FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Shipping
  • How much does it cost to ship a thruster to the United States or Canada?

We use FedEx Ground to ship to the States and Purolator to ship within Canada. Each thruster costs $130.00 to ship.

  • What is the shipping weight and dimensions?

All Bow and Stern Thrusters are shipped individually in a 29"x23"x13" box and weigh between 50-57LBS.

Operation
  • Is SIDESHIFT easy to use?

Yes, Sideshift's quiet bow and stern thrusters are very easy to use. Just toggle left or toggle right on the joystick for operation. It can't get any easier then that!

  • Does the motor pivot to push the boat the other way?

No, the thruster motor stays in a fixed position. The propellers reverse in direction to push the boat in either direction.

  • How long can you run a SIDESHIFT?

Sideshift bow and stern thrusters have a maximum run time of 30 seconds with a 10 second cool down.

Maintenance
  • What do I do for maintenance?

Change the anodes once per year to protect your investment from corrosion. Ensure that the air line is in good condition and secured in a dry location. Ensure that the bow and stern thruster mounts are properly secured to the boat and tighten any loose fasteners. As required or when you repaint the hull, paint unit with anti-fouling paint... That's it!

Installation
  • How deep should I install the unit into the water?

Your SIDESHIFT thruster must be installed with the top of the propellers five inches below the water surface.

  • What is the airline for and where does it go?

The airline is vent for the thruster motor. Please ensure that it is in good condition and that it is secured in a dry location inside the boat.

  • Do I have to take my boat out of the water to install a SIDESHIFT bow or stern thruster?

No, SIDESHIFT thrusters can be installed while your boat is still in the water since all the mounting locations are above the waterline. However, it is easier to install when your boat is out of the water.

  • How long does a SIDESHIFT take to install?

The average installation ranges from 6 to 10 hours. It only takes about an hour to install the thruster onto the boat. Most of the installation time is allotted to fishing wire from your motor controller to the joystick. Every boat is different and some installations will take a lot less time than others.

General
  • Does the thruster retract or deploy?

No, our thrusters do not retract or deploy. They rise out of the water out of the water when the boat planes on planing type hulls.

  • What about large waves hitting the bow thruster?

Sideshift thrusters are ruggedly manufactured using high quality cast aluminum, extruded aluminum and stainless steel components. Boats that are used in rough water should add checking to ensure all points of installation are secure on a regular basis as part of there maintenance program.

  • Can I install the thruster myself?

Yes, Sideshift thrusters were designed with the DIY'er in mind. With basic mechanical skills and a little bit of electrical system knowledge, you can easily install your own Sideshift.

  • Are Sideshift thrusters installed permanently or can I remove it?

Sideshift thrusters are a permanent mount. However, they can be removed and reinstalled on your next boat. They can also add value to your boat if you sell it.

  • How noisy are Sideshift thrusters?

Sideshift thrusters work silently as we have no large holes through the hull. This eliminates the drag, vibration and noise usually associated with standard bow thrusters.

  • Can I still put my boat on a trailer after installing a bow or stern thruster?

Our bow and stern thrusters can be trailered for travel. Make sure that you to drive the trailer deep enough in the water so that the trailer does not touch the bow thruster.

  • Do you have a wireless joystick?

Yes, we have a wireless key-fob available. One key-fob can control both bow and stern thrusters. You will need one key-fob kit for each thruster.

  • I have an upper helm, can I install a joystick at both stations?

Yes, our motor controller is made for more than one joystick. You can purchase additional wired joysticks for your extra driving station or you can also choose to install a wireless key-fob controller so that you can control the thruster from any location on your boat.

  • Will the bow thruster work on a displacement hull?

Yes, the bow thruster will work on a displacement hull.

  • What kind of corrosion protection do SIDESHIFT bow and stern thrusters have?

Sideshift thrusters are protected with two part epoxy primer with two coats of anti-fouling paint. Each thruster comes installed with sacrificial anode protection.

  • What if I hit something?

Sideshift bow and stern thrusters are constructed from cast aluminum, extruded aluminum as well as stainless steel. If a boater was to hit an object hard enough to damage our unit; they would certainly damage their hull possibly worse than if the thruster wasn't installed at all. Most often Boaters collide with objects such as docks and other vessels when docking that's why Sideshift Bow and Stern Thrusters are a great addition for any pleasure craft operator!

  • What size of boat can SIDESHIFT handle?

SIDESHIFT can handle a variety of boat types and sizes. We have bow and stern thruster solutions for boats ranging in length 20-50 feet. Above 50 feet, some customers have installed two stern thruster boat boats up to 80 feet.

  • Do SIDESHIFT bow thrusters create much drag when my boat is on plane?

No, unlike traditional thru-hull thrusters, there is no drag with SIDESHIFT Bow and Stern Thrusters while the boat is on plane. Displacement or semi-displacement hulls create minimal drag as the thruster will still be in the water while underway. The drag is about the same as dragging your foot in the water.

Batteries
  • What gauge and length of cable should I use to connect power to the Motor Controller?

Our 340 units can run on max 40 feet at 2/O. The 350 units can run on max 50 feet at 2/O. Our 230 units can run on max 30 feet on 1/O. All amperage, voltage, duty and start-up/run amperage have been calculated and considered in the recommended cable length. All cable used must be high grade tin coated copper, marine grade cable. Cable ends must be high grade cast copper, tin coated compression type terminals with double wall heat shrink moisture protection.

  • How many batteries do I need?

SS230 require one 12V battery with 850 cold cranking amps in a parallel configuration. SS340ís and ST340ís require two 12V batteries with a total of 1700 cold cranking amps in a parallel configuration. SS350ís and ST350ís require two 12V batteries with a total of 1700 cold cranking amps in a series configuration.

  • What is the best type of battery to use for my thruster? Where do I put the thruster batteries?

The most important thing is meeting the required cold cranking amperes (CCA). Achieving high cranking amps is easier and more typical with a starting type battery vs. deep cycle. When choosing a location to install the batteries keep in mind the batteries need to be installed as close to the thruster as possible for optimum performance. If you are installing batteries in a non-vented area you will need to use AGM sealed batteries or sealed combination batteries. In vented areas you can install flooded starting type batteries or unsealed combination batteries.

  • Can I use the batteries from my windlass?

For the SS230 if the boat has windlass and the cabling is 1/0 in size the skipper may use this cabling as a power supply instead of a battery at the bow. The battery that is supplying the windlass must be at least 850 CCA. The SS230 draws 300 amps max so if there is fuses or breakers in line they must be able to meet that requirement. For the SS340 if the boat has windlass and the cabling is 2/0 in size the skipper may use this cabling as a power supply instead of a batteries at the bow. The batteries that is supplying the windlass must be at least 1700 CCA. The SS340 draws 550 amps max so if there is fuses or breakers in line they must be able to meet that requirement. All Sideshift motor controller's have built in breakers for its protection. We do not recommend using windlass batteries for our SS350 bow thruster.

  • How close should my batteries be to the thruster? How far away can they be?

Batteries should be installed as close as possible to the thruster. Battery cable should not be longer than thirty feet in length If you need to run long cables use good quality marine grade cable with correct gauge( SS230 1/0 marine battery cable, SS/ST340 and SS/ST350 2/0 marine battery cable) and good quality cable ends. The longer the battery cable the greater the potential for voltage drop and reduced performance.

  • Can I use my deep cycle battery bank?

We don't recommend Deep Cycle batteries for our application. However, if the correct cold cranking amps(CCA) is present this may be an option.

  • Can I use my existing batteries?

Existing batteries can be used as long as the batteries meet Sideshift's required cold cranking amps (CCA) and cabling size is adequate. Please remember it is always recommended that the batteries be as close to the thruster as possible.