear that anything having to do with manuevering this vessel is totally the captain's responsibility, and not a line will be lifted to assist the cause. Therefore I view my situation as a singlehander of advancing years. I am used to a managing risk after a lifetime of running other companies larger computers that must never be rebooted or allowed to shutdown, so I have come to appreciate equipment that functions in difficult spots and performs as specified as well as dealing with tight situations. I found over time that I thrive on managing risk and risk reduction.
Additionally I am on my first cruise on my first large boat. As a boy and young man I used to single hand a flying dutchman, no small feat. That was the sum total of my sailing experience before acquiring a well equiped cruiser after perhaps a 35 year hiatus. Now after dealing with too many hurricanes for a Californian to count, I have moved my vessel 1100 miles upstream from Dinner Key, Miami to the south coast of Puerto Rico. In this passage I have discovered the risks of anchorages, moorings and docking in unfamiliar territory. My future path will be more of the same as I'm trying to find the best and perhaps longest way home to western waters, hopefully via Panama.
A bowthruster looks to me eversomuch like a specialized starter motor in a large tube of Schedule 40 plastic mounted as deeply and far forward as possible. I am sure there must be qualitative differences among the various brands. This looks like something designed to flip the bow 10 or 20 degrees port or starboard which I view as a nice risk reducer. I appreciate the advantage that such leverage can provide.