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Lizzie123

Bow Thruster Size

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Hello,

 

I am currently deciding between a 5kw and a 6kw bow thruster for a 65ft Widebeam. I also have the choice between Lewmar & Vetus. The lewmar is about half the price for the same thing?  Anyone have any suggestions?

 

Thanks

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I have a 95kgf 24V Vetus electric thruster on a 50 foot barge. Seems to cope okay.

 

Other widebeam owners may well have a better idea what size works.

 

 

Can't say about the manufacturers.

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75kgf Vetus on 57 x 10 widebeam - more than adequate.

 

Vetus spares are excruciatingly expensive, but I managed to replace the contactor (solenoid switch) at very reasonable cost from Albright International.

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2 hours ago, Lizzie123 said:

Anyone have any suggestions?

May I suggest that you actually go on a course and learn how to helm a boat - otherwise you will become reliant on the 'sissy-button' and the very time you REALLY need it, the battery will be flat and you will have no idea how to actually steer.

 

They are a useful accessory for newcomers to assist in mooring with a strong wind, but you become addicted and you can hear them coming from miles away as they are used to try and stay in a straight line on a straight piece of waterway,

 

YES, you can handle a widebeam without a bow thruster, it just takes practice.

I currently have  one boat with a 14 foot beam and another boat with a 23 foot beam - neither have (or need) a bowthruster.

 

Good luck.

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Why do bow thrusters make such an awful noise?

I spend every Sunday evening in the "old harbour" here in Rotterdam on a friend's hotel-ship. On the opposite side of the harbour there are moorings for about 24 small privately-owned day boats. During the evening most of them return and every single boat(average 20-25ft long) it seems has a bow thruster. They all make such a horrid screeching racket. 😥😥😥

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15 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

May I suggest that you actually go on a course and learn how to helm a boat - otherwise you will become reliant on the 'sissy-button' and the very time you REALLY need it, the battery will be flat and you will have no idea how to actually steer.

 

They are a useful accessory for newcomers to assist in mooring with a strong wind, but you become addicted and you can hear them coming from miles away as they are used to try and stay in a straight line on a straight piece of waterway,

 

YES, you can handle a widebeam without a bow thruster, it just takes practice.

I currently have  one boat with a 14 foot beam and another boat with a 23 foot beam - neither have (or need) a bowthruster.

 

Good luck.

pity you can't give the OP a meaningful answer.

 

the question of whether a BT is necessary has been done to death many times on this forum.

 

I, for one, couldn't have docked my widebeam in a crosswind (there was always a westerly) without one at my particular marina location .............................    and I am prepared to wager that you couldn't have either. 

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59 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

the question of whether a BT is necessary has been done to death many times on this forum.

Indeed it has, but as this is the OP's first post on the forum I doubt she is aware of previous discussions.

 

I still stand by my point that a BT is useful &, I still stand by my point that you should be able to steer the boat without a BT as one day it will go wrong.

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35 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Indeed it has, but as this is the OP's first post on the forum I doubt she is aware of previous discussions.

 

I still stand by my point that a BT is useful &, I still stand by my point that you should be able to steer the boat without a BT as one day it will go wrong.

It might help if people stopped thinking about a BT as an aid to steering. That is not it's function. It comes into its own and can be very helpful when manoeuvring in tight situations.

 

Howard

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26 minutes ago, howardang said:

It might help if people stopped thinking about a BT as an aid to steering. That is not it's function. It comes into its own and can be very helpful when manoeuvring in tight situations.

 

Howard

Indeed. That is why big ships and ferries have them too. (And even stern ones too sometimes!).

 

It shouldn't be assumed that just because somebody wants one they don't know how to use one appropriately.

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21 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

Indeed. That is why big ships and ferries have them too. (And even stern ones too sometimes!).

 

It shouldn't be assumed that just because somebody wants one they don't know how to use one appropriately.

Quite right and thrusters have been a game changer in a lot of ways in commercial shipping - saving tug costs for one thing which can be a substantial saving and pays for the initial installation cost many times over.

 

I hesitate to admit this, at the risk of bringing down the wrath of the "Girly Button" haters brigade, but even some narrow boats have stern thrusts. My boat for one (it was part of the hydraulics kit on board - propulsion, bow thrust and stern thrust  - when we bought our share - we didn't specify it,  and although it is  seldom used it can be very handy at the odd time., as can the slightly more used bow thrust.

 

Howard

 

 

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11 hours ago, howardang said:

It might help if people stopped thinking about a BT as an aid to steering. That is not it's function. It comes into its own and can be very helpful when manoeuvring in tight situations.

 

Howard

 

Indeed. After 41 years of hiring and shareboating I bought a boat with a bowthruster.

 

I found it very useful for reversing in tight spaces and when windy.

 

After three years it packed up and I didn't fix it for a couple of years, but didn't really miss it unless it was windy and I needed to reverse in tight spaces.

Edited by cuthound
To unmangle the effects of autocorrect.
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I also used mine when winding in a narrow branch off Bristol's Floating Harbour, where it would have been antisocial to stick my bow into the harbour wall.

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I don't consider the extra batteries and complications worth it.

But then I have never had one other than on others' boats I have moved, and I have been boating nearly 50 years without.

The noise is very annoying.

So if I were to consider one it would have to be the least expensive on the basis that I would rarely use it.

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23 hours ago, howardang said:

It might help if people stopped thinking about a BT as an aid to steering.

 

But you need to tell that to the folks who don't even seem to be capable of travelling in a straight line on a calm day without the constant whine of the b/t.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

But you need to tell that to the folks who don't even seem to be capable of travelling in a straight line on a calm day without the constant whine of the b/t.

With there of course being no suggestion what so ever that the original poster fitted that category of boater.

 

So it's mystifying really why the need or otherwise for a BT even crept into the discussion.

 

They just wanted advice on type, not if they needed one or not.

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On 04/08/2020 at 17:06, Tony Brooks said:

:giggles: About 12 ft long on the roof :giggles:

That's an adequate size for most canals but in a few case a longer one is required though these are harder to find, also the longer ones can be a bit cumbersome. Ideally get both sizes.. 🙂

 

............Dave

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On 04/08/2020 at 16:28, Alan de Enfield said:

May I suggest that you actually go on a course and learn how to helm a boat - otherwise you will become reliant on the 'sissy-button' and the very time you REALLY need it, the battery will be flat and you will have no idea how to actually steer.

 

They are a useful accessory for newcomers to assist in mooring with a strong wind, but you become addicted and you can hear them coming from miles away as they are used to try and stay in a straight line on a straight piece of waterway,

YES, you can handle a widebeam without a bow thruster, it just takes practice.

I currently have  one boat with a 14 foot beam and another boat with a 23 foot beam - neither have (or need) a bowthruster.

 

Good luck.

 

May I suggest that you don't need half the pieces of equipment you have on your boats. However, personally I wouldn't feel the need to be as judgemental as you're being and slag you off for having them.

 

Just because one has a bow thruster doesn't necessarily make one reliant upon it. It really depends on how it is used. I can steer my boat perfectly well with or without the BT but it is nice to have for reversing long distances and for close quarters handling around GRP boats for example. By the way, in 15 years on this boat my BT batteries have never gone flat.

 

In answer to the OP's actual question, I have a 95kgf thruster on a 57ft x 12ft boat. Part of the power specification is not simply the boat dimensions but also how far the tunnel is set back from the stem of the bow which reduces mechanical advantage. 

 

 

Edited by blackrose
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On 05/08/2020 at 08:58, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I still stand by my point that a BT is useful &, I still stand by my point that you should be able to steer the boat without a BT as one day it will go wrong.

 

Ah, but you earlier point seemed to limit the usefulness of a BT to newcomers? 

 

Anyway as long as you can accept that having a BT and knowing how to steer a boat without a BT are not mutually exclusive.

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4 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

May I suggest that you don't need half the pieces of equipment you have on your boats. However, personally I wouldn't feel the need to be as judgemental as you're being and slag you off for having them.

 

Just because one has a bow thruster doesn't necessarily make one reliant upon it. It really depends on how it is used. I can steer my boat perfectly well with or without the BT but it is nice to have for reversing long distances and for close quarters handling around GRP boats for example. By the way, in 15 years on this boat my BT batteries have never gone flat.

 

In answer to the OP's actual question, I have a 95kgf thruster on a 57ft x 12ft boat. Part of the power specification is not simply the boat dimensions but how far back the tunnel is set back from the stem of the bow which reduces mechanical advantage. 

 

 

 

You are just as entitled you your opinion as I am to mine.

 

You may not have noticed I also said :

They are a useful accessory for newcomers to assist in mooring with a strong wind, but you become addicted and you can hear them coming from miles away as they are used to try and stay in a straight line on a straight piece of waterway,

 

And simply suggested that it is easy to become dependent on them if you have never known anything else. The number of boats 'whining' and zig-zagging down the cut would suggest that my suggestion is not unreasonable.

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8 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

You are just as entitled you your opinion as I am to mine.

 

You may not have noticed I also said :

They are a useful accessory for newcomers to assist in mooring with a strong wind, but you become addicted and you can hear them coming from miles away as they are used to try and stay in a straight line on a straight piece of waterway,

 

And simply suggested that it is easy to become dependent on them if you have never known anything else. The number of boats 'whining' and zig-zagging down the cut would suggest that my suggestion is not unreasonable.

 

You said: They are a useful accessory for newcomers to assist in mooring with a strong wind, but you become addicted..., which sounds a lot more absolutist than it's easy to become addicted. You're backtracking a little.

 

I don't think your suggestion is necessarily as reasonable as you think. Some people with BTs hardly use them so you wouldn't notice. Don't automatically assume that if you don't hear a BT the boat hasn't got one

 

Anyway, it does get boring when someone comes on with a question and it immediately descends into the same old nonsense.

Edited by blackrose
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A more experienced poster on here would have possibly opened their post with:-

 

"Now I know all the old arguments about the pros and cons of bowthrusters but I am not interested in those, I do however have a different and more specific question which is..........."

 

Sadly and understandably, I dont think she realised her question would set the tin openers whirring on the cans of worms. Given it was her first post, (and now possibly her last) perfectly understandable.

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5 hours ago, blackrose said:

In answer to the OP's actual question, I have a 95kgf thruster on a 57ft x 12ft boat. 

Vetus or Lewmar? :) 

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I have a Vetus 95kgf b/t on my 60 X 11Ft wide beam, its ok but not very good in strong side winds (Its not working at the moment as it seems to have something jammed in the tunnel, OMG how can I steer the boat in a straight line now?????).

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