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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #31  
Old 01-07-2008
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You do know that in really tight spaces you can generally use warps to turn the boat in almost any way you'd possibly need to without a bow thruster. We turned a 50' steel schooner that weighs 28,000 lbs. in a slip way so that she wouldn't have to motor out in reverse against a 15 knot wind.
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Originally Posted by davekitson View Post
We have a Southerly 35 which has a lifting keel and hence twin rudders. With a center prop we get no prop wash and we also get very little prop walk.
Without a thruster she would be essentially impossible to manoeuvre in a confined space. I one tried turning her without the thruster in a 25 Meter wide channel and it took over 30 backward and forward runs. With a wind or tide it would have been a disaster.
The thruster adds new ways of approaching difficult spaces such as crabbing in slowly (1 to 2 knot) at 15 degrees while keeping the boat parallel to the quay. Much safer in a side wind or current than flying in then jamming on full rudder and prop wash at the last minute then full reverse and hoping not to hit the boat in front and not get blown off!

For many years we had conventional boats with centre rudders and no thruster. I wouldn't easily go back now
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  #32  
Old 01-07-2008
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I have a thruster on my boat. All though I don't use it all that much, I'm glad it's there. For me it falls in the category of "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

I don't know any sailor of a 45+ foot boat that at some point would not have benefited by being able to swing the bow around or the crab walk the boat into a tight fuel dock or slip.
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