Do I need a bow thruster on a small boat?
Small, shallow draft boats with narrow-angle, v-hull designs with light to moderate displacements are highly responsive, rewarding and great fun to drive at significantly higher than average cruising speed. So do you really need a bow thruster?
A bow thruster will come in handy
Well, at the end of the day you throttle back inside a tightly fitting marina. With a spring-tide flowing and a blustery day to contend with, these erstwhile pleasant handling characteristics can, on occasion, rapidly change your impression and your previously held enjoyment of owning a small-sized boat.
Thrusters on small boats makes sense
If you factor in other design characteristics of some small, upright cabin cruiser designed boats, such as having a high topside to wetted surface area ratio, and little more than the merest hint of wind will turn your boat in to a cork, or a plastic cup, bobbing about on the sea with little or no resistance against the elements.
Read more: Pros and cons of different thrusters →
Other circumstances, such as not having much deck- or cockpit space for your crew to move around in, or mooring up within a marina that has small finger length pontoons, making it very difficult for crew to step off and tie up mooring lines, are further reasons why fitting a bow thruster to a small size boat, would appear to make just as much sense as it does fitting one to a larger length boat.
A bow thruster will pay you back
Mounted low down and as far forward in the hull as the boat’s design will allow, an efficient tunnel bow thruster will pay you back in more ways than one.
Not only will this little tool boost your own confidence when the weather gods conspire against you, but the overall satisfaction of knowing that almost anyone amongst the crew, with or without much previous boating experience, will be able to moor and park up the boat confidently, without cause for fear or drama, is a nice feeling to have.
Last, but not least, ask any yacht broker and he or she will tell you the re-sale/residual value of a used boat is always higher for one fitted with a thruster when compared to the same boat model fitted without. Equally, that broker will tell you there will always be more people lined up to test-ride a boat equipped with one, than one without.