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#1 2024-05-21 08:55:53

Timothy_Pitt
Member
Registered: 2024-01-10
Posts: 2

Bow thruster for V34

I would be interested to learn from owners of V34s whether they have a bow thruster and, if so, whether they felt it was a useful addition and worth the cost.  Having recently acquired Ruby Star I found that going in reverse was ‘interesting’ in that she initially went in the opposite direction I was intending and we ended up doing an S shape!

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#2 2024-05-21 11:31:52

Charles_Grossie
Committee Member
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 157

Re: Bow thruster for V34

Hi Timothy,
Congratulations on the purchase of Ruby Star.
I'm not aware of any V34's with a bow thruster, but do know that Pippin (Frances 34) has a bow thruster, as I saw Pippin in the flesh and in action leaving the pontoon in Portrush yesterday. The bow thruster seemed to be very effective. I am sure that Keith Walker will provide you with an honest evaluation.

Last edited by Charles_Grossie (2024-05-21 11:32:32)


Victoria 34 Cutter - 'Anitra'

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#3 2024-05-21 19:30:18

Duncan_Hill
Committee Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 150
Website

Re: Bow thruster for V34

Timothy_Pitt wrote:

Having recently acquired Ruby Star I found that going in reverse was ‘interesting’ in that she initially went in the opposite direction I was intending and we ended up doing an S shape!

Yes, they're good at doing that! Prop walk off to starboard on Blue Opal makes the initial going astern in a marina quite exciting, to the point I try to not go in marinas. Great for coming alongside port-side to though.

Can't comment on bow thrusters, but will wait and see what commentary comes back on that topic. I'm not sure I'd have space to fit one, as my water tank is in the bow.

Welcome to the Association!


Blue Opal, Victoria 34

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#4 2024-05-22 17:38:56

Rob.Heath
Member
Registered: 2024-01-29
Posts: 10

Re: Bow thruster for V34

Hi Timothy

Congratulations on your new purchase.

I have a bow thruster on my V34 Pintail, it takes all the hassle ( some say fun) out of close quarters manoeuvring, including that “interesting” prop walk.

I have a couple of right turns and a short finger berth in my home marina, with the prevailing wind blowing her off. So, it’s a welcome addition when short or single handed.

I have a dedicated battery and also have the control pad at the helm, which I find very convenient and helps keep both hands and both eyes on the manoeuvre.

I hope this helps.

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#5 2024-05-22 17:50:00

Rob.Heath
Member
Registered: 2024-01-29
Posts: 10

Re: Bow thruster for V34

Hi
Just a quick correction!! ? I meant to say “tight”  not “right” turns ?. Fingers too big for key board .

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#6 2024-05-22 21:35:11

Timothy_Pitt
Member
Registered: 2024-01-10
Posts: 2

Re: Bow thruster for V34

Thanks all for your helpful input. Ruby Star is currently on a swing mooring in a tidal channel so, whilst not quite so exacting as a marina berth, does require some care particularly on a spring tide so I think I will go ahead with the bow thruster, if only to reduce the stress.  I’ll let you know how I get on.

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#7 2024-05-23 10:45:46

Keith_Walker
Member
Registered: 2016-10-21
Posts: 11

Re: Bow thruster for V34

Hi Timothy,
congratulations on purchasing Ruby Star. Ive had two Frances 34’s one with and one without a bow thruster. Pippin had a bow thruster fitted by a previous owner. The one fitted is a Sleipner SE 60, it takes up half of the V berth and uses the same battery as the windlass.

My advice, on a cost benefit case, don't do it.

I took an afternoon with a local instructor, (£100) on my boat, this really helped me conquer reversing, with the new skills quickly came the confidence. Im still very cautious especially in crosswinds as the bow falls off quite quickly and my escape route when things go wrong is to reverse out of the problem. My first year with Pippin someone (me!) didn't tighten the nut on the thruster propeller enough, so after a few uses it worked lose and the propeller no longer engaged the drive shaft. It was fine without it, I had no intentions of spending £300 getting it lifted just for that and I don’t look good in speedos with a spanner!

Yes Charlie did see me leaving Portrush using the bow thruster, guilty. My defence, I was being pressed gently onto the jetty by the wind and didn't want to spring off, it was only a light wind. No thruster a spring would have done it and £££ still in the bank. It would have been good it they were built with one, the cost of retro fitting is eye watering and in my view not really necessary.

Good luck, enjoy your new boat.

Last edited by Keith_Walker (2024-05-23 10:48:38)

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#8 2024-05-23 11:55:21

Alastair_Fleming
Member
Registered: 2007-06-12
Posts: 31

Re: Bow thruster for V34

Hi Timothy,

I've owned Kaya for 17 years and don't have a bow thruster. For most of my ownership I have kept her in a marina (three different ones with three different berth settings). Whilst I can see the temptation of a bow thruster, I'm of the view that getting to know what the boat is capable of / comfortable doing and what it isn't is the best exercise. You can do this yourself or as Keith suggested you can pay a local instructor to give you tips. Once you're comfortable with that then it comes down to avoiding situations where you will have major problems - eg declining certain visitor berths in marinas.

The use of springing off is greatly underrated and incredibly useful. As an example last time I was in Port Rush I had two large fishing boats tied up just ahead of me and another one tight to the stern. Whilst a bow thruster would have been useful some fenders and a spring did the job with ease. 

One of the best tips I was given many years ago on a sailing course was spending a morning in a quiet spot playing with a Sigma 36 under engine. By the end of a few hours all 5 of the crew could turn that boat within its own length on one tack and within 2 lengths on the other. Great fun and I still sometimes do this in more exposed and windy situations with Kaya to remind myself. Its a good way of building your confidence.

Good luck.

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