Boats need a propulsion system that helps them counter the resistance from the water. Bow thrusters are an example of such systems. They resemble ordinary propellers, and you can fit them on the bow (front) section of the boat. In some cases, you can also opt to have the thruster installed on the rear end of the boat, in which case you can refer to it as a stern thruster. The operational mechanisms, however, remain the same. Having a bow thruster does away with the need to use two tugs when entering and exiting a port, which saves you money. Here is some important information you need to know about bow and stern thrusters:
The Installation of the Thruster
Bow and side thrusters rely on a transverse working mechanism. They sit at the front and rear end of the boat, and the number of thrusters you need depends on the purpose of the vessel. Boasts used for carrying heavy loads, then you may need more than one thruster. However, one thruster is enough for light-duty cruises and recreational racing. Some essentials of proper thruster installation include ease of accessing the thruster compartment when the deck is open. Secondly, you need to make sure that the thruster sits in a dry area that has proper ventilation. This is vital for managing the heat generated by the electric motors. Third, make sure that the thruster compartment is away from sections of the boat that have flammable liquids.
The Working Mechanism of Bow and Stern Thrusters
Both bow and stern thrusters come with electric motors to power them up. The motors are installed right above the thrusters. Usually, the thrusters sit in a tunnel-like compartment that is open on both ends. This allows them to utilise suction from one end of the tunnel and shove it to the other end, which moves the boat in the opposite direction. You can always move the propeller's blades when you want to change the direction of the boat. Bow and stern thrusters lie below the waterline, and you need to check their compartments regularly for any accumulation of water.
Safe Operation of the Thrusters
The safe operation of your bow and stern thrusters relies on you following a few operational procedures. First, always start the motors a few minutes before the thrusters get to the action. It prepares the motors well before the boat subjects them to all the load. Secondly, refrain from running the thrusters above the loads recommended by the manufacturer. Lastly, avoid contact with any moving part of the thruster, and always remove any waste or items lying freely around the thruster tunnel before take-off.
Contact a supplier of products like Vetus thrusters for more information.