Bow Thruster

The Challenge 72 boats did not come with a bow thruster. I was told, during my induction into the clan, that only a "wooz" would even think about putting one in. The mere act of raising the question of the value of a bow thruster raised questions of one's manhood and seamanship.

So I learnt to park the boat without one. And we sailed for the USA in a pristine state proud of our virtue.

In Caiscais I was at the helm as we departed. I could not get the boat around the left hand turn into the main channel out of the harbour. After a few iterations of full reverse, full forward, wheel hard over shinanigens, I had to call upon more experience hands to take the wheel. So Conor did. And the end result was the same. In the end, to avoid adding our mass to the boulders on the breakwater, we had to throw a line to the dock and winch ourselves around.

It was an odd combination of a strong wind from astern, a strong outgoing tide and too short a fetch in which to gather hull speed (and therefore rudder bight).

Conor's comment when all was done: "Have youse thought about a bow thruster, then".

This is the bow from below before the work started.

The bow tube was fitted with minimal fairing beyond what was needed to restore the hull line. A mistake in the initial welding was later corrected (the inside weld was not completed up one difficult end). This correction ensured that both surfaces were fully circumferentially welded on both ends of the tube.  The unit is a Side Power SP 240 TCi. We put a bank of batteries forward to support its turn-on loads.

Almost a year later - no signs of break down or rust breakthrough.  The boat is much more docile to dock. One can walk the boat sideways. And I have a "Wooz: First Class" certificate on the nav station.