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DOCKING

SMOOTH & QUIETLY

Variable Speed Control

Get the luxury of silently adjusting how much thrust to use when maneuvering your boat into our out of a tight spot using variable speed control. Combining known performance and reliability with total control of thruster power provides an ease to beginners as well as seasoned boaters.

How it works

You’ll be surprised how little power is needed to initiate a spin and keep the boat rotating without engines on a quiet day. Using conventional DC thrusters, offering full power or nothing (on/off), you would have to apply numerous bursts to keep the boat rotating the same way.

On the contrary, with the Sleipner PRO system, you’re able to use a smaller amount of continuous thrust. Not only is this more intuitive for you as a boater, but it also makes for a quieter and more relaxed maneuver. It also helps resolve the issue of not being able to use an electronic thruster for long periods without overheating because you’ll rarely run the thruster on full power.

Longer run-times

When running the thruster at reduced power, the heat development in a DC electric motor is much lower. In most cases, at 50% power or less, you can expect close to continuous run time, only limited by your available power supply. 

Sleipner_thruster_hold_function_illustration.png

Pin the boat against the dock

The first part of docking is maneuvering alongside the pier safe and smoothly. The second part is staying there until you are tied off.

With a twin system with variable speed control (bow and stern thruster), you also get a practical hold-function, enabling you to set and leave the level of thrust

It’s a feature that short-handed skippers often rely on to pin their boats against the dock while they step off to secure the lines. You can easily adjust the amount of thrust applied depending on the docking conditions.

Moving either of the joysticks in the opposite direction with ‘hold’ applied cancels it, while you can either increase or decrease the thrust in 10 percent increments with a simple +/- switch. Additionally, the bow and stern thruster can be individually synchronized to get a balanced sideways motion, making single-handed docking very easy indeed!

Inside the network

The heart of the Sleipner PRO system is the power control unit (PPC) that digitally chops the voltage and varies the amount of thrust produced.

The brain is the proportional joystick control (PJC). This intelligent LCD panel displays real-time information such as amount and direction of thrust on either thruster, remaining run time, battery status, and temperature. The S-Link™ wiring allows the system to communicate. 

Free yourself from the dashboard

You can operate the system remotely for easy short-handed docking by adding a radio remote.

If you are docking alone, you can set your thrusters in hold mode while you put the mooring lines on. Pressing the bow thruster button on the remote will then momentarily increase power and make it tight. You can also shut down the hold function from the remote control. 

Princess S66 helm station with Sleipner PJC thruster control panel

Take control

Most of Sleipner's 12, 24 and 48V electric thrusters are available in PRO versions with variable speed control.  The speed controller improves handling performance while eliminating much of the noise associated with standard on-off thrusters.

  • VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL
  • UNIQUE HOLD-FUNCTION
  • SINGLE-HANDED DOCKING
  • JOYSTICK INTEGRATION
  • EXTENDED RUNTIME
  • LESS NOISE

Upgrade your existing thruster system

Variable Speed Control is also available as an upgrade to your existing thruster system, even past models. 

To upgrade, you need to install a PPC unit, which controls the speed of the motor. Second, you need to change the control system to S-Link™, then reinstall the thruster motor. Lastly, you need to attach the new joystick control device.

Sleipner offers upgrade kits that include the necessary parts for upgrading your system. The upgrade can be completed with the boat in the water. 

When considering an upgrade, you might also want to consider installing more powerful thrusters to fully enjoy the benefits of a speed-controlled system, ensuring sufficient thrust under the worst conditions, as well as being able to silently slip into a sleeping harbor late at night with precisely the power needed for docking the vessel.

What’s involved in upgrading an existing thruster system?

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Your local Sleipner dealer can advise correct upgrade kits for your existing system.

Find a dealer
Hallberg Rassy 50 cockpit helm

In the press

Easy does it with variable-speed thrusters

“Until now the luxury of adjusting how much thrust you use to manoevre a big boat in or out of a tight spot has been the preserve of expensive and bulky hydraulic thruster systems. Sleipner’s new 12/24V system is a much more cost effective set-up and considerably more compact than a hydraulic system. It should also help resolve the issue of not being able to use an electronic thruster for long periods of time without overheating, because you‘ll rarely be using it on full power all the time.

Using conventional DC thrusters, offering full power or nothing, we would have had to apply numerous bursts to keep it rotating. With the variable-speed system we were able to use a smaller amount of continous thrust. Not only was this more intuitive, but it made for a quieter, more relaxed manoeuvre. The more power you want, the more you push the twin paddle switches.

This means that like a hydraulic system it also has a hold function, enabling you to set and leave the level of thrust. It’s a feature that short-handed skippers often rely on to pin their boats against the dock while they step off to secure the lines".

Greg Copp, Motorboat & Yachting

Motoboat and Yachting magazine hard copy - review of Sleipner Side-Power proportional thruster
(Images courtesy of Princess Yachts Ltd and Hallberg-Rassy AB.)