Bow Thruster Installation

True World Marine got in touch with me, and asked If I could install a Bow Thruster on one of their 28 Ft. Sportfisherman Boats. I said sure then they Invited me to the their Factory to show me a Bow Thruster that they had someone else install on their boat. I couldn’t believe what I saw. The Bow Thruster was installed crooked, They didn’t refinish & seal the inside of the compartment to make it a cofferdam, if anything happen to the unit, like develope a leak this boat could sink. A Cofferdam is a Safety precaution to stop the boat from Sinking if the unit develop any leaks.

The last six Blue Hull photos ( # 39,40,41,42,43,44 ) are of a brand new boat that some other manufacturer was selling at the Atlantic City Boat Show, that had a Bow Thruster install on them. Take a close look at how they refinish the gel coat. This boat was selling for $250,000.00 That job is in my opinion unacceptable.

Photo (# 45,46,47 ) is the Bow Thruster on the True World boat that someone else install. You can see how lumpy they laid up the fiberglass on the inside compartment. Look at the holes in the bulkhead. Look at how they remove the foam and let it be, Also check out the cut liner, all crooked. On the outside they just cover up the cutout and painted the whole bottom with bottom paint, That hides many things.

Now Check out how I did this job and you be the judge. (Note: This hull is a Planing Hull so the thruster opening didn’t have to be flair off to redirect the water flow.)

Step-by-Step Bow Thruster Installation Procedure

This is how the hull looked when it was brought to me.

This is the inside of the cabin. The front compartment is where the bow thruster is being installed.

This is the liner that has to be removed. You can see that their is foam backing up the liner.

Before I do any work I make sure that the whole inside is covered with plastic and that my ventilators are running to keep the work area clean.

I now make my straight lines to cut out the liner.

I’m cutting out the liner here.

This is what it looks like after the liner is removed. Now the hard part is removing the foam. A very messy job. It may look easy but its not. Its Structural Foam, Very Tough.

Here its all taken out and the compartment is cleaned up.

Front view of compartment & hull.

This is a new Bulkhead that I install. I’m making a cofferdam.

Here you can see the front bulkhead I installed. I Also smoothed out the inside area getting it ready for fiberglass.

Three layers of fiberglass is laid in place.

I’m lining up the hole and setting up my cuts that I have to make.

You can see the laser lite on the inside of the hull. This makes sure that it lines up with the other side of the hull.

The cut is perfect and everything lines up. I feel that if you take your time and set everything up it all works out perfect.

Now the tube is inserted. You can see how it lines up with the other side.

This is how it looks from the inside.

Now I have to make my cuts on the outside so that its even with the hull. This is the Port side.

This is the Starboard side.

Starboard side trimmed.

Port sided Trimmed.

Here I’m grinding the area so it can be fiberglass in place.

Here I fiberglass it in place. I apply tape to the area to keep the area small.

This is the inside area. I’m setting it up to see how the fiberglass will lay out when I start applying the resin.

This is how the outside area looks after I clean it up.

This is another angle looking thru the tube.

This is a heavy polyester gel-coat to smooth out any imperfections in the finish.

Starboard side sanded smooth.

Port side sanded smooth.

The final finish is apply and buffed smooth & shiny. Look at the reflection of the finish. This is the Port Side.

Starboard side. Same smooth & shiny finish.

Look at how clean and sharp the edge is with a good reflection.

This angle you can see how it flows with the hull. Some jobs that I’ve seen have bulges sticking out from the sides. The bulges is from the gel-coat build up and not sanding it properly.

Boat on the trailer and ready to go.

This is the inside area. You can see how clean, no holes in the bulkhead, Fiberglass smooth, no lumps.

Motor installed. Also some small items can be stored in here too.

Propeller installed, and working.

Clearance good. Job Done. The customer was Very Happy.

Alantic City Boat Show. This was a brand new boat. Look at the finish. It was very lumpy and wavey.

A close up of the installation.

You can see the outline of the gel-coat where it was blended in.

See the tape lines? This was another boat at the show. The same dealer.

Here is a better photo. Port side.

Here is the starboard side. Look at the tapelines. The person that did this job was looking for a quick way out, by not blending it into the original finish. It takes a lot of work to blend it in. Now if you where buying this boat, you would know work was done to it. But if you look at my work you couldn’t tell. I had many manufacturers tell me how good my work is, and I’ve done many jobs for them.

This is the inside of a boat that someone else install a bow thruster on. See the Lumps; See the holes in the bulkhead?

This photo you can see how he left the foam in the compartment, also see how crooked the cut is on the liner. I consider this type of work unacceptable. Why I say this is that if you try to sell this boat you will lose money with sloppy work like this, and also a Safety factor.

Everything cover up with bottom paint. You can hide many imperfections with bottom paint.