Is the bow thruster an aphrodisiac? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 47 Old 01-14-2011
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My 49 has serious windage due to a high free board and a very light bow. Having a thruster is a really nice convenience. However I'm in the school of better to have and not use it then to need it and not have it. I love spring lines because as others have said the thruster will break someday.

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post #12 of 47 Old 01-14-2011
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My wife isn't great with lines, so I usually try to get her right on top of the cleat or pylon where she's going to set the spring. The bow thruster makes this a lot easier in any sort of wind or current. Add to that we've got small children who are always getting excited when we come in and we have to look out for them as well. As someone else stated it allows us to get in quickly, confidently and in a relaxed manner.

And yes the compliments from those watching us dock are a nice bonus. If using a bit of bow thruster to help fit nearly 15' of beam into a 16' wide slip makes me seem like less of a seamen I can live with that.
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post #13 of 47 Old 01-14-2011
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"Useful tool"? Maybe. Aphrodesiac? Nope.

I probably fall somewhere in the "Menonite" category of sailors. That is to say, I grudgingly accept technology in certain instances.

I like high-tech sails and lines. I like a quality hand-held GPS, a quality VHF radio, I like quality block and tackle, multi-speed winches, and a good, 4-stroke outboard to minimize the oil mess, emissions and for their good fuel efficiency.

Beyond that, I'm a caveman. For me, the whole purpose of sailing is to shed the trappings of modern society and revert back to a simpler time.

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1973 Pearson 30 #255
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post #14 of 47 Old 01-14-2011
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Having helped run a small marina here in the San Juans I can definitely state that having a bow thruster is meaningless as far as determining what type of person owns the boat. There are people that have large power boats that expertly bring their boats in without using the thruster and there are sailboaters that don't seem to be able to do anything without the continual use of the thruster. I would guess that if you have one you probably tend to use it more and more the longer you have it because it definitely makes close quarters maneuvers easier, just human nature. If I had one I would use it when needed, just like any other tool at my disposal (and many people having seen me trying to back up with our fixed prop and high windage might suggest that I need one).
Now as far as 500hp (800, 1000+) goes ....

John
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post #15 of 47 Old 01-14-2011
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On the one hand I believe that in many cases bow thrusters are an indication of the trend that more and more people seem to be buying larger boats than they know how to handle (see for example the pivoting propeller base on the new Beneteau 50 for joystick docking...).

On the other hand if this gives more people more confidence to get out there and go sailing without having to worry too much about maneuvering/docking in tight quarters or less than ideal conditions (or unduly straining their marriage) then more power to them.

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post #16 of 47 Old 01-14-2011
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We were in an anchorage some time ago and a club get-together of large sport-fishers started rafting up alongside us. One guy with a 70ft power boat arrived at the outer reaches of the anchorage, put his boat into reverse and then proceeded to "drive" it towards the raft-up using a bow and stern thruster continuously to get his boat alongside. Made a god-awful racket for near on ten minutes and then still had to be man-handled alongside his mates with long lines. What a dummy.

Having said that, when I'm trying to get into a marina berth in a strong crosswind, I seriously envy the guys with bow thrusters. There are good drop-down units that provide better depth and also improved hydro-dynamics than the "hole-in-the-wall" ones. I may one day (when I've bought the other 200 items needed for my boat ) consider one of these.


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post #17 of 47 Old 01-16-2011
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These discussions always crack me up. Casual cruising sailors reject advances in technology like no other group. Eventually everyone comes around, but it's begrudgingly.

For instance, one of the posters above states that he thinks using a GPS is now acceptable (really?!?!), but only a "handheld", with emphasis. What's the point of that distinction in terms of being critical of using a fixed-mount GPS? Note by the way, that I don't mean to pick on that one poster, and please don't take offense, as you are far from alone and I'm just using that as an example.

Just about every new advancement is met by reisitence and proclamations of heresy and cries that sailing is not meant to be advanced, etc. That's just nonsense. Everything from sail material, to line material, to navigation, to communications, to building materials, to propulsion, to anti-fouling, to winches and sail control equipment, to every last little thing that you have on a modern sailing yacht built in the last 40+ years is the result of technological advances, and I bet just about every single one was decried by some group of sailors or other, complaining about how the sport is being ruined by technology.

Does it REALLY bother you that some other sailor on some other boat has a gadget that makes him/her happy?

Rant over. You may now go back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Dan Goldberg

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post #18 of 47 Old 01-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielgoldberg View Post
....Just about every new advancement is met by reisitence and proclamations of heresy and cries that sailing is not meant to be advanced, etc. That's just nonsense....
Amen, brother. Cracks me up that the use of a diesel and propeller is okay, but not a bow thruster.
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post #19 of 47 Old 01-16-2011
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Well said Dan.
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post #20 of 47 Old 01-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielgoldberg View Post
These discussions always crack me up. Casual cruising sailors reject advances in technology like no other group. Eventually everyone comes around, but it's begrudgingly

.... every last little thing that you have on a modern sailing yacht built in the last 40+ years is the result of technological advances, and I bet just about every single one was decried by some group of sailors or other, complaining about how the sport is being ruined by technology.

Does it REALLY bother you that some other sailor on some other boat has a gadget that makes him/her happy?

Rant over. You may now go back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Agreed +1

95 Catalina 30 Island Time

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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