Retractable Thrusters

When should you think about buying a retractable thruster?

The effective operation of the thruster depends on various factors. The tunnel of the thruster must be located deep enough underwater and in such a way that the flow of water emitted by the thruster is not obstructed.

A little information about the effective use of thrusters.

Correct positioning of thrusters is often as important as choosing the right drive power for your boat’s maximum maneuverability. The screws must be placed on a single total diameter of the tunnel below the waterline to achieve optimal thrust. It is also important to position the thruster as close as possible to the bow or stern. The closer the device is to the vessel’s canter, the more powerful it should be to achieve the exact turn rate.

Reasons we choose retractable thrusters.

Most vessel designs are well suited for the installation of fixed tunnel thrusters. However, the above constraints (depth and location) are often contradictory, especially on modern sailing yachts. Although some sailing yachts may be well equipped with tunnel thruster, most modern hulls are best served by retractable thruster instead of the tunnel one. It does not create additional resistance when the yacht sails.

How does the retractable thruster work?

The entire unit of the retractable thruster is inside the vessel’s hull, and the surface of the vessel remaining smooth. And that’s a massive plus for a retractable thruster. Let’s get back to its mechanism.

To activate the thruster, push it down from the boat’s hull to locate the propeller tunnel in water under the boat’s hull.

After mooring or maneuvering, the thruster retracts back into the hull, and the bottom of the boat becomes completely smooth again.

The retractable thruster can be used in both the bow and stern variants.

The retractable thrusters have several advantages:

• Possibility of installing a thruster on vessels with low draught, including on sailing yachts.
• Simple and durable rotating/swinging mechanism with minimum moving parts. The rotatable shaft rotates in robust bearings with lifelong lubrication.
• The propeller of the thruster rotates in a short tunnel, creating a directional flow with minimum energy losses.
• The hatch closing the position of the thruster in the hull of the vessel is fixed directly to the tunnel of the thruster and extends / lifts with the thruster.
• When the thruster is raised and the hatch is closed, there is no additional resistance to the vessel’s movement, unlike the classical thruster tunnel. It is essential for racing sailing vessels.
• The thruster is advanced/picked up automatically when it is switched on/off.
• The thruster automatically rises after 15 minutes of inactivity.
Electronic mechanism protection system against blocking, distortion and overloading.
• Delay of 1.5 seconds when the rotor direction is changed to prevent damage to the reduction gear and the rotating mechanism.

How choose a retractable thruster right?

It is important to choose the right power of the thruster. Max Power has developed the following table to make it easier for you to select and simplify the complex calculations associated with the design features of each boat.

Full range of marine equipment for all types of boats.

Automarine Technology offers the broadest range of high-quality equipment for your boat, whether it is a windlass, a retractable thrusterelectrical equipment – in our online store you will find everything you need for safe sailing!

Do you still have any questions regarding the selection, installation and maintenance of the equipment? Please contact us at +48881299761 or Our specialists will be happy to answer all your questions.

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