Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

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Captain Chill
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Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by Captain Chill » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:20 pm

Tired of panicking due to the insane prop-walk on my F26. I can pretty much only backup one way. I've been handling her for 4+ years like this so I've paid my dues as a first time boater. A stern thruster will give me all the confidence in the world. Which is priceless to me at this point in my boating career. Time to relax.

I'm going to go with www.sideshift.com

Looking for anybody that has had experience with these.
'The Pacific Chill' - F26 -1976

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The Dog House
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by The Dog House » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:50 am

I looked into installing a stern thruster on my F26. The problem was the F26 has a really shallow draft. I was not able to install the stern thruster deep enough in the water so I didn't buy it. Before you purchase a stern thruster, make sure you can mount it deep enough in the water to be effective.
1971 Trojan F26 with Chrysler 318, Paragon PV31R V Drive, and 15 x 11 Bronze Prop
1979 Starcraft 14' Rowboat with 2011 Mercury 9.9 hp Outboard

http://s1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii624/clastewart/

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prowlersfish
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by prowlersfish » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:52 am

"The Dog House" looked into it but decided not due to fact he felt you could not mount it deep enough on his F26 . I felt it would have work but you may have gotten some splash . I bet he will post on this


Edit I see he was writing at the same time
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by oldboat1 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:32 pm

Haven't thought about (or through) this, but maybe an electric trolling motor would work for you. Bow mount version, maybe, that would retract/fold up on the swim platform when not in use?
Motors should run. People -- not so much.

1980 F26, Mercruiser 305
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Captain Chill
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by Captain Chill » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:33 am

The Dog House wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:50 am
I looked into installing a stern thruster on my F26. The problem was the F26 has a really shallow draft. I was not able to install the stern thruster deep enough in the water so I didn't buy it. Before you purchase a stern thruster, make sure you can mount it deep enough in the water to be effective.
I guess I really don't know enough about stern thrusters as I thought I did. I read not to have the thruster down below the bottom of the boat. I figured they recommended this only because it would cause drag and lower my top speed. Wasn't too concerned about that. Now though it seems there are other reasons for this? Could you elaborate DH?

Also, found this, not sure if it helps out with what you were looking to do. https://www.vetus.com/en/manoeuvring-sy ... 50-mm.html
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by Captain Chill » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:38 am

oldboat1 wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:32 pm
Haven't thought about (or through) this, but maybe an electric trolling motor would work for you. Bow mount version, maybe, that would retract/fold up on the swim platform when not in use?
Interesting, I was planning on investing in a motor like this as a back up if my single engine goes out to get me slowly home or at least off the rocks in an emergency. If I could get "two birds stoned at once" with this method you are semi-suggesting that'd be cool. Might be an eye sore though as well 8)
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by The Dog House » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:05 am

Captain Chill wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:33 am

I guess I really don't know enough about stern thrusters as I thought I did. I read not to have the thruster down below the bottom of the boat. I figured they recommended this only because it would cause drag and lower my top speed. Wasn't too concerned about that. Now though it seems there are other reasons for this? Could you elaborate DH?
The stern thrusters are not designed to be in the water when the boat is on plane. The stress from the water flow would be too much for them. One possibility is a retractable thruster ( https://www.vetus.com/en/manoeuvring-sy ... r-12v.html ). The retractable thruster should work on the F26 if you're willing to put a hole in the bottom of your boat. It wasn't the right solution for me, but it might be what you're looking for.
1971 Trojan F26 with Chrysler 318, Paragon PV31R V Drive, and 15 x 11 Bronze Prop
1979 Starcraft 14' Rowboat with 2011 Mercury 9.9 hp Outboard

http://s1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii624/clastewart/

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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by prowlersfish » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:38 am

Some ideas and my thoughts . First The Dog House has looked in to this deeply and I basically agree with his conclusions . First it needs to be out of the water flow while on plane . At hull speed its not as much a factor so a external bow thruster could work . As far as a stern thruster and this is where Dog house I have a slightly different view . We both agree you can not mount the thruster very deeply and surly not to the factory recommended depth . I feel it will still work shallow mounted , BUT you will get some water splashing and spray . Also you will lose some efficiency and get some cavitation . Cavitation can be reduced some by short bursts .


That's my thoughts

Here is my fix That I fully believe will work and do a good job . I would like your though on this too Dog House . Mounting one of these under your swim platform .You may need to raise the platform a little and reinforce the mounting (easy) or put one on if you don't have one

https://sideshift.com/products/pontoon-thrusters/
TROJAN F36 Conv.
6BTA Cummins diesels
Life is to short for a ugly boat :D
2009 TROJAN RENDEZVOUS
Port Kinsale 2010 & 2011. Solomons get together 2011.

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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by Captain Chill » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:10 pm

This is where I get lost. Let's say you're puttin' around and your fixed stern thruster is in the water as it should be. When you increase speed enough you'll get on a plane. The bow of your boat goes up which causes the stern of your boat to go down. Wouldn't everyone's stern thruster be dragging while on a plane if this is the case, especially while the trim tabs are being used?

Prowlersfish, I'm always a fan of ideas that are ~$1,500 less expensive than my original plan! :D This way I wouldn't have to cut into the bottom of the boat as well. What do you think about this idea Dog House?
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by prowlersfish » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:18 pm

Captain Chill wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:10 pm
This is where I get lost. Let's say you're puttin' around and your fixed stern thruster is in the water as it should be. When you increase speed enough you'll get on a plane. The bow of your boat goes up which causes the stern of your boat to go down. Wouldn't everyone's stern thruster be dragging while on a plane if this is the case, especially while the trim tabs are being used?

Prowlersfish, I'm always a fan of ideas that are ~$1,500 less expensive than my original plan! :D This way I wouldn't have to cut into the bottom of the boat as well. What do you think about this idea Dog House?
If its mounted above the bottom of the hull it will be out of the water on plane . On plane the stern is void of water behind it . I too Would like Dog Houses input
TROJAN F36 Conv.
6BTA Cummins diesels
Life is to short for a ugly boat :D
2009 TROJAN RENDEZVOUS
Port Kinsale 2010 & 2011. Solomons get together 2011.

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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by The Dog House » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:20 pm

prowlersfish wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:38 am

Here is my fix That I fully believe will work and do a good job . I would like your though on this too Dog House . Mounting one of these under your swim platform .You may need to raise the platform a little and reinforce the mounting (easy) or put one on if you don't have one

https://sideshift.com/products/pontoon-thrusters/
The Sideshift pontoon thruster looks like a perfect solution for the Trojan F26. It will definitely be deep enough in the water. My swim platform is right at the water level, so it would need to be raised to keep the unit out of the water. I don't think the unit is designed to be submerged. Raising the swim platform and reinforcing the mounting is a lot easier than cutting a hole in the bottom of the boat. This looks like a very good approach to mounting a stern thruster on an F26. Good job Prowlersfish! :D
1971 Trojan F26 with Chrysler 318, Paragon PV31R V Drive, and 15 x 11 Bronze Prop
1979 Starcraft 14' Rowboat with 2011 Mercury 9.9 hp Outboard

http://s1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii624/clastewart/

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The Dog House
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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by The Dog House » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:39 pm

Here's the thread I started when I was considering installing a stern thruster ( http://www.trojanboats.net/wforum/viewt ... n+thruster ).
1971 Trojan F26 with Chrysler 318, Paragon PV31R V Drive, and 15 x 11 Bronze Prop
1979 Starcraft 14' Rowboat with 2011 Mercury 9.9 hp Outboard

http://s1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii624/clastewart/

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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by captainmaniac » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:17 pm

The Dog House wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:20 pm
prowlersfish wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:38 am

Here is my fix That I fully believe will work and do a good job . I would like your though on this too Dog House . Mounting one of these under your swim platform .You may need to raise the platform a little and reinforce the mounting (easy) or put one on if you don't have one

https://sideshift.com/products/pontoon-thrusters/
The Sideshift pontoon thruster looks like a perfect solution for the Trojan F26. It will definitely be deep enough in the water. My swim platform is right at the water level, so it would need to be raised to keep the unit out of the water. I don't think the unit is designed to be submerged. Raising the swim platform and reinforcing the mounting is a lot easier than cutting a hole in the bottom of the boat. This looks like a very good approach to mounting a stern thruster on an F26. Good job Prowlersfish! :D
One word of caution - pontoon boats don't weigh diddly compared to your F26... and have a lot less draft, so don't need much thrust to push them around. Thruster designed for pontoon boats may not have enough 'oomph' to do what you want with your boat.

My recommendation would be to go with sideshift's bow thruster. Have seen these on several 25-26' stern drive boats. If your prop walk is helping you go the right way in reverse, you can use the bow thruster to help kick the bow around and not have to back up as far. If you are trying to fight your prop walk, then just give it enough time in reverse gear to get you moving backwards, then get back to neutral (prop walk only happens when you are in gear, and when you don't have a lot of reverse momentum or speed). Then you can use the bow thruster to give the rotation you need. And while you can use engine / rudder to try to work stern closer to a dock, a bow thruster will let you put that exactly where you want it in docking situations.

Traveling at low speed, the sideshift bow thruster is safe. On plane it is out of the water, so good again.

Also, I assume you may already know this trick about backing a single engine boat with postage stamp sized rudder, but going to relay it just in case ... Again, prop walk only happens when in reverse (technically it happens in fwd too but to a much less degree and flow of thrust / water over the rudder lets you compensate). Try this maneuver away from any docks at some point and see if you can make it work. Your prop walk pulls the stern to port. So try - when the boat is stopped and has no forward momentum - putting wheel hard to starboard. Shift to reverse and goose the throttle a bit (1000-1500rpm) to give the boat a bit of speed in reverse. You want to get moving back at a 'walking' speed, but still be in control. Of course prop walk will kick in and it will start to pull, but the boat will also start moving backwards faster than it is pulling. Shift back to idle and out of gear within a few seconds ... be in reverse with the goosing for maybe somewhere between 2-4 seconds. Keep the wheel to starboard.

What will happen is that you initially generate some reverse speed and momentum with the rudder fighting the prop walk. Then when out of gear, the pull of the prop walk stops. But with your reverse momentum and the wheel hard over to starboard, you could have enough water flow over the rudder to at least let you back straight, or maybe even a little bit to starboard.

At least that was my experience over 20+ years with my father's old 28' Sea Skiff. Our slip was one slip away from a main dock walkway, and the prop walk was in the wrong direction. On days when the wind also fought us, we would just back around using the wheel to port and the prop walk to back in a semi-circle, then shift to fwd with wheel to stbd and away away we went. But if the wind wasn't fighting us, we could pretty much back out of the slip straight enough or back a bit to starboard, to let us just back out and then drive away.

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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by The Dog House » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:42 pm

The F26 bow does not sit deep enough in the water to use the Sideshift bow thruster. I've done all the measurements and it won't work. A tunnel bow thruster could work on an F26, but it would have to be pretty far back to be deep enough which means the thruster would need to be stronger than normal and the water tank would need to be relocated. It's possible to do but expensive and complicated. A stern thruster is the best approach for an F26.

The F26 will back straight in reverse with the wheel turned all the way to starboard. It will also back to port in reverse at any other wheel setting. It will not back to starboard no matter what you do. It's a limitation I take into account when I'm driving my boat.
1971 Trojan F26 with Chrysler 318, Paragon PV31R V Drive, and 15 x 11 Bronze Prop
1979 Starcraft 14' Rowboat with 2011 Mercury 9.9 hp Outboard

http://s1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii624/clastewart/

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Re: Anyone had a Sideshift stern thruster installed?

Post by prowlersfish » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:06 pm

captainmaniac wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:17 pm


One word of caution - pontoon boats don't weigh diddly compared to your F26... and have a lot less draft, so don't need much thrust to push them around. Thruster designed for pontoon boats may not have enough 'oomph' to do what you want with your boat.

It should be fine the smallest one has the same HP rating as a bow thruster for F26 or larger boat . they also make one foe larger house boats with more power 5hp vs 2.5
TROJAN F36 Conv.
6BTA Cummins diesels
Life is to short for a ugly boat :D
2009 TROJAN RENDEZVOUS
Port Kinsale 2010 & 2011. Solomons get together 2011.

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