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No stern thruster on Hatteras Sport Decks?

Discussion in 'Hatteras Yacht' started by xF_PP, Aug 18, 2019.

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  1. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Now, I have an acquaintance that has had 2 boats with bow & stern thrusters.
    I can watch the grey hairs on my arms grow in the time it takes him to dock,,, but he does it well.
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Secerete story (True also). Then as a guest on an 80, the owner and his captain put her aground just outside the S/W corner of Bahia Mar docks. Northerly blew her south coming out of the docks into that dead end creek.
    I was down below checking liquid provisions of course (I'm not a guest often).
    The boat rumbled, came to a stop and with the yelling up on deck, I thought we had a raid coming on.
    The owners wife came down and found me hiding. Asked if I could help.

    Yes, Yes, It's a thruster story, hang on..

    So with my big smile, I used the bow and stern thrusters and wiggled the boat side ways, A touch on the clutches once in a while but the ship did wiggle free.
    Owner and captain amazed. Got lucky on this one, Some times I amaze my self..
    Continued out, Stopped on the Lauderdale dock for a minute to jump in, check the wheels (all good), then continued on. Nothing stops this guest from an island trip.

    So yes, I have used thrusters, Once..
    Now you tell anybody I'll beat you with a stale noodle.
  3. CTdave

    CTdave Senior Member

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    It's great when you know you knocked it out of the park but even better getting compliments!
  4. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Thrusters? When I was a kid they didn't even exist! Hell, twin screws was for rich folk. We grew up knowing what prop walk was and how to use a spring line to sling shot ourselves onto or off the dock as needed. (We also had stout rub rails ....) THAT was boat handling.... uphill both ways! :D
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    1+
    Albin single, 27' as a kid.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  6. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Yup... lots of those around me back then.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Then off the dance floor, we can still move some afts..;);)

    we don't need no stinking thrusters.. we can dance those afts over..
    As long as it's port.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I cut my teeth running yachts that had no thrusters. Problem is, in adverse conditions, you need a mate that is GOOD that can get a bow or spring line on a piling. Without a good mate and/or no bow thruster, in some situations it's simply impossible.
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    One benefit of a bow thruster is that you don’t put pressure on pilings pivoting off when leaving or on cleats springing off. This is important at docks that are not in the best shape especially with larger boats
  10. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    You mean that creaking noise and the thought of the fuel dock coming with you? :D
  11. f3504x4ps

    f3504x4ps Member

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    So no one would be a fan of the Cat360 joystick! I agree that one needs to know how to handle there boat in tight conditions using just the twin sticks no wheel. But most new boat owners just don't want to learn which is wrong. The only thing i see as good with joystick docking is if there was an issue with Captain or owner and no one else could handle the boat to dock.
  12. Kapn

    Kapn Member

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    Ahh yes, anytime equipment that isn't universal is mentioned there is a lot of chest thumping as everyone with experience says it's not needed... The conversation isn't the same when talking about bilge pumps (If you build the boat right, you don't need it, I once carried five gallon bucket to keep us afloat, blah blah)
    I think thrusters are like good tools. An experienced mechanic can diagnose and fix a lot of stuff with a rusty leatherman and an adjustable wrench. But the unique situations cause them to go to their toolbox and use the right tool for the job.
    With thrusters, it might make a marginal docking look pretty, a scary docking passable, and a docking with imminent damage come off as not so bad. Or it just saves you from hauling in on a dock line like you were 20 something and then winding up on the couch with an icepack because you are definitely 20+ something away from being in your 20's.
    That being said, a docking without them shows skill and there is pride in having skills. I'll do everything I can to dock the boat gracefully, and to teach owners how to run a boat without them, but there's no shame in using the right tools when needed.
  13. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    No, certainly there is no shame in using a thruster. But there is a point being made in here that stern thrusters specifically can often be a point of false reliance. They might even add a sense of confidence to the helm encouraging them to approach a hazard they should avoid altogether. Joysticks.....I can simply make by boat do "this"....no, no you can't. Windage, currents, wakes, etc all provide challenges that are not easily overcome in terms of tonnage-in-motion.

    Nothing beats developing the ability to handle a vessel in spite of the tools, available or not. Knowing these tools are in the hands of others can be an uncomfortable piece of knowledge.
  14. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    There's definitely a place for the right tools. When my father got two Zeus pods with a joy stick on his 48 Sabre the entire Yacht Club breathed a sigh of relief. And yes, a stern thruster can come in handy. The question is: Is it worth the cost/space/extra maintenance and performance loss for the benefits it offers? Seems the consensus is that on a twin screw boat it's not.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There is a place and use for stern thrusters and for joysticks. CAT360 has it's pluses and minuses as joysticks go from what I've been told. Stern thrusters are sure nice if you're locking through dozens of locks. Yes, you can do fine without, but they're so handy. Then what about dynamic positioning? It requires the thrusters and joystick. Lazy man's way? Darn right, but sure nice to wait for the bridge or lock without having to do anything or wait to enter a marina, or watch the Macy's fireworks.

    And what if you lose one engine while out and limp in on one, sure nice then to have the thruster. Operating a twin engine boat on one engine is nothing like handling a single engine boat.

    If I was building a 75' Hatteras, it would have stern thrusters. Can I operate it without them? Yes, but I still like having them.
  16. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Right. There's also a time and place for an electric can opener. Tools are good things.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have a lot of experience with the Cat 360 joystick on several yachts from 70-90'. It is pretty good but not the end all of all end alls. For example, if you're in the slip but need to slide the bow over (or stern). Well, when you twist the joystick to kick the bow in, at the same time it uses the stern thruster and kicks the stern out. You then need to slide it over sideways, and keep going back and forth from twisting, to sideways, to twisting, to walk just the bow in. Whereas just the joysticks for the bow and stern thruster, allow you to just kick the bow over without having the stern thruster come on pushing the stern in the opposite direction.
  18. f3504x4ps

    f3504x4ps Member

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    Capt J, I've not used on only seen video and writeup, Are you saying that you no longer have separate bow and stern thruster joy sticks, apart from the Cat360 single joystick? I thought there were still one for bow and one for stern and one for Cat360? If what you said is the way it works then it's better to have just used a single bow thruster or if now bow thruster ,use engine controller to bump one in fwd and one in reverse to do same adjustment to slide bow over. Seems like Cat needs to do more software development. I do agree that one needs to be proficient with throttles before moving to Joystick docking. I've read lots of issues with Volvo joystick shutting down when trying to dock or move out of a slip, just quits and a sensor or the computer went bad or the joystick controller. Not good if you cant control boat with engines. Its always great to hear from the ones that have used it and it's working or non working situations.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Generally the cat 360 joystick is mounted in places solely by itself such as on the aft deck. There is no way really to isolate bow or stern thruster. you twist the joystick to go to starboard and it uses both in opposite directions to spin the boat, or you move the joystick sideways to move sideways. I cannot remember, as I usually always used the joystick on wing stations, but I believe you can use the bow and stern thruster with their own joysticks even If the CAT 360 is operational. One owner I know of had a switch next to the cat360 that would disable the stern thruster, so when he twisted it once in the slip only the bow thruster would operate.
  20. f3504x4ps

    f3504x4ps Member

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    I should have been more specific as to the Helm there would still be a separate controller for bow and stern thrusters and a seperate joystick to the right side of the wheel for docking (not the same location on all boats) or am I incorrect and only a joystick. And correct the aft port and stbd joystick for docking is the only thing in the remote location.