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Thruster Installation – FOR BOW AND STERN

Thruster Installation – FOR BOW AND STERN

Thrusters help manoeuvre your boat sideways, making boating more manageable.

When installed professionally, they may increase the value of your vessel.

Marine Team Australia can fit thrusters to most vessels, including cruisers, sailing yachts and trawlers.


1. Is there good access to the bow area under the floor?

2. Is there enough water coverage for the thruster (the ideal depth is to be the same as the diameter of the tunnel below the water)?

3. To obtain the required depth, the thruster is not mounted too far aft of the bow section.

When choosing a thruster, try to have the largest possible thruster fitted. This is also a balance of budget. Production vessels advertising a thruster as standard are notorious for not working effectively when really needed, i.e. in high winds when manoeuvring at close quarters in a marina.


It is hard to know what has been done under the antifoul or gelcoat. Here are a few of the pitfalls to be aware of:

1. The use of non-marine materials for the installation is not uncommon. Automotive filler is commonly substituted for marine epoxy filler, as it is ready for sanding quickly.

2. Lack of care in gelcoat preparation before glassing both inside and out.

3. Tunnel and motor positioning.

4. Fairing around the tunnel makes a difference to water flow, and therefore, to performance.

5. Use of undersized cabling to drive the thruster. This results in underperformance and premature failure.

6. Position of the fan as close to centre as possible and still accessible for service.

7. Fan is well lubed when installed.

The overall finish on the inside of the vessel should look like it came out of the factory. This is not always possible, but little things like flow-coating and flecking, and floor replacement around the motor and tunnel. Electrical installation should be neat and well secured. The controller should be positioned so as to be easily used along with other controls when manoeuvring the vessel.

All of the above add to the quality of the install. There is nothing worse than hearing that a thruster only works well when there is no wind.

When budgeting and obtaining quotes for a thruster installer, you need to ensure that you are comparing ‘like for like’ installations, and that there are no hidden additional charges.

At Marine Team, we have installed thrusters in 28’ Mustangs through to 49’ Power Cats. Our quoted thruster installs are all inclusive. This means our labour and materials are included, electrical labour and materials are included, the thruster kit, including battery/ies. There should be no additional charges. We need to fleck and flow coat the install area and/or make a battery box for aesthetic reasons, this should be provided.

If you would like to discuss a thruster installation, please do not hesitate to contact Dave at Marine Team

Ph: (07) 5546 1359




Published in print January-March 2022