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Installing a bow thruster

One of our best investments

The main reason for the installation of a bow thruster was to be able to control steering when backing. The Nautor 43 is horrible to manoeuvre with the engine in reverse - in particular if there's any cross wind. With the bow thruster it is a breeze to back into a slip or berth or to turn in tight places, such as marinas.

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We chose a 7 hp Sidepower, which does the job well. I don't think a smaller one would work.

This is one project where I don't recommend the "learn on the job" approach. It is definitely better to employ someone who knows exactly what he's doing (having practiced on other people's yachts).

The only negative aspect was the need to sacrifice half of the chain locker. Scorpio carries 70 metres of 12mm chain, which takes some space. Whenever we anchor using 25 metres or more I need to open the locker and knock the chain pile over.

We had to cut out a piece of the bulkhead on the forward side of the motor and build a dividing bulkhead on the stern side (photo 3). The latter has an openable area for access to the motor (seen on photo 4). For protection of the motor from dripping salt water I made a lid, which is easy to lift out of the way for inspection (photo 6).

The Repairs Page