The Bow Thruster Project - Part 1: Purchasing and Planning

This post marks the beginning of our Bow Thruster Project! The Bow Thruster Project is quite clearly the project of fitting Bandit's new Side Power bow thruster that we purchased at the 2016 Southampton Boat Show. Although, we will have Bandit hauled out to have further work carried out too. To make things easier, we will count this entire haul out, including all maintenance carried out, as The Bow Thruster Project even though the thruster is only half the project...

Yesterday, Dad sent over the money to Side-Power for our new 40kg thruster. They've told us that they will get the kit together and get it sent off as soon as possible so we're hoping that it arrived tomorrow.

What's the plan from here then? We're currently in a bit of dispute regarding the fitting of said thruster. Dad reckons he can fit the entire thing himself but and I think we should have it done properly by someone who has done it before. The job itself doesn't look extremely hard nor extremely easy. There's a hell of a lot to it and I think it would be safer to have someone measure it up, cut the holes in the hull and glass in the tunnel. Fitting the thruster itself and running cabling etc I can happily do. We've never done anything quite like fitting a bow thruster before and I hate to just jump straight into it to save ourselves a bit of money to find it all goes horribly wrong. We've never even cut a hole below the waterline before so this is really new territory for us. But we'll get to a final plan shortly and arrange for Bandit to be lifted out. We're planning to have her lifted mid-November when the rest of the boats in the yard are hauled out for winter. We'll have her out for about three weeks while we do the thruster (or while someone else does it) and other bits and pieces such as anodes, antifouling, polishing etc... The usual out the water jobs.

All very exciting and I can't wait for us to have this added feature. It will help us so much in tight locks, with mooring in winds and reversing into our tight berth in the marina. As I've said, a bow thruster is the thing I miss the most about our previous boat.

More to come on The Bow Thruster Project!

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