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Old 12-02-2010, 02:50 AM   #1
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Interesting BoatUS video. Beneteau 50 demo

Joy stick steering fascinates me - we took a few canal boat tours in the Baltic and Netherlands and I was amazed at these long boats in tight spaces being maneuvered with nothing but a joystick. And now, for sailboats - with a bow thruster. Saw lots of those on sailboats in the Baltic, too.

I assume it's a rather pricey toy. Not for the "go simple, go now" cruiser, perhaps.
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:09 AM   #2
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I have only once used a sailboat with a bowthruster. It certainly made docking a large boat in a tight spot with strong wind / current easier, but I don't see the need for it on my 43ft boat.

I guess the majority of sailboat sailors who have this fitted are less than fully confident in their docking skills, sail single-handed or their wallets are deeper than their bag of talent.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:31 AM   #3
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I have used bow and stern thrusters a lot on commercial / coast guard vessels.

On commercial ships they are essential as otherwise many port authorities/pilots would oblige you to take a tug for berthing with all the expense that incurs. Also, for DP (dynamic positioning) they are essential.

On pleasure boats though I go along with SpawnyWhippet, in fact, I would go further and claim that such devices promote poor seamanship or, at the very least, a lackadaisical approach to boat-handling

See also an earlier post of mine here.

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