Bow thruster

frenchshipfrenchship Québec ,CanadaPosts: 307Member ✭✭✭
Hi I would like your opinion on a bow thruster for 300 express 20007 twin engines? I already read that many people's said you don't need with twin,but we intend to do lot of traveling in the near futur of unknow places to us in all kind of wind and tide and since we are kind of beginner we still have difficulty at going astern to dock in crowded marina. We are still practicing regularly but the Admiral would feel less stress when docking. Any information would be appreciated Thanks Paul Canada
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Comments

  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,963Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    You really don't need to stern in, looks cool but not a must. You'll spend a lot adding it, I'd recommend just more practice for the money.

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,401Member ✭✭✭✭
    Paul, I have Axius joystick on a twin 350 mag B3 EC 310 and it makes driving it a breeze - even when other experienced guys are having problems. I would definately consider a bow thruster, if you have the cash, for added piece of mind. We try to go to a new marina and a new area to anchor every week. So I'm usually docking or manoeuvering in completely unfamiliar territory. Having bow thrusters, in my opinion, will make manoeuvering your boat way, way easier - particularly in a wind. I aslo think you get your money back at resale time. I bet in five years no one will be able to sell a new baot that doesn't have thruisters or joystick as they change everything. The cost of a professionally installed high quality bow thruster should be aroung $7,000.00 which would include a professional quality fairing and gel coat work after it is installed.  There are 'add on " bow thrusters but I have no opinion on them.There is a cool video on the www.hurstmarina.com website on bow thruster installation. The marina is in Manotick, Ontario Canada.It's pretty crazy! it shows one being done. I know these guys and they do an amazing job. Their work looks factory new when finished. I think the video is on a link on their service site. Good Luck! MT
  • kneedeepkneedeep Berkley, ma, go to newport, ri mostlyPosts: 85Member ✭✭
    I've been boating my whole life - singles & twins. My 09 340 is my first boat with a thruster (2 actually) & I don't think I'll get another boat without one. Often times i dont use the thruster, but In tough conditions, it just takes the stress out of it. By the way, I would not get the stern thruster in the future. It's between the drives, so the thrust doesn't push very well & just having the bow is enough. Good luck!
  • TonyWalkerTonyWalker Palmetto, FLPosts: 284Member ✭✭✭
    • But I guess I am just a curmudgeon about such things.  It is fun to get an occasional compliment on how I docked her by using the levers.  Even in the worst docking situations I told myself that within 30 minutes max, I would be tied up at the dock and opening a beer.  So far that is the way it happened.

    Tony

    Salt Shaker 342

  • Goods28Goods28 Posts: 3Member
    check out sideshift. Its made in Canada and its a great product. Easy to install in a few hours. Its external mount and makes docking a breeze.  http://www.sideshift.com/
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,401Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2013
    Here's a bit of a funny story. Last week we were arriving at a new marina for the first time on the St. Lawrence River. We hailed the harbour master on VHF channel 68 to say we had a reserved slip. He said it was so windy that he would find us another more sheltered slip. It would not be as nice as the one we had reserved but easier for me to get into. I asked that we be allowed to try it as I had a joystick control (Axius). He agreed but said the two dockhands he'd send would have "wave-off" rights. It was windy. There were a lot of REAL expensive boats around. I had to go down the line of slips bow first turn 270 degrees to starboard and back in stern first right beside an $800,000.00 cruiser whose owner's eyes were bugging out thinking that I'd hit him. The dock hands didn't even have to touch my lines until my fenders gently kissed the dock. The people on a dozen boats clapped and raised beers. I'm decent with twin sticks but I could never in my wildest dreams have done that without Axius. Two days later when we went to leave we motored over to the fuel and pump out docks.  There were two sailboats on the docks with about 40 feet between them. There were at least five boats waiting so I decided to leave. As I started to back up the VHF lit up. It was the dock boss. He said Hey - Black Rinker - you the guy with Axius who docked in slip 258? I replied, affirmative dock boss - over. He said you have 40 feet, none of these other guys can fit in, in these conditions - they'll have to wait - can you make it? I replied affirmative dock boss, over. he replied proceed, out. We went in sideways in a REAL stiff cross beam breeze. A crowd watched. It was pretty funny, but I have to admit I enjoyed it. We were gassed, pumped and out of there in 30 minutes. We went down the river and came back past the harbour about two hours later. Three of the five boats were still waiting to get at the fuel/pump-out docks. Thrusters - great! Axius PRICELESS! I can do stuff with axius that I could only dream of otherwise and I bet only a real, and I mean a real good captian could do with just his sticks. I have no illusions - it's not my skill some of the time, It's technology. My father in law was a fighter pilot and readily admits he could never have flown his F-18 without computers. I'm a convert. That said,  I practice with my sticks when I can becasue you never know when they will be all you have! MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,963Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Axis system sounds sweet. Not in my future unless there is a lotto win coming my way!

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2013

    you will never regret installing a bow thruster.

    I payed $7,000.00 for mine turnkey which came with the thruster,battery,charger,wireless remote which also can control the windlass and a helm mounted controller.

    www.usthrusters.com installed mine

    With a single screw(the prop not the captain)I need all the help I can get.

    Post edited by vquad on

    2007 rinker 270

    "Julie Ann"

  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭
  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 947Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    • But I guess I am just a curmudgeon about such things.  It is fun to get an occasional compliment on how I docked her by using the levers.  Even in the worst docking situations I told myself that within 30 minutes max, I would be tied up at the dock and opening a beer.  So far that is the way it happened.

    Tony

    Salt Shaker 342

    Tony, I'm right there with you and could walk my 310 sideways in any conditions I'd ever been in.  It seems a bit different with my 400.  So much freeboard, the wind can push it sometimes more than I can be prepared for.  I still like the challenge here and there, but it is nice to cheat as well! :P

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,401Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2013
    I hear you guys and practice with the sticks.  With Axius, even in brutal conditions, so far,  it hasn't taken me more than 3 minutes max on final approach to tie up at the dock, knock on wood, and then I fire up the Rinker "special blender" for a margarita! ....and I don't call it cheatin'. I could use smoke signals to call someone instead of my 4G smartphone but why would I? P.S. Even though our EC 310 is only a few months old I am developing some 2 foot itis. I called about a Rinker EC 360 that is loaded, under 100 hours, no damage, certified and a great price. The add said guidance docking system. When I called the salesman said bow thrusters. I said that's good but call me if a real nice EC 360 comes in with axius. I have my eye on a black hulled one and a champagne hulled one both with axius. I've been ruined. It's axius or nothing. MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • frenchshipfrenchship Québec ,CanadaPosts: 307Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks for all the Infos. Too bad the axius system can not be retrofitted according to Mercruiser. So it looks like we will go with a bow thruster .I took a look at the sideshift system not a nice thing to put in front of a boat (ugly) and it looks like it could be easily damage Now the question is which bow thruster? The system used by VQUAD seems nice,I will see if it is available somewhere in Canada. And I will check with Hurst marina which is close to my home As referred by Michael T Thanks again Paul
  • craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Posts: 168Member ✭✭
    Vetus gets great reviews. We will get one at some point.
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,401Member ✭✭✭✭
    frenchship, call the service department at Hurst Marina 1-613-692-1234 and ask what thrusters they like. They carry several brands and will tell you the different prices and the pros and cons of each. They do the installs and they are great. Also Lens Cove as 1-888-272-2581 will do thruster installs and their glass guy Marc Lemieux (IL parle Francais) is amazing. Speak with Steve Warren and he'll give you a great price. Mention that Michael T referred you. You'll LOVE what a bow thruster can do for you, it will change EVERYTHING! Good Luck! MT
  • clarkbarclarkbar Posts: 19Member ✭✭
    Here is another one I have seen on the market for your research..http://www.yachtthruster.com
  • SerenitySerenity Long Island, New YorkPosts: 78Member ✭✭
    I just installed a Vetus Thruster and it is great. I own a 2005 320. My slip is tight where the wind in the afternoon plus the current hit me on my port side. I have boats to my left and in front-it is like a funnel with the wind shooting down. Now when I back in --stern to the bulkhead-just one or two quick shots of the thruster-keeps my bow from swinging-I should have done it years ago. With the IOs by the time I work the sticks my bow is already swinging. I know it is $7000 installed but worth the fact that I do not have to get a pit in my stomach after a beautiful day on the Bay. Make sure you get the separate battery charger and battery. Some quotes wanted to use my battery charger and run a cable from my batteries in the engine bay. Yes it was cheaper but not right. I also had them use a closed cell battery since the battery is installed under my forward bunk in the cabin.
  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭

    mine was installed the same way...with a dedicated gel cell battery,charger and breaker

    2007 rinker 270

    "Julie Ann"

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,401Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Serenity and vquad - that's exactly the way the guys at the two locations I talked above, in this thread,do the installs and have been for over 15 years. Their work has stood the test of time because it was done right!. If you run the long cables its a poor install. The cables will create undue resistance and will overheat and will pop breakers and burn out your thruster pack prematurely. Serenity, I feel exactly the same way as you do regarding docking stress. We deliberatley try new marinas and mooring spots on both the US and Cdn. sides of the ST. Lawrence. I'm always in areas new to me, often with tricky entrys/exits and slip entries. The axius takes 99% of the stress away. If I didn't have it or thrusters I'd either never try a lot of the new areas of I'd have an ulcer. In my opinion the whole idea about boating is to go new places and have FUN. Anything legal that I can do to accomplish that makes sense. P.S. I am 100% sure that adding a thruster will get you your money back at resale. Which boat would you choose thruster or not!!!!!! MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • brianluckbrianluck baltimore marylandPosts: 174Member ✭✭✭
    I would love bow thrusters
    1994 300fv "General Madness"
  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭

    Michael,I agree 100%

    a bow thruster is a stress reliever when you own the boat and one heckuva selling tool when its time to move up.

    2007 rinker 270

    "Julie Ann"

  • frenchshipfrenchship Québec ,CanadaPosts: 307Member ✭✭✭
    I talked to both reference from Michael T Hurst marine gave me a rough quote of 10,000to 14,000...... Len's cove marine quote was 7,000 to 8,000. This a big difference. Why I don't know. So I will be talking to Steve at Len's cove for having the work done this fall or winter they have a special for winter work and storage. Imtra marine product seems to have a good bow thruster called Side-Power model SE40 anybody has knowledge on the Side-Power thruster Thanks Paul
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,401Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Frenchship, WOW!!!! Hurst does great work but their price is way, way higher than I remember!!!!! Len's Cove does amazing work. Their glass guy, Marc Lemieux, is a wizard. most people can't even find where he did the repair no matter how hard they look! I saw a spray gelcoat he did on a metalflake gelcoat on an $800K cruiser that had deep scratches in it. You couldn't tell where it had been done. L.C. uses quality products and stands behind them! L.C. will look after you like a prince and you'll be sooooo happy with that thruster! MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,963Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm sure the thruster would be handy and make the boat easier to sell, but I'd doubt someone would pay a $5k premium for one. Sounds like a project you do for yourself and don't worry about getting your money back on. Just my .02

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,244Member ✭✭✭✭
    I'll have to be satisfied with a couple oversized fenders and some more pratice at the helm....and the occaisional ulcer inducing wave off. Its been a great discussion to follow. Mike
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭

    the side power se 40 is what I had installed 6 years ago on my cruiser.

    ive had zero(0) issues with it in that time.

    the only thing ive ever had to replace is the shear pin but that was operator error. 

    I got caught up in some seaweed at the dock and the pin sheared in order to protect the motor.

    takes about 2 beers to remove the motor,replace the pin and reinstall the motor and I did it in the slip at the marina with the a/c on.

    2007 rinker 270

    "Julie Ann"

  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭
  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭

    make sure you get the wireless remote that also runs the windlass

    (dang I am spoiled rotten)

    :P

    2007 rinker 270

    "Julie Ann"

  • vquadvquad saint cloud,floridaPosts: 98Member ✭✭✭
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,401Member ✭✭✭✭
    vquad - I keep telling the Admiral there is no such thing as spoiled rotten in boating! P.S. I like your timer - a two beer job - I'll be using that with the Admiral and tell her that's what all the real boaters on the site do! Thank you.MT
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