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Cost of installing a bow and a stern thruster

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by hat4349, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. hat4349

    hat4349 Senior Member

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    Anyone know what the cost would be to install a bow and a stern thruster in a 58 foot
    Hatteras Yachtfisher?
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    There are so many variables, electric or hydraulic, size etc.. Honestly, I cut my teeth running a 58' Hatteras YF, the stern of those boats walk REALLY well just by splitting the engines (1 fwd, 1 reverse) that I wouldn't even bother installing a stern thruster. A Bow thruster would probably cost $20-25k installed, but why not pick up the phone and call a few places, they should be able to quote that right on the phone as it's the same boat as the 53' MY (with a cockpit).
  3. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Around $30,000 installed - plus haulout cost.
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Do you already have the boat or considering one?

    Unless you are routinely docking in difficult conditions, you will find the 58, like all Old hatts very easy to handle. Plus, at 58 you re not putting a lot stress on dock cleats and pilings when using spring line.

    install coats will also depends on the forward bilge layout. Some of these boats have the holding tank at the bow leaving very little space for a thruster especially since you usually have the shower sump, macerator and sometimes vacuflush pump/ tanks

    my 53 MY doesn’t have one and really don’t need it
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Have to agree with Pascal and J. These boats just don't need a stern thruster. You can bring them virtually sideways with just the motors and a little help from a bow thruster. On the 56 our bow thruster cut out in a really tight fairway going into a really tight slip down in Cape May and it was no problem to pivot in with just the motors. They handle good.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Stern thrusters are absolutely not needed on any twin diesel boat.
  7. hat4349

    hat4349 Senior Member

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    I agree with you guys. I had a 48 foot Roamer that I always docked by pivoting with the props. A friend in Maryland that has a Yachtfish asked me and I was just wondering what the cost would be. I have never had a boat with a thruster, although when I was a sailboater I could have used a bow thruster at times.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Would not say "absolutely" depending on the boat. Some very light, shallow dr boats can be a nightmare to dock in heavy wind. I distinctly remember having to dock a 38' aft cabin SR on a canal w/ 60kt winds blowing across that required going into the slip at full throttle reverse then full forward to keep from ending up in the parking lot. A stern thruster would definitely have eased the stress. But not needed on a big Hat at 70,000+lbs and a 5' draft.
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Problem with most electric thrusters is that they are undersized and then shut down on overheat after 30 seconds.
  10. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Lol I used to agree that stern thruster isn’t needed, but after having one for last 4 months I have to say it’s kinda nice. And I’d say a little less dock rash. I can get the boat in the slip well clear of the dock, and then just thrust over a bit. I’ve onLy popped the circuit once. I try to not go more than 7-9 seconds per burst. Which is plenty.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Splitting the gears produces the exact same results as a stern thruster

    the only time a stern thruster comes in handy is when you need to pick up on a stern line but then stern winches accomplish the same thing for a fraction of the costs

    btw the proper way to size a bow thruster isn’t just loa or weight but the torque of the engines. You want the bow thruster to be able to overcome engine torque with the gears split at low idle.
  12. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Our current boat is a first for thrusters, has hydraulic bow and electric stern thruster. I find myself using both when docking. I would not add a stern thruster to a boat but both are a real convenience when docking and handline lines. Not a necessity but I will miss the stern thruster if we have another boat without one.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I don’t have a stern thruster on the 84 Lazzara I run and honestly I ve never felt like I missed having one.

    problem with thrusters is that when you really need them, like if it s blowing hard, most of them aren’t able to counteract the split gears AND push the bow up wind. I’ve had a couple of instances where I came in a slip assuming the thruster would help only to find it was useless. Had to abort and come back in without relying on the **** thing using more momentum, more power and a different approach.
  14. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Got you, we run a 72 Choey Lee. Our thrusters won't overcome strong current or wind. I would think twice about docking in adverse conditions unless the slip setup was right. When away from our home dock I prefer laying up against a dock, makes it easier if conditions are not good. My Gal helps with the lines but can't muscle them, the thrusters make that much easier.
  15. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    After observing many a McAllister tug tie up on the Delaware River in Philly with just a forward spring line an leave it in gear to pull the boat in and hold it at the dock. A spring line is your friend. This being said you need to make sure what you are tying up to is solid. Especially if you plan to leave it in gear while getting you other lines on.

    Anyway fore and aft springs work wonders, including in windy ,nasty , heavy current situations. Both for getting into the dock and away from the dock. BUT a good deck hand is sure nice to have to do this.

    Hence a thruster might be nice at times when things are calm as the other have said.
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I agree 200% about spring lines, but they are a lost art and most people don’t use them

    that said, in the recreational world where you don’t have heavy duty bollards, you have to be careful springing in or off a dock. It s fine with a trawler or a 1000hp MY. But spring off the average Bahamas marina cleat with an 90 footer and 3000hp+ and you might find yourself with cleats ripping out

    what I often do is use what I call a virtual spring line. With a twin, split the gears and lean on the piling to kick the stern out
  17. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Yes, spring lines can work wonders. They can also be very dangerous if a cleat lets go or a line parts. And, you have to crew that has any clue what a spring line even is, let alone how to properly work a spring line.
    My bow thruster was one of the best investments I ever made on my boat. I don’t have to have it but it sure is convenient. I deal with lots of wind and current and having a thruster for those tight fuel dock spots or fish processing drop offs sure reduces the stress. The only down side is now I don’t have a good excuse to yell at my crew
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree with all of it, it was a lot easier when the yachts were slower and had much less torque for their size and you could put the engines in gear for several seconds at a time to work a spring line, now with the extra hp and bigger wheels, a lot of yachts it’s hard to work a spring without worrying about yanking the cleat out or piling down.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I see a lot of people saying 'I can dock using gears, but thrusters are so convenient'. The problem is an old saying, "Use it or lose it". GPS and chart plotters are "convenient". I wonder what percentage of current boaters are able to plot a course on paper and follow it if their electronics goes down. I also wonder how many people who have learned to depend on thrusters to maneuver their boats will be able to do it when their thrusters crap out. Are we in a phase where boat handling skill no longer matters? If you can drive an Uber will that mean you're qualified to captain a boat?
  20. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Granted, I may lose my touch a bit and not be as smooth getting into the slip or a tight spot without my thruster. However, I have no doubt I can safely dock the dock boat if the thruster goes down. We should all worry much more about the first time boat buyer/owner with joystick docking controls and having them have to dock their boat when their controls and/or thrusters go down as they have likely never docked manually. These situations make for entertaining videos though :):)