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W+T

Bow thruster for a Norman 44 ?

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Ok, a few have put this in my head to add a bow thruster to my `to be` Norman 44 GRP cruiser.

Reason being it will be lightweight for  along boat and as much as i love the challenge to control a boat properly i think it mite be a handle if cruising in high winds.

 

First off, what size/thrust would i need to look at ?

And i need to see how big they are as the main permanent birth will be over the top.

 

This is complete new thing for me and looking forward to researching them.

 

Admiral Faffer :) 

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5 minutes ago, W+T said:

Ok, a few have put this in my head to add a bow thruster to my `to be` Norman 44 GRP cruiser.

Reason being it will be lightweight for  along boat and as much as i love the challenge to control a boat properly i think it mite be a handle if cruising in high winds.

 

First off, what size/thrust would i need to look at ?

And i need to see how big they are as the main permanent birth will be over the top.

 

This is complete new thing for me and looking forward to researching them.

 

Admiral Faffer :) 

I have no idea, except that if you don't get an answer maybe you could give 'Le Boat' (on the Caledonian Canal) a call. We hired a 44 x 14 GRP and that had a Thruster.

 

I'm sure the maintenance / mechanic guy would tell you what you need to know.

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2 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I dont think it will help you cruise in high winds other than maybe get the bows off the bank

You know what i mean and what there used for.

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I think it would be a load of extra work and expense for very little gain.

 I'm sure you know that our grp cruisers can be all over the cut when it's windy due to light weight and shallow draught.From what I have seen of boats with bowthrusters,they are only of any use when reversing.

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3 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

I dont think it will help you cruise in high winds other than maybe get the bows off the bank

Agreed

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18 minutes ago, Mad Harold said:

I think it would be a load of extra work and expense for very little gain.

 I'm sure you know that our grp cruisers can be all over the cut when it's windy due to light weight and shallow draught.From what I have seen of boats with bowthrusters,they are only of any use when reversing.

 

Not really. As well as reversing, mine is quite useful for controlling the position of the bow of my 30 tonne widebeam during slow, close quarters handling, as I'm single handed. But as Ditchy said, I think a BT would be of very limited use on a light grp boat in high winds. It's not going to stop the boat getting blown about.

Edited by blackrose

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Using a bow thruster to steer a boat is not a sensible thing to do, 

A ) because it doesn't work, B)B) 

B ) your battery will go flat before you have chance to recharge it. 

 

I have never tried a GRP in high wind , prefer to follow what others do and stay tie up until it abates. But I have never experienced any problem with a steel narrowboat except one occasion when we had to winch it off the bank to get into locks, but the day was stupid, we should not of been out.

Edited by Boater Sam
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10 hours ago, Mad Harold said:

I think it would be a load of extra work and expense for very little gain.

 I'm sure you know that our grp cruisers can be all over the cut when it's windy due to light weight and shallow draught.From what I have seen of boats with bowthrusters,they are only of any use when reversing.

agree.

 

on the Thames where I cruise, bowthrusters are regularly used by gin palaces and canal boats simply because the drivers are incompetent.   Instead of steering smartly (i.e with sufficient speed to maintain steerage way) into or out of the lock they wander about left and right, with little or no forward speed, while the lockie gazes in disbelief.

Edited by Murflynn
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I have nothing against bow thrusters, I have one, but I have watched and waited while Narrowboats try to steer out of a single lock with a bowthruster.

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I have recently had my bow thruster motor reburbished. It had siezed up from lack of use! 😁

 

The main advantage, as others have said, is when reversing.

Edited by cuthound

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Well that was easy sorted, sod getting one. saved me around £1.5k from what i researched it would cost for the size i would need. 

 

Thanks all :)

 

 

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5 minutes ago, W+T said:

Well that was easy sorted, sod getting one. saved me around £1.5k from what i researched it would cost for the size i would need. 

 

Thanks all :)

 

 

 

You Know It makes Sense.png

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does the boat have an outdrive or outboard ?

 

in either case reversing and low speed steering in forward should be easier than with a fixed propeller. 

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

 

You Know It makes Sense.png

You know what odd, when i spoke of my new project etc there was a few folk say, get a bow thruster, now i ask about them folk say dont lol.  

 

cant win lol

1 minute ago, Murflynn said:

does the boat have an outdrive or outboard ?

 

in either case reversing and low speed steering in forward should be easier than with a fixed propeller. 

Outdrive, i am ok with boat control with outboard with reversing etc etc all asptects, never had an inboard untill now. Much the same i would think to control.

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1 minute ago, W+T said:

You know what odd, when i spoke of my new project etc there was a few folk say, get a bow thruster

You are mixing with the wrong crowd, obviously folk unable to helm a boat.

 

I have seen far to many folk come to rely on them , the day the thruster has a flat battery or ceases to work, they become in charge of a non-guided missile.

10+ tons at 3mph can do an awful lot of damage.

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probably worth fitting a rudder plate to the outdrive if it doesn't have one already.  I made up my own from a sheet of ali attached to an ali strap that fits around the leg just above the cavitation plate.

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17 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I have no idea, except that if you don't get an answer maybe you could give 'Le Boat' (on the Caledonian Canal) a call. We hired a 44 x 14 GRP and that had a Thruster.

 

I'm sure the maintenance / mechanic guy would tell you what you need to know.

 

Hired a nice GRP on the Caledonian once which had Bow AND Stern thrusters which both came in handy when mooring up on finger pontoons in strong winds.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You are mixing with the wrong crowd, obviously folk unable to helm a boat.

 

I have seen far to many folk come to rely on them , the day the thruster has a flat battery or ceases to work, they become in charge of a non-guided missile.

10+ tons at 3mph can do an awful lot of damage.

It was folk on here lol and another forum.

 

I am one for against it reality but the thought i would look into them whilst i design the boat build., i am one to use skills to do things, like self drive cars, Auto wipers and lights etc etc etc, self park cars, what the hell is all that about. The day they dont work these folk will not have a clue.  

 

 

 

1 minute ago, Murflynn said:

probably worth fitting a rudder plate to the outdrive if it doesn't have one already.  I made up my own from a sheet of ali attached to an ali strap that fits around the leg just above the cavitation plate.

It has a very dodgy one but will be making a ruder for it as i did for my other cruiser. 

 

 

This si the one fitted now

20190827_130509.jpg

 

One i made from GRP

 

 20190526_181639.jpg

 

 

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Just now, Tim Lewis said:

 

Hired a nice GRP on the Caledonian once which had Bow AND Stern thrusters which both came in handy when mooring up on finger pontoons in strong winds.

 

 

Sounds similar to the one we hired - was it 'Le Boat' ?

 

 

Scotland 2013 1 013.JPG

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2 minutes ago, Tim Lewis said:

 

Hired a nice GRP on the Caledonian once which had Bow AND Stern thrusters which both came in handy when mooring up on finger pontoons in strong winds.

 

 

Thats the one main reason i was thinking as it will be very light towards a NB.

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surely just another hole in the hull that you don't need? Plus all the space you'll lose housing the motor, battery, wiring etc. and the loss of beer tokens.

 

i'd have one if it was a magic one that only appeared when reversing, otherwise I've managed so far without one. I can see where they'd be useful in certain circumstances with bigger and heavier boats.

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might be useful for a trip boat or ferry that is constantly having to moor up but a waste of space on a simple cruiser.  ......... and of course on a commercial craft the thrusters will be (should be) regularly maintained because reliability is essential, whilst on a private boat they will let you down when you most need them through lack of maintenance or a flat battery.   much better to do without from day one.

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50 minutes ago, W+T said:

Thats the one main reason i was thinking as it will be very light towards a NB.

I think you could quite easily mount a Minn Kota trolling motor on some sort of customised bow mount and arrange 180 degree rotation for it. 

 

If you got something like a 60lb or more 24v unit it would have quite a bit of grunt. 

Might look a bit funny but much easier than a tube based thruster. 

 

If it was mounted in a vertical tube near the anchor roller it could be lifted out easily enough. 

 

Set it so that "park" would be pushing the boat directly backwards and allow 90 degrees each side. It might even act as a generator when not being used if it was set up opposite direction to the main propulsion. 

 

That would be quite a fun project actually. Lower units for Minn Kota's are not too much money even shipped from the US. 

 

Then customise the mounting and use a PWM speed controller for it. 

 

Example motor unit about £300 plus about £40 for the right prop. 

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MINN-KOTA-SALTWATER-RIPTIDE-80-POUND-LOWER-UNIT-ASSEMBLY-VARIABLE-PN-2886227-/253003779562

 

 

I've used one of these on one of the boats and it has a hell of a lot of poke. Not very efficient for full time use but as a thruster it would be very effective. 

 

Edited by magnetman

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40 minutes ago, magnetman said:

I think you could quite easily mount a Minn Kota trolling motor on some sort of customised bow mount and arrange 180 degree rotation for it. 

 

If you got something like a 60lb or more 24v unit it would have quite a bit of grunt. 

Might look a bit funny but much easier than a tube based thruster. 

 

If it was mounted in a vertical tube near the anchor roller it could be lifted out easily enough. 

 

Set it so that "park" would be pushing the boat directly backwards and allow 90 degrees each side. It might even act as a generator when not being used if it was set up opposite direction to the main propulsion. 

 

That would be quite a fun project actually. Lower units for Minn Kota's are not too much money even shipped from the US. 

 

Then customise the mounting and use a PWM speed controller for it. 

 

Example motor unit about £300 plus about £40 for the right prop. 

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MINN-KOTA-SALTWATER-RIPTIDE-80-POUND-LOWER-UNIT-ASSEMBLY-VARIABLE-PN-2886227-/253003779562

 

 

I've used one of these on one of the boats and it has a hell of a lot of poke. Not very efficient for full time use but as a thruster it would be very effective. 

 

Hi kida, well thats another idea, and as an add on at a later date if things are difficult. It may be worht looking at.

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