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Karl

Bow thruster tube covers ?

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Hi all, I have had a survey done on a boat today I am in process of purchasing. All appeared well except the report came back that the bow thruster tubes have no covers/guards/grills. And they need blacking inside. Blacking I understand but do I need guards etc ? I appreciate the logic to stop items being sucked in the tube and getting stuck but I also think that smaller items will get sucked in and thrown out the other side if no guards are fitted. What are your thoughts,experience please ? The boat is waiting to back into the water and can’t make my mind up. Many thanks.

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25 minutes ago, Karl said:

I also think that smaller items will get sucked in and thrown out the other side if no guards are fitted. What are your thoughts,experience please ?

The smaller items will include long lengths of plastic such as bin bags, and they will definitely not go out the other side!

 

It is much much cheaper to scrape plastic bags off the grill than to strip the bowthruster and replace the propeller ..

Edited by TheBiscuits

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A screen to prevent sucking unwanted items into your tube is essential. We learned this through experience when one of those pipe fenders people hang from the hand rail, was sucked into ours.

It had obviously snapped off, leaving the eye attached to the rope. This went into the tube and destroyed the prop.

We did have a screen in place at the time, but the gaps were too large. This has now been modified.

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Mine had a wire screen which was a pain to remove for blacking the tube. The grills never found their way back on and the performance of the BT was improved by their removal. I am on a river so perhaps less rubbish to suck in and also situated a bit deeper in the water probably helps. Mine is also easy to remove with the boat in the water so if i do get a problem it isn't a costly haul out to sort which is a consideration. Not very helpful to you sorry but that is my experience.

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32 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

My bow thrusters have neither grills nor motors/propellers....

 

😅

Ash poles?

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1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

My bow thrusters have neither grills nor motors/propellers....

 

😅

Mine tends to use a lot of juice (Prosecco !!) even in 'stand-by' mode.

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Just now, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Ash poles to you too...

 

:giggles:

Bless You... 🤧

  • Haha 1

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Solid steel covers welded on, saves electricity, noise, broken props, reblacking and daft boating practices. You can then make better use of the batteries.

 

 Shame though that they will no longer capture plastic bags.

Edited by hider
  • Haha 2

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We have grilles over ours made of 1 inch weldmesh secured on 4 M10 studs. 3 years ago a bit of 2 x 1 managed to get in the tube breaking one blade from the prop although it didn't alter the performance too much. At the next dry docking a year later we found one of the studs had broken off. 

 

The last few days the thruster wasn't working too well and today I put my hand down the weedhatch to find lots of fishing line wrapped around the blades.

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The more you cover the tunnel openings with grilles, mesh, etc, the more inefficient the thruster becomes. I have 3 x 10mm bars welded on horizontally on each end of the tunnel and 2 x 10mm vertical bars. (195mm diameter tunnel).

 

In 14 years I've never had anything stuck in there and have replaced the plastic prop once as one of the blades was slightly damaged. I think it depends how much you use your thruster and obviously how weedy or polluted the waterways you cruise on are. But I was moored in the Brentford basin for 5 years and regularly took my boat up though Southall which has got to be one of the most littered stretches of waterway in the country. 

 

If you overuse your thruster or you don't look to see what's in the water before you use it then you will need a tighter grille.

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No bars on mine and I've never had issues as a result of their absence.  Perhaps if I used it more in order it to compensate for not being able to handle a boat or if I was prone to using it unwisely where it might suck in sludge or debris it would be more vulnerable?  Never even needed to open the weedhatch except for blacking.

 

If answering your question now induces "commentator's curse" Karl, I'll be round for a word! ;) :D

 

 

  • Greenie 1

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2 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Perhaps if I used it more in order it to compensate for not being able to handle a boat or if I was prone to using it unwisely where it might suck in sludge or debris it would be more vulnerable? 

Yep, that would cover it nicely.

 

(As above, my bowthruster has a 12' ash pole and a fondness for white wine.  I understand the Vetus ones keep their opinions on my steering to themselves!)

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4 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

(As above, my bowthruster has a 12' ash pole and a fondness for white wine.  I understand the Vetus ones keep their opinions on my steering to themselves!)

 

The other difference of course is that the Vetus ones can be easily operated when single handing. 

Edited by blackrose

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20 hours ago, hider said:

Solid steel covers welded on, saves electricity, noise, broken props, reblacking and daft boating practices. You can then make better use of the batteries.

 

 Shame though that they will no longer capture plastic bags.

Quite agree.  I had the tube installed when the shell was built, thinking I might need it when I got old and infirm.  Decided that I wouldn't need it and it was a pain, taking up space and collecting lots of condensation.

 

BT cover.jpg

Edited by dor

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19 hours ago, Paringa said:

Always a topic to trigger the armchair admirals this

That's no way to speak about the Birmingham Navy!:icecream:

Howard

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On 10/06/2019 at 12:46, hider said:

Solid steel covers welded on, saves electricity, noise, broken props, reblacking and daft boating practices. You can then make better use of the batteries.

 

 Shame though that they will no longer capture plastic bags.

 

Yet another person with no knowledge perpetuating myths he's heard somewhere.

 

Most BTs are set up with dedicated batteries at the bow. If it's set up properly the thruster isn't taking power away from any other bank. Also I've never had any plastic bags or anything else caught in my thruster. 

On 11/06/2019 at 09:09, dor said:

Quite agree.  I had the tube installed when the shell was built, thinking I might need it when I got old and infirm.  Decided that I wouldn't need it and it was a pain, taking up space and collecting lots of condensation.

 

BT cover.jpg

 

The tunnel won't collect any condensation if it's properly insulated. 

 

Sometimes people want to find problems where they don't really exist.

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On 10/06/2019 at 12:46, hider said:

You can then make better use of the batteries.

 

6 minutes ago, blackrose said:

Most BTs are set up with dedicated batteries at the bow. If it's set up properly the thruster isn't taking power away from any other bank. Also I've never had any plastic bags or anything else caught in my thruster. 

 Yes, but you paid to replace your BT batteries recently, Mike.  That money could easily have been added to your domestic bank to much better effect.

 

Avoiding plastic bags/trees/pipe fenders is more a matter of luck than skill!  That said, I do agree that on your fat boat that is much heavier than most narrowboats a bowthruster is useful rather than a luxury, and I do also accept that you are able to steer without it in most conditions, which may be why you don't pick up as much debris as some ...

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On 10/06/2019 at 14:16, pearley said:

fishing line wrapped around the blades.

The fishists who discard their line should be banned. I have seen quite a few swans with fishing line hanging from their beaks. It's not nice to see. 

 

Cruisers of the sea boat variety do not have any grills ove the bow  thruster tube. At least none that I have seen.

My bow thruster prop did break. It was probably due to debris being drawn in. The plastic prop failed but that failure protected the expensive metal drive. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, MartynG said:

My bow thruster prop did break. It was probably due to debris being drawn in. The plastic prop failed but that failure protected the expensive metal drive. 

 

Well yes!  That is precisely what they are designed to do!

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6 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

Well yes!  That is precisely what they are designed to do!

.

There is a shear pin too but the prop proved to be the weaker link.

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