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Recent Bow thruster installation cost on 35 - 45 footers?

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  • Recent Bow thruster installation cost on 35 - 45 footers?

    Hi folks,

    We are adding a bow thruster to our 4087 this spring. I have searched around and read old forum posts, got a couple of quotes, and poked around online to find vastly different prices and opinions. I am hoping anyone who has ACTUALLY added one in the last 2 years, or at least got a quote, would please share their total cost. A couple of people mentioned 50 - 60 hours of their own time, and while I won't be doing anything myself, the actual time involved would be a good reference.

    Please note - I'm not asking for an opinion on whether or not I need a bow thruster. I don't need a thruster to handle my boat. I also don't need a big dingy, 2 kayaks, SUP's and various other on board toys for the family, but they add to my enjoyment, just like a thruster will.

    I am open to looking at a tunnel thruster, or an external mounted one like a Sideshift. If the Sideshift SS350 8hp ($4450 Cdn + install) turns out to be way cheaper, I really don't give a crap if someone doesn't like how it looks, I can't see it from my flybridge.

    Looking forward to seeing some numbers, and maybe even a PacNW yard recommendation!


    1999 4087 Cummins 270's
    AB 12 Yamaha 25
    Cruising the Pacific NW from Anacortes to Desolation Sound

  • #2
    re Bow Thruster
    We had a bow thruster installed by North Harbor Diesel in may of 2016 .The labor and parts
    excluding the thruster (ie 2 group 31 batteries ,separate charger ,cables etc was $8577.50
    The thruster we got was a Sidepower SE120/215 I think we paid 4500 for that which included
    a walk around remote (ie can move bow while you are on the dock ) I think the remote alone
    is $800 by itself. I have three pages of parts all itemized if you want to see whats involved.
    I think the labor was component was 70 hours which includes all the glass work .We got
    a thruster that was one size larger than what manual suggested so we had to buy a larger tube
    That cost $300 more (included in the $8577.50 as was the new water tank ) This is for
    a 4788 so you could get by with a smaller unit .
    North Harbor do good work .Very impressed with them.They also take photos of all steps along the
    way and give it to customer at the end.If you want to see job let me know. Vinomaker also had it done there
    I think he was pleased with their work as well.He is in Anacortes.I'm in Vancouver


    • #3
      I agree with sockeye’s approach, as I did the same on my 5788 when I installed a new stern thruster. I went a size larger than I needed. i’ve found with thrusters you can (almost) never have too big. In normal situations a correctly sized thruster is great, but if you’re like most of us, you’ll find yourself in a situation sooner or later that a high wind and/or current is against you, in the fiercest of ways, making the thruster almost useless and docking tricky. If you have a little larger thruster it helps minimize issues in high wind and current, as you have. More thrust to counteract the elements .

      The onther thing that that I would consider a must now that I have one, is a remote. It is the cheapest part of a thruster installation, per say, but it is the nicest feature to have. I can dock my boat alone with,little effort, as all I have to do is get my stern to the dock, step off the stern, set the stern line and remotely thrust the bow over to me to tie the bow, if she has drifted, it’s REALLY nice, as all you do it obring hr close with the remote. it also helps when you are trying to secure the lines tight as you can push the boat against the dock a bit, so you are not having to pull and tie all at the same time...

      just a couple cents worth. Hope it helps,



      • #4
        Sockeye and BJ, very helpful, thank you!
        1999 4087 Cummins 270's
        AB 12 Yamaha 25
        Cruising the Pacific NW from Anacortes to Desolation Sound


        • sockeye
          sockeye commented
          Editing a comment
          Capn mark67
          Forgot to mention the remote on the Sidepower thruster also can be programmed to lift and drop the anchor remotely
          Nice if your running everything yourself and your on the bridge .Just a thought if you are considering different brands

      • #5
        North Harbor Diesel put a tunnel thruster in my 4087 few years ago, I had some other work done at the same time, bottom paint, zincs etc, but it was around $10k. Had to really persuade them to put the joy stick on the fly bridge, getting the wire up there was tough.

        They had a promotion for a free remote, but it never worked correctly. It would pulse all the time when the boat was running. Just a quick blip, they tried several times to correct the issue, in the end I disconnected it. I got the next size up thruster.

        It’s a huge help when I’m solo and going through the Ballard locks in Seattle. It allows me to move sideways without moving forward or backwards by putting props in opposite directions and using thruster, great in some of the small marina’s. We looked at an external one and decided with all the logs and debris in San Juan & Gulf Islands it was too vulnerable. Even with the larger external model I also thought it was a bit wimpy. We have one in our club and the guy says its rather pathetic, but not sure what size he got.

        1996 4087 Lazy Days
        2011 11’ West Marine Rib 350 Lazy Mac
        2011 Porsche Cayman
        2010 Lexus IS 250C
        2008 Honda Ridgeline


        • #6
          I paid right around 8500 for mine from Puget Sound Yacht Service in Edmonds
          97 2859


          • #7
            I was getting estimates of 10-12K for my 3587. That seemed rich to me so I did part of the work myself. I opened up the floor under the front berth and I bought the tube, thruster and all the parts I needed online. Then took the boat to Latitude Marine in LaConner to have the tube cut and glassed in by a professional. He also installed the prop assembly that goes inside the tube so then I could do the rest of the install myself after I got it back home. Latitude charged me $2000 for the tube install and more for bottom paint which I needed anyway. Once home, I installed the thruster, glassed in a new floor piece around it and fished the wiring to the flybridge and installed the controller there. Added an AGM battery in the berth with its own charger so I didn't need to run large cabling from the engine area. I don't recall what everything cost, but not counting my labor, it was about half what I had been quoted for a complete install.
            1998 3587 Bayliner, Port Orchard, WA


            • #8
              We received the following quote on Bow and Stern Thrusters from CSR Marine in Seattle for a 4788 this past summer (ended up buying a different boat that already had a bow thruster, so did not purchase via CSR)

              Bow- $11564.77
              Stern- $10163.60

              Both of those prices include all the labor and materials. They just don't include sales tax.

              2008 Meridian 490
              2010 ArrowCat Express 30 (sold)


              • #9
                I just had a bow thruster done on my 3988 I'm on the east coast in Florida joy sticks both helms installed independent battery and battery charger all done by Florida Bow Thrusters. roughly $12,000 plus the hall out. Well worth every penny.
                Island Girl 2000 3988
                330 Cummins
                Great Loop 2018 and 2021
                Tacoma, Washington
                There are worse places to be than on your boat.


                • #10
                  You might want to check out
                  . They make thrusters for bow and stern that mount on the outside not requiring a tunnel. Cost is around $5k. I don't have any but someone told me about them.
                  Tony Bacon,
                  Washougal, WA
                  Caspian, MMSI 338355743
                  Current: 1997 3788 Cummins 250hp CASPIAN
                  Current: 2004 Yatchsman RIB WhatAboutMe
                  Current: 1996 SeaDoo Challenger Scooter
                  Previous: 1991 Catalina 28 sloop Vela Via
                  Previous: 1984 Catalina 27 sloop Avalon
                  Previous: 1970 era 4 man rubber raft Don't Honk I'm paddling as fast as I can


                  • #11
                    Machog, JT, Baylinerguy, GMS, Noah and Bacon - thanks a lot! I have been collecting a couple of quotes as well, and they are + / - about 10% on what you are saying, so I guess I'm in the ballpark.

                    Tony - I am considering the Sideshift, it appears to work out to about 1/2 the price. At the dock or at anchor it actually doesn't look too bad. When I think about how many logs I have hit in 25 years (0), I am not too worried about it sitting on the leading edge. The 8hp 24v unit is about $3600US, and I am being told about $1000-1200US labor, plus about $1000 parts like battery, wire, charger and/or isolator. The bigger unit is about $6k - the 5hp 12v unit would come in about $5k installed. Probably worth the extra $1000 for 50% more power.

                    Thanks again,

                    1999 4087 Cummins 270's
                    AB 12 Yamaha 25
                    Cruising the Pacific NW from Anacortes to Desolation Sound


                    • #12
                      Did you end up having a bow thruster installed? If so, how is it? We’re considering it as well for our 4087.


                      • #13
                        First off. If you want a bow thruster get a thruster. It was one of the best investments I made in lowering stress for me and the admiral. I selected and installed a external yacht thruster brand bow thruster. It is great. See my youtube videos. You can PM if interested and include your phone number or email and we can dialog on subject.

                        Installing a external mounted bow thruster. This video 1 of 5. Watch all 5 for complete process of install the bow thruster. After 5 seasons I am very sat...

                        1999 3988
                        Cummins 270s


                        • jwsimp
                          jwsimp commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Paul, we had the Yacht Thruster installed on our boat (2859) earlier this year after buying it at the Seattle Boat Show. We had communicated about this topic at the time. So far it has been great. It seems more responsive than dock mates tunnel thrusters and not as loud.