The DockStar Smart Thrusters are mounted outside the hull at the front of the bow and behind the stern. This provides for the longest possible moment arm yielding maximum turning torque. Also, by not being located in a tunnel, the propellers operate much more efficiently. This yields more thrust per watt and eliminates cavitation noise. Of course, the ability to have both a bow and a stern thruster provides twice the torque and allows for maneuvers not possible with a bow thruster alone, such as turning 180 degrees in place, "parallel parking" and securing the boat firmly to the dock during boarding and de-boarding. Adding a bow thruster to your boat greatly improves your boat's maneuverability, but really, the best solution is to add both a bow thruster and a stern thruster for maximum control. Even boats that already have a built in bow thruster can benefit from adding a Smart Thruster to their stern.
By using modern technologies it is possible to integrate the motor, powerful batteries, and all the electronics into a compact package. By utilizing wireless control, the Smart Thruster requires no control wiring. With no control wiring and no power wiring the Smart Thruster can be completely portable allowing for a simple and affordable mounting scheme. Simplicity results in lower cost.
With full wireless control, the Smart Thruster can be controlled from anywhere on the boat, or even on the dock. The transmitter can be configured to conveniently control both the bow and the stern thruster from a single unit.
The Smart Thruster is easily deployed and retracted. This can be done at the same time the fenders are put out or brought in.
The Smart Thruster can be readily removed from the T-track and stowed away when not in use for extended periods or during special times such as sailboat racing.
Easy to install
The Smart Thruster can typically be installed by securing the T-track and stainless tube with two screws at the bottom of the tube and two at the top. No need to modify the hull, add a tunnel, install batteries, or add power lines and control wires. In fact there is no need to even pull the boat out of the water.
Conventional thruster systems are always in the water creating drag. The Smart Thruster is always retracted out of the water when underway so there is no drag. Now sail-boaters can finally add thrusters to their boat without ruining performance!
Does not consume interior space
With traditional thrusters, the boater must sacrifice valuable interior space to accommodate the tunnel through the hull, the thruster motor, thruster batteries, and control and power wiring. This difficulty is twice as bad when the boater wants the benefits of both bow and stern thrusters.
Because the Smart Thruster is only in the water for a short time, there is no concern for fouling or corrosion as with conventional thrusters. There is no annual maintenance to clean the propeller and tunnel, and no worry about debris entangling the propeller.
Does Not Over-Heat So Can Be Run Continuously
Conventional thrusters do not run efficiently so their motors tend to run hot. To avoid over-heating their motors you can not run them continuously. This means in tough situations you may not be able to use a conventional thruster as long as you need. The DockStar Smart Thruster does not over-heat so can be run continuously for the duration of the battery charge, whichi is typically about 10 minutes. That is long enough for several dockings.
Does Not Drain Boat Batteries
Because conventional thrusters run inefficiently, they consume a lot of battery current. They can quickly drain a boat's batteries. Or, if you have been out anchoring, your batteries may be a little low limiting the thruster's use. Many conventional thruster owners install dedicated batteries to avoid these concerns, but that just adds to the already high expense.
More on thruster placement
The DockStar Smart Thrusters achieve their high effectiveness by applying balanced forces to the bow and stern. To turn the boat in place, the bow thruster is turned on in one direction while the stern thruster is turned on in the other. The example sketch below is used for reference. The position of the center of rotation for this boat is estimated as are the distances from this point (i.e. this is a hypothetical example). A relatively strong (150 lb thrust) tunnel bow thruster is assumed at the actual location for this boat. The thrust of the Smart Thruster is dependent on the installation, but a thrust of 65 lbs is assumed here. Even with the lower thrust of each Smart Thruster, their combined turning torque is 49% higher than the more powerful built-in bow thruster. In addition, the built-in thruster is not able to turn the boat in place nor do lateral side motion maneuvers such as "parallel parking" or holding the boat firmly to the dock while securing the lines. This is why dual Smart Thrusters are more effective than a conventional thruster.
Although adding dual thrusters is the most effective, a single thruster, either in the bow or in the stern, can add considerable maneuverability to a boat. The advantages of the long moment arms obtained with the Smart Thruster enable it to work well in single thruster installations.
The Last Word
Dual Smart Thrusters produce more turning torque than conventional thrusters, enable the boater to move the boat laterally, hold the boat secure to the dock, produce no drag, are easy to install, consume no interior space, and cost a fraction of what just one conventional thruster costs installed. Do you see why a Smart Thruster is the smart choice?