Bow/Stern Thrusters

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Bow/Stern Thrusters

Postby Bryant » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:11 pm

I have a GB 36 Classic. One screw. Has anyone had any experience with external stern thrusters? I don't want to put an external bow thruster on the boat since I live on the Gulf Coast and we have shallow water. I was wondering whether the external stern thruster would help in backing into the slip.
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Postby Rod Graff » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:40 pm

We have a Dickson hydraulic stern thruster on our 32. Although a lot of people feel that it is unnecessary because "you already have a stern thruster with the prop and rudder", there are several advantages. One, which I feel is valuable is I am not forced to go a certain speed to maintain steerage. I also am able to turn while backing down. I can enter and leave a dock much easier in windy conditions. If I ever have a problem with the boats steering, I could steer the boat with the stern thruster, although not above 1000 rpm. I don't rely on it and always try to manuver without it first, but have found it very useful in adverse conditions. Just be sure you don't become lazy and dependent on it. Hydraulic is better than electric, as it is 100% duty cycle
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Postby oldersalt » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:07 pm

I too have a Dickson hydraulic stern thruster on my new-to-me 1990 GB 32. It is very handy in tight spot maneuvering. The pivot point on these boats is near the helm so the stern swings more than the bow. I am still practicing how to use that fact to be very accurate when, say, coming into my berth. I am also getting better at non-thruster backing and filling, but having the thruster is still a nice addition. If buying new, I believe the ease of installation makes these cheaper than a new bow thruster. One caveat...the control switch that Dickson supplies is NOT a spring return switch, and I have more than once left the thruster running, forgetting to manually return the switch to the center position. I am already trying to find a spring return switch that will fit!
Good luck with your great boat!
Oldersalt
1990 GB 32 #864 "Pacific Star"
San Francisco
"Everything on your boat is broken. You just don't know it yet."
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Re: Bow/Stern Thrusters

Postby Great Commission » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:12 am

Have a 1988 GB 32 and probably get a stern thruster. Which model Dickson did you get? how much should I expect to pay? Thanks
Great Commission
Ft Myers Beach, Florida
1988 32-793 Grand Banks
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Re: Bow/Stern Thrusters

Postby Rod Graff » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:26 am

Older salt, were you able to find a spring return toggle switch for 5he Dickson system? I am also in The Bay Area, and have also had the problem with forgetting to return the switch to the neutral position. Great Commission, you can go to the Dickson thrusters website. There is information on installation and cost. I think they are pretty pricey now. Mine was installed tin the mid 1980’s before I owned the boat.
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Re: Bow/Stern Thrusters

Postby AndyH » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:47 pm

Have you considered an articulated rudder? Might give you the maneuverability you're looking for without the mechanical complexity.
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Re: Bow/Stern Thrusters

Postby wkearney99 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:01 pm

I've got a Side-Power (sleipner) electric thrusters on my EB47 and they're quite useful. The console control joysticks are self-centering and will automatically power down after an idle time.

The front has a greater amount of 'push' than the stern, so I can't just hold them both sideways and have it move parallel. I don't power either of them in a constant fashion. Just a few seconds on, a few off. A bit more stern, a bit less bow, wait to see how the momentum is carrying us, repeat. With a short blip on each to stop with inches to spare along side.

It's made side-to docking a snap. Just motor up along side and then slide sideways into position. Great for our T dock slip, fuel docks, etc. It's also been useful to goose the stern or bow just a bit and not have to lose any other momentum or direction. That makes the difference between salvaging a docking going slightly askew vs having to take a do-over.

You would need to plan for their battery storage and the various bits of wiring to them. And accept that as high-drain electrical motors you'll want to plan your use of them accordingly. Hydraulic ones with a pump run off the engine would certainly allow for much longer run-times. For our needs the electric kind are proving effective.
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