The new range of Vetus bow thrusters offer proportional control and super-quiet running. Nick Burnham takes a closer lookOne advantage of buying a secondhand boat is the optional extras your purchase comes fitted with at someone else’s expense. Mine came with a bow thruster, which was of no interest or use at all to me as I am a Jedi Knight when it comes to boat handling. The force is strong with me, although not as strong as the ebb tide sluicing down the River Dart the first time I reversed it out of Darthaven’s visitor pontoons, sweeping the bow inexorably toward a very expensive-looking superyacht. A quick and panicked prod of that ‘unnecessary’ bow thruster control and we were clear. I’m now a big fan of bow thrusters. Latest and possibly greatest in the world of bow thrusters is the Vetus Bow Pro. The range of seven maintenance-free brushless bow thrusters is available in 12V or 24V format and are reckoned to offer 93% efficiency compared with the 65% offered by traditional bow thrusters with carbon brushes. What is particularly interesting is the proportional joystick control, allowing you to precisely meter output rather than the binary on/off of most electric bow thrusters. There’s even the facility to lock the controls, so if shorthanded, you can leave the thruster running at a chosen speed while you attend to your lines.
Our step-by-step guide shows you how to get the best from your bow thruster
The new Active Corrosion Protection system by Volvo Penta is an electronic anode system that replaces conventional zinc or magnesium