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SOVT 02-04-2013 05:51 PM

Bow thruster advise
I am going to install a bow thruster prior to next season. Am looking for input on brand and reliability info. Currently looking at Vetus and Lewmar.


outbound 02-04-2013 06:48 PM

Re: Bow thruster advise
4 Attachment(s)
may wish to tell folks on what kind of boat.size displacement appendages may all impact n choice.
what your electrical system is.
is it to be used briefly or are you in a windy place where you are pinned in a slip or on a pier often.
good luck- they are a joy to have.

dorymate1 02-04-2013 08:40 PM

Re: Bow thruster advise
Side power also an option. Having installed all of the above brands don't have a favorite except found Side Power distributed through Imtra to have superior support. Thrusters are not a DYI project. cutting large holes in your boat and building the structure back in takes some knowledge & skill. Also added battery & charging needs need to be discussed with a certified marine electrician. As performance & safety can be compromised. Find a yard who has skilled workers with experience with thrusters. Thrusters are one of the toughest jobs we do.

jimrafford 02-05-2013 08:36 AM

Re: Bow thruster advise
Look at yacht Thruster before you have a couple large holes cut in the bow. Much easier install. It's on my project list this spring.

Minnewaska 02-05-2013 09:09 AM

Re: Bow thruster advise
We have a Max-Power, which is what Jeanneau was installing back in '04. Works great and is maintenance free, that's about all I can say about it. I do prefer a thruster that operates off a joy stick, rather than buttons, but that's personal preference. A buddy just installed a Vetus, after whatever he had prior to it nearly caught on fire. He smelled the electrical burning soon enough!

Don't undersize the thruster. Just about anything will work in calm wind, but when you have current or high winds to fight against, I've seen thrusters that just wouldn't do the job. I highly recommend a dedicated battery as well.

SOVT 02-05-2013 11:24 AM

Re: Bow thruster advise
Thanks for the replys. Outbound, I was looking for general experience with different brands but I see your point.

The thruster is being installed in a 36' full keel ketch rig boat. It will have a battery dedicated to the thruster and windlass. As you can see from the link below we are doing a complete rebuild of the boat. 40 years and some poor maintenance by previous owners has taken it's toll.

Again, thanks for the responses


SloopJonB 02-05-2013 12:36 PM

Re: Bow thruster advise
Very cool boat. I don't recognize it - what is it?

SOVT 02-05-2013 12:40 PM

Re: Bow thruster advise

Originally Posted by SloopJonB (Post 986053)
Very cool boat. I don't recognize it - what is it?

It's a 1973 Fuji 36. There were only two 36' made, later the company produced a line og "yachts".


deltaten 02-05-2013 07:16 PM

Re: Bow thruster advise
Helluva project! :D

Stumble 02-05-2013 09:11 PM

Re: Bow thruster advise

Honestly I have to wonder why you want to put a thruster on a 36' boat? Until boats reach 45 foot or so I see them as unnecessary, between 45-55' kinda of a push, and only really become desirable in boats over 60'.

There are some major problems installing a thruster in a boat this size that can be very difficult to deal with.

1) a huge amount of drag relative to the size of the boat
2) a thruster needs to be deep enough not to ventilate. For a boat this size that means moving it pretty far back on the hull
3) the further back it has to go the less leverage it has, meaning you need a larger thruster, meani it needs to be further back...
4) the power budget for a smaller boat makes them undesirable
5) the amount of space they take up, and where that space is can be hard to work around
6) in a boat this size they are of at best questionable utility.

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