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Thrusters on a C-Dory
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theflyscot



Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 19
City/Region: Fort Myers
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2023
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: The Flying Scotsman III
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2023 5:14 pm    Post subject: Thrusters on a C-Dory Reply with quote

I’ve moved up from my 22 Cruiser (single Yamaha 90) to a 25 Cruiser (single Suzuki 200) which - surprising to me - I’m finding more difficult to “control”. I’m thinking of installing a thruster of some kind to help with slips/fuel docks/lock walls, etc.
Has anyone had a thruster installed (bow and/or stern) and, if so, is there a make or type that you recommend (or don’t recommend!)?
Thank you - Michael
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rogerbum



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
Posts: 5922
City/Region: Kenmore
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2008
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: Meant to be
Photos: SeaDNA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2023 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Thrusters on a C-Dory Reply with quote

theflyscot wrote:
I’ve moved up from my 22 Cruiser (single Yamaha 90) to a 25 Cruiser (single Suzuki 200) which - surprising to me - I’m finding more difficult to “control”. I’m thinking of installing a thruster of some kind to help with slips/fuel docks/lock walls, etc.
Has anyone had a thruster installed (bow and/or stern) and, if so, is there a make or type that you recommend (or don’t recommend!)?
Thank you - Michael

There's some previous threads on this site on this topic. Here's one of them. You can find others by doing a search on thrusters in the search box and scrolling down the results from this site. My sense is that the consensus opinion is that the effort and cost of an install on this kind of boat is probably not worthwhile and that the problem can generally be solved with a combination of practice and line handling/docking technique.

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C-Wolfe



Joined: 16 Sep 2020
Posts: 257
City/Region: Anchorage
State or Province: AK
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Wolfe
Photos: C-Wolfe
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2023 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember someone mentioning on this site that (I think he went from twin to single but not sure of this part but...) he got himself a kicker with remote control and could use it at low speed to maneuver the boat into tight spot like a twin setup. I can see that working pretty good.
I'm not very good at search on this site or I would link the conversation.

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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 3372
City/Region: SW Michigan
State or Province: MI
C-Dory Year: 2008
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: SoBELLE
Photos: SoBelle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2023 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thruster would be great for crosswind situations. On a 22 I think a deployable electric trolling motor mounted on the bow would be a decent solution. Lock the motor perpendicular to the boat axis and have remote control for the motor. Deploy the motor when entering a marina (slow speed use only). Having a trolling motor battery up front could help with trim as well.
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robhwa



Joined: 04 Dec 2013
Posts: 272
City/Region: Anderson Island
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Marcia C
Photos: Problemadela
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2023 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssobol wrote:
Thruster would be great for crosswind situations. On a 22 I think a deployable electric trolling motor mounted on the bow would be a decent solution. Lock the motor perpendicular to the boat axis and have remote control for the motor. Deploy the motor when entering a marina (slow speed use only). Having a trolling motor battery up front could help with trim as well.

A problem with stern power and/or trusters is that C-Dories are relatively flat-bottomed, and thus move sideways easily, and have a lot of “sail” area above that can catch that wind. You need a fair amount of forward speed to keep “steerage”, too slow and the wind, tide or current take over your movement.

My solution was to mount a remotely controlled trollling motor on the bow, a Minnkota 80 lb Terrova. Yes, you can set it to 90 degreess to the centerline and use it to move the bow side to side like a bow thruster, or you can just use it to maneuver into the dock and only use the main when you need to move the stern side-to-side (my normal option). If you dock on the starboard side, for instance, you can “pin” the boat to the dock by providing stern and bow thrust toward that side. Great if you are both the captain and the first mate.

You can also use it in a pinch to move the boat short distances (i.e. a few miles), but this will be relatively slow, only a few kph.

Mine also has “spot lock”, which acts as an anchor, keeping you in the same spot regardless of wind, current, or tide, at least if there is not too much of either. Great for fishing.

There is a bit of discussion on this if you search for “trolling motors”. Those of us that have gone this route seem to believe they are very useful.
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krc



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 113
City/Region: SF Bay Area
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Photos: krc
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2023 12:02 pm    Post subject: I will be following... Reply with quote

My boat is in the sf delta near pittsburg - right next to a wind farm.
So, yeah, the 25 is very unruly in winds and cross winds especially suck - as the bow falls off very fast.

Go in fast and firm. LOL

I think sideshift.com makes an external thruster that would work but not sure if that would prevent easy towing, handle accidental hits against dockside, etc...
No room to install a traditional tube thruster imo.

Frankly, I used to have an Albin trawler express single diesel with a bow thruster and after learning to back and fill, that with the thruster was great. The keel prevented the bow falling off, etc... So even though the 25 is much smaller etc.. it just isn't great in windy situations when going slow.
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T.R. Bauer



Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Posts: 1726
City/Region: Wasilla
State or Province: AK
C-Dory Year: 1993
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Whisperer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2023 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What everyone else said.....a thruster sounds expensive and a ton of work on a CD 25 - if even really possible. I guess with enough money anything is.
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theflyscot



Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 19
City/Region: Fort Myers
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2023
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: The Flying Scotsman III
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2023 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep it coming; I really appreciate everyone’s comments so far. Thank you!
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bridma



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 1155
City/Region: Comox
State or Province: BC
C-Dory Year: 2009
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Nomad
Photos: Nomad
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2023 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a 'spinner knob' on the steering wheel? If not, think about installing one. With practise you will find manouvering easier. Don't buy one from a Chandlers, much cheaper at a Farm equipment shop.

Martin.
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rogerbum



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
Posts: 5922
City/Region: Kenmore
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2008
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: Meant to be
Photos: SeaDNA
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2023 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a bit terse in my previous comment due to available time at the time. I've had a 22 and currently have a Tomcat. The Tomcat doesn't get blown around quite as much as the 22 but in both cases, the large amount of vertical surface area above the water line makes it easy for the boat to get pushed around. Here's what I do to handle/mitigate/etc. that issue.

First, in places where I have/have had long term moorage, I request slips such that the most common prevailing wind will blow me onto the dock. This makes life MUCH easier.

Second, when the wind will be blowing me off the dock, I usually approach the dock at a bit higher speed and at a slight angle. A slight, quick turn away from the dock plus a little reverse will put me tight to the dock and moving slowly at the end but this maneuver must be practiced and depending on the amount of wind, my current practice levels and my calmness on any given day, it may take a few attempts to get safely on the dock.

Third, FENDER UP appropriately. If you have permanent or long term moorage, tie a string of fenders directly to the dock and leave them there. Fender the whole damn thing up. This allows for slightly less than perfect landings and that side of the boat requires no advance preparation. If you can't fender the dock, put plenty of fenders on the boat. If you're in tight quarters, fender up the side of the boat that is away from dock also. It's hard to be perfect, it's easy to lessen/eliminate the problems that come from being less than perfect (this is true on other aspects of life also). Smile

Fourth, prepare your lines appropriately. One of the biggest things I did (but it took me a few years to figure this out with no training) is to have a bow line down both sides of the boat and into the cockpit. The bow line is just short enough that it will not reach the prop. So if I drop it, it can't cause a problem. I also have a stern line at each corner that is long enough to allow me to tie off the bow line while retaining control of the stern. So if the wind is blowing me backwards, I can tie off the bow first. Having the bow and stern lines both terminating in the cockpit, allows me to step off of the boat with both lines in hand at the same time. This eases single handed docking considerably.

Fith, IF you have help, realize that "help" is not helpful unless properly instructed in advance. When the wind is blowing, one of the biggest problems is that someone hops off with only a stern line in hand. The stern is the only part of the boat that you control from the helm and by jumping off with a tight grip on the stern line, they just took the only control you have away. Now the bow swings out, maybe your anchor scrapes down the side of the boat in the adjacent slip and words are spoken. Very Happy Make sure your crew knows what to do and DOESN'T jump off the boat prematurely (long jumps are dangerous) and that they know how to handle the lines and don't exit the boat with only the stern line in hand.

Sixth - spring lines are your friend. Having a line on the midship cleat on the dockside can make docking way easier. Again, it's best if this line is set up to be just short of the prop but readily accessible from the cockpit. Then as you approach the dock, it can be tied to or slipped over a dock cleat near the cockpit. Forward motion will pull you to the dock and leaving the boat in forward idle will hold you tight to the dock. With a spring line, you only need one line attached to the dock to remain tight to the dock as long as you are in forward idle. This provides time to get off the boat calmly and tie up both the bow and stern and then return to the helm to take it out of gear. Of course, make sure that spring line is secure at both ends prior to getting off and if your quick enough, you can get off and manage the boat with the engine out of gear - especially if the bow and stern lines are set up so you can grab both as you exit.

Seventh - remain calm. This can be hard to do on a really windy day and sometimes it may be necessary to back out of the slip quickly and try again. If things aren't going well. Take a little cruise down the fairway and maybe around the marine to regain calm before the next attempt (especially if you're on attempt #>3).

So to me, practice matters a lot but thinking through the various scenarios and line and fender prep matters a lot more. Often life can be made WAY easier by buying a few extra lines and fenders and thinking carefully about how to place them.
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theflyscot



Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 19
City/Region: Fort Myers
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2023
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: The Flying Scotsman III
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2023 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic responses - particularly rogerbum - thank you all again.
I’ve had some luck:
I did some research online and discovered a Dutch company that focuses on water-propelled thrusters (on boats of up to 60 feet). Think jet ski technology. They’ve just come out with their new “Micro” which is specifically designed for shallow boats of up to 28’. In simple terms, it has a pump that sucks water in, and spits it out on port or starboard as required. Simple. It means three holes in the hull (which worried me at first, but millions of boats have holes in their hull below waterline) and is powered by a battery similar in size to a car battery. The only “must” is that at least 6 inches of the pump needs to be below the waterline. On my C-Dory 25, there’s around 8 inches at the stern end of the v-berth below waterline. I don’t know if it would work on a 22. I had it (bow thruster) installed a couple of weeks ago (the Dutch company’s US dealership is in Sarasota; I live nearby in Fort Myers). I set off on the Great Loop (clockwise) five days ago and am already in Steinhatchee. The Micro is a game-changer. Docking is suddenly easy (particularly when you’re operating the boat solo). One wired-in joystick; 2 remote controls. I love it. Should work well for the 150+ locks… Google jetthruster.com, and then jetthrusteramerica.com. They can answer any questions you may have about pricing, etc. Mine is the first Micro installed by the American dealership!
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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 3372
City/Region: SW Michigan
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C-Dory Year: 2008
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: SoBELLE
Photos: SoBelle
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2023 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thruster looks interesting. There are certainly times when I wished for something like that on my boat. On a 22 it might be hard to meet the installation conditions. The pump would have to go somewhere at the aft end of the cockpit. Having the pump battery nearby would help with the water depth.

By the time you're done you'd be into it over $4k though.
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Avidmagnum12



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 668
City/Region: Ocklawaha
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2011
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Otter
Photos: C-Otter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2023 11:19 am    Post subject: M Reply with quote

Michael
I would love to see photos of your installation of the bow thruster. This could be a real game changer for those that single hand their boats. I trust you are enjoying your loop trip. We finished ours last year on a larger boat but are glad to be back on our C-Dory 25 and continuing our second loop on it. Be safe and have fun.

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2011 CD 25 "C-Otter" 07/2015 to present
2011 CD 25 "My Girl" 06/2015 renamed C-Otter
2004 CD 22 Commuter "Out2C" 03/10 to 06/15
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Foggy



Joined: 01 Aug 2013
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C-Dory Model: 26 Venture
Vessel Name: Boatless in Boating Paradise
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2023 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe use more fenders while learning to maneuver your boat.

All else well attended, I wouldn't be too ashamed showing a few scrapes/abrasions
on the rub rail of my boat. Carefully look around around and you'll find they are
quite common. I recall the most upsetting 'ding' I had was the first one.
Afterwards, life goes on and enjoy. Like, "Don't sweat the small stuff".

There are more significant problems to have with a boat.

I'd be more concerned with what's not visible and more significant: animal hair or
lots of crud around a bilge pump, maybe unknown hull dry rot, loose electrical
connections, not doing recommended system checks or maintenance, leaving for a
voyage low on fuel...

Few, if any, things are perfect. Most everything has at least a scar or blemish.

Quote:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Yup, Grandpa.

Aye.

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 20808
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2023 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[b]theflyscot[/b, Thank you for posting your experience. I also would love to see photos of your installation. (Ask the moderators for a photo album--2 and 3 on the member list are Tyboo and Da Nag.)

I had only one trial with a jet thruster; in the Annapolis Boat show in 1983. The evening before opening, a relatively severe storm blew in, and a number of boats were in peril from hitting their sterns on the docks (anchor off the bow and stern to the docks). Marie and I took our large inflatable with 25 hp outboard, in to help. We were asked to move a Morgan 62' sailboat to a more sheltered location. It had jet thrusters, with discharge about 6" above the water line. Marie used the inflatable to push the bow of the boat around, and I ran the boat. The jet thrusters would not push the boat against 30 knots of beam wind. I was not impressed with the usefulness of that particular jet pump, in comparison to tunnel type, which I have both used on demo or delivery boats or on one of my boats. It is great to see that there is now a system which seems to work. It would be interesting to see how well it works agains some significant breeze--or current. Calm and sheltered places are not a "real" tests. Let us know how it works with a beam wind of 20 or 30 knots. It is not so "necessary" in calm conditions, as when it gets a bit dicey!

Also, does this thruster have time or temperature cut out on the pump to limit the time it runs? Many of the tunnel type have these "safety" features. Not so safe it the skipper urgently needs the thruster to get his boat into a close dock and the thruster times out or temperature's out. I have seen some Kadey-Krogen's and Nordhavns loose their thrusters in tight situations, with panic inducing results!

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Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018 to Oct. 2021
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