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houseboat magazine
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In the past houseboat owners who didn’t have factory installed bow thrusters on their boat and wanted to add them later faced many problems.   For example, the boat had to be pulled from the water which often required  the owner  to find a boat hauler who had the ability to safely pull a houseboat from the water,  move it to a place where the boat could be jacked up and  trailer removed from underneath.    Then a competent aluminum welder with portable equipment would have to be contracted to cut into the hull and fabricate a tunnel for the thruster.    Once this was done then the thruster installer could do his job.
As you can imagine coordinating three or more companies or individuals to do their job on a schedule can be stressful not to mention expensive, and if your boat is located a long way from the houseboat factories (like Elephant Butte, N.M. a recent HydraNautics installation) it may not be feasible.
HydraNautics, the leader in houseboat hydraulic bow and stern thrusters for over twenty years has created the answer,   a powerful hydraulic bow thruster that can be added to the boat while it remains parked in the slip.  Saving the expense of trucks, trailers, welders, ramp fees, as well as the inconvenience and potential damage caused by pulling a large houseboat from the water. The bolt on bow thrusters are mounted on each side of the boat adjacent to where the driver stands, one thruster per side.    The propellers are above the bottom of the boat and far enough aft that beaching the boat is not a problem.   As most of the aluminum sides on houseboats angle in toward the middle of the boat from the rub rail to the water; the thrusters are ideally mounted just above the water so that the edge of the boat can rub on the dock and the thrusters do not.
While most will not, those who wish to exercise additional caution can simply pull a pin and rotate the thrusters out of the water, or you can simply remove them in the dock without getting wet.
How is the performance?   Awesome!  They must be seen to be believed. They outperform most factory installed thrusters and save you money as well.

HydraNautics based in Lexington, Ky.  installs built in and bolt on and tube style hydraulic bow and stern thrusters nationwide and in Canada. They also offer a do it yourself kit for those who are capable.
HydraNautics,  www.thrusterman.com

 

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