The Bow Thruster Project - Part 9: Checking Drives and Thruster Updates

Today has been a more productive day. I bring some good news and some bad news, however.

So the good news is that the thruster tunnel is sorted and the mounting bracket is ready to be fitted. This means we can now fit the prop shaft, propeller, and motor in order to test it all before Bandit goes back in the water. The marina has been busy finishing the exterior of the boat where the tunnel is. It's all fully sanded back so it's smooth and they've applied a primer and some hard antifouling for us. It's a different colour to the antifouling we are going to use but we'll just go over the top of it I think. The final verdict is that it looks great - 10/10 to Jones Boatyard!

Tunnel sorted and motor bracket waiting for be fitted

Now comes the bad news, I've been in the water today behind Bandit to get the port propellers off for them to be sent away. I've also noted what is missing from the propeller setups on both drives. We're missing a thrust washer and another washer. Both of these need to be ordered from Keyparts and put back on with the props. I then raised the drives to check where our hydraulic leak was coming from. We were unsure what drive it was coming from and where about in the hydraulic system. I raised the drives and felt around the four trim rams. Thankfully they are all okay as this is the most expensive bit to go wrong. Sadly, I discovered a leaky hydraulic hose in the drive that goes to the trim rams. This means that somewhere, there is either a split in the hose or its come loose somewhere. It's quite a big issue as a couple of drops of hydraulic liquid makes a huge spill on the water. We need to do some research into the system and see if we can replace the hoses or we might have to wait until summer and just deal with it as it leaks. It's a real pain but we can't do anything about it as we don't have enough time to remove the drive to replace the hose. A new job finds its way to the list...
Propellers removed from both drives

Leaky hydraulic hose (rear one)
Leaky hydraulic hose (to the left)

I've also completed another couple of jobs today. The first is that I removed the blue stripes from the topsides. We removed the ones from the hull over the weekend and the boat looks a lot cleaner without them. Secondly, I removed the anchor and cleaned up the 'cubby hole' where the anchor pulls up inside the 'nose' of the boat. All looks good.
Stripes gone!
Clean anchor cubby hole

While we've been away from Bandit, we've left out big dehumidifier running on full to draw out any moisture in the cabin, guest cabin, and heads. We've also left all the locker hatches open in the saloon to air them out too. This ensures all the soft furnishings onboard remain dry and gives the lockers a chance to dry out a bit. 


  1. Fibreglass work to thruster tunnel outside all complete (by Jones Boatyard)
  2. Bow primed and anti fouled (by Jones Boatyard)
  3. Port side propellers removed for sending away
  4. Found cause of leak from starboard drive — leaky hydraulic hose
  5. Cleaned anchor cubby hole at bow
  6. Removed topside blue striping


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