With all due respect, it would be one heck of a lot cheaper just to learn how to maneuver your boat without the need of auxillary aids. You're going to need to know how to do it anyways when your bow thruster breaks down and you're right back where you started from.
I have a slip in the marina that has limited space and is a real swine to get into when there is any wind blowing and a tidal stream running thru so it is often really hard to get in and out of. I have many years of practise and experience but sometimes there is no amount of know-how that will make it any easier.
So, yes, I hear all the calls for better seamanship but if I subscribed to that philosophy I would not have GPS, EPIRB, chart plotter, autopilot, Iridium phone, roller furling, wheel steering, wind instruments, refrigerator, pressurised water, the list of things upon which we have come to depend that could fail is actually too long to continue.
So in spite of having to probably live with the moniker of "poor seaman", I'm seriously contemplating a bow thruster as well. And why is a 36 footer too small? If your boat becomes easier to handle what difference does the size make? When the bow thruster stops working (which some believe is inevitable) then you have to rely on seamanship. So what? That's like the cruise control on my car failing. When it does, I have to start driving again
, doesn't stop me using it while it works.