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Bow thruster for DE38
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bobmcd625
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May 3, 2019 - 8:53 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2015
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I have been trying to avoid this topic, but a bad experience today led my wife to raise the issue again:  We must get a bow thruster!

OK.  Sure.  It would be great but quite a lot of work and expense.  I know that several DE38 have been fitted with such, so I ask for advice on names, brands, types, etc.

Our problem is a marina with strong cross winds and a relatively narrow fairway so I can't get enough forward momentum to turn and get through the wind.

Admittedly need more practice and will be doing that but thought I'd do a bit of research in the meanwhile.

Many thanks in advance.

Bob

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Rick
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August 8, 2019 - 1:05 pm
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We have the same problem. Our Bayfield 25 could be handed out of the slip no problem but our DE 38 scares the beejeebers out of us every time we get her out of the slip. We've come up with a workable solution where we use a "snubber" line on the aft cleat so just before we hit the boats on the other side of the narrow channel, we snub the line and the momentum of the boat makes the stern stop and the bow swings around nice as you please. Then the trick is to get the line off, throw it at the piling and power up enough to miss Kevin's swim platform that sticks way the hell out into the channel. It's why we don't dock when we're out cruising unless it's an end dock for fuel and pumpout. Just as happy to anchor and dinghy ashore thank you very much.

That said we had the same idea so I asked at our marina and was quoted $8,000 for a bow thruster which was the beginning and the end of the conversation. 

For us, maybe different for you. I've always said that the easier the boat is to use (lazy jacks, Mack Pack, dinghy davits etc,) the more you'll use it so I'm thinking it would be an investment that would make the boat a lot more user friendly but anything spent on the boat is subject to lots of discussions so I'll just have to get better at not hitting things on the way out.

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bobmcd625
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August 12, 2019 - 1:33 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2015
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Hello people!

I am back again on the Bow Thruster issue.  We had another problematic departure last week and were only saved by a helpful soul on shore.

I thought I had a solution by doing a 180 turn, to get the bow around and pointed in the right direction but with over 15 kn breeze the bow kept being blown back.

With less than 15 kn I can do the 180 but we often, especially in the summer, have strong cross winds.  

Maybe I have to change the slip or turn the boat around using warps before departing.  I have heard that a bow thruster would be about $8000 also, so am not too keen on that option.

Other comments or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Bob

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Scott Carle
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August 13, 2019 - 5:42 am
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Part of boat handling is a combination of knowing both you and your boats limitations and staying within them. You can you can move those limitations sometimes by more experience and or enhancing the capabilities of the boat. In general the level of uncomfortable of the captain and others onboard if they are competent is a good gauge of those limitations. If you do something that gives you that "Oh Shit!" feeling in your handling of the boat then you have exceeded your/your boats limitations. One solution in your situation is enhancing the capabilities of your boat through a bow thruster. The other would be get them to move you to a different slip. I think that would be an entirely appropriate choice. I have learned over the years that ignoring that feeling was almost always when something went wrong/broke/fecal matter hit the fan.

Hard to picture your situation but I have gotten cheap experience for exactly the same type of issue. Discomfort in a tight docking situation with my boat handling experience with a new bigger boat. I found a buoy in open water and used it as a point of reference to maneuver on an invisible visualization of my docking space so that I could see how the wind was affecting me at low maneuvering speeds under different angles of attack. 🙂

In the end we made sure we were on an end dock on the channel in that particular marina rather than having two separate tight doglegs in the run into the slip with average winds there of 10+ knots. Other than dealing with a wake once in a while we were very happy with that decision and had no stress thereafter while there involving docking.

I think if you approached the marina and asked to move they would be sympathetic especially if you expressed it as a safety concern. I have seen local marinas arrange to swap people in slips fairly often. Moving smaller boats into the more difficult slips will pushing bigger boats out to the safer edges. Depending on the layout of the marina this was also doable in that the smaller boats would get slips closer to the parking lot etc.. while the bigger boats were pushed farther away so it made it attractive to the smaller boats to do so. Just a thought.

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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bobmcd625
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August 21, 2019 - 12:22 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2015
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First...Thanks Rick for your comments.  We have rigged a line to help us with the departure and need to practice more in using it.  That should help a lot.

Also, thanks, Scott, for your wise advice.  Yes on both points!  Practice more and change the slip. 

Will report back on progress on all fronts.

Appreciate all your comments.

Bob

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