Added external stern thruster to our NT37

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  • #11239
    Mark
    Participant

    We recently purchased NT37-157 “Lured Aweigh” and re-christened her “First Tracks”.  She is a wonderful vessel and a significant upgrade from the Ranger Tug 27 that we have enjoyed the past 5 years.  Having been spoiled with both bow and stern thrusters, the our first priority for a modification was to add a stern thruster.  We looked at a number of options but ultimately chose to purchase an “external thruster” from YachtThruster and had Cap Sante Marine Service do the install.  We are very happy on both counts.

    The “external thruster” is a compact unit that installs above and just aft of the rudder, which eliminates protruding aft of the swim step and adding to the LOA of the vessel.  We are moored at Anacortes Marina and were concerned about adding even a few inches to the LOA if the thruster extended beyond the swim step, as well as protecting the thruster from inadvertent impacts.  While Cap Sante Marine does many thruster installations, this was the first for them to do an “external” thruster style.  Yes, we received our PaNNTOA discount, so thank you PaNNTOA!  If any members have any specific questions about our stern thruster and installation, I’m happy to answer them!  And we are very happy to be part of the Nordic Tug family and look forward to meeting more members at the Port Browning Mini-Vous next month!

    #11412
    Doug Ford
    Participant

    Did you get the 230 or 300?

    #11413
    Mark
    Participant

    We got the 300.  Considered going with the lesser horsepower of the 230, but the 300 is a better “match” to the forward thruster that Nordic Tugs provides as standard equipment.  Also, with the sizable keel, prop, and rudder, the additional horsepower of the 300 is better suited to the task of moving the stern of the vessel.  We are very pleased with the performance.

    #11414
    Gary White
    Participant

    Again congratulations on the purchase of your NT! Since we are just a dock away, stop by next time you see us there. We will look for you as well.  Last Splash

    #12947
    jpavlik
    Participant

    Do you have any photos of your installation? What kind of budget should one have for this addition?

    #14938
    Doug Ford
    Participant

    Mark, Doug Ford here (Waterford). It was good to meet you last summer on the dock at James Island. We’re back in the market for a stern thruster and I have a couple more questions for you.

    1. How did you get into the swim step area? Looks like some serious cutting since the space appears to be sealed.

    2. Where did you mount the batteries? And how much battery power did you give it?

    3. Anything you would have done differently?

    Thanks Mark!

    #14939
    Mark
    Participant

    Hi Doug, happy to provide details about our stern thruster installation:

    1. To minimize cutting and also mitigate having to build a “cage” to protect the stern thruster from protruding beyond the stern, we went with an externally mounted Simplex 300 unit.  The entire compact unit sits beneath the swim step, and the only “cutting” is a single small hole for the mounting stem with electrical leads, plus I believe two additional mounting bolts.  We had this professionally installed by our local boatyard, and this approach represented significant cost savings with far less labor/time involved in the installation.

    2. We mounted two 12v Group 31 AGM batteries (24v total) aft within the lazarette.  We replaced our original side power single joystick controller (original equipment from Nordic Tugs) with dual joysticks (two, since we have controls in both pilot house and the flybridge stations).

    3. We could not be more pleased with the installation and performance.  We considered a smaller unit as this thruster is more powerful than the standard-equipped bow thruster.  But in my research, I found that for optimal performance, the bow and stern thrusters should be closely matched.  The stern thruster has more “heavy lifting” to have similar effect than does the bow thruster due to the resistance of the considerable keel that is not present at the bow.  In assessing the model/power options, we chose one with more power than the bow thruster vs. the next size down which would have been slightly less powerful than the bow thruster and would have resulted in considerably less thrusting action pushing against the keel.  This was absolutely the right decision, and I believe I would have regretted saving a small amount by opting for less power.  Furthermore, we get on/off the swim step frequently, not only to use our dinghy, but with kayaks, SUP boards, swimming, etc., so the stern is a busy place and the compact placement of the Simplex unit that eliminates the need to “cage” the protrusion aft of the swim step is an added benefit as there is no risk of bumping or hitting the stern thruster with this type of installation.

    I purchased the Simplex 300 unit from Yacht Thruster out of Coral Gables, FL., and was very pleased with their service regarding all follow up questions, etc.

    I hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions, and best of luck!

    ~Mark

     

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