The bow thruster installed on my fifty-foot Gibson Cabin Yacht is performing well and has made a great difference in our enjoyment of the vessel.
San Antonio, Texas
Ernest Pregent SS230 installed on a Rinker 260
I bought recently a Sideshift bow thruster for my Rinker 260 (2009).
I had a sailboat for the last 30 years, but since I changed to a single engine motorboat in 2009...nightmares when even thinking about returning to my dock.
Took me 2 years to read comments, to review DVDs on single engine steering.... and evaluate if I would install a thruster...if I would select your external thruster...or simply sell the boat to save what was left of my ego.
The installation was done by Marina Port-Lewis ( very professional, took a few hours), and my first test was to come out of a very secluded area between boats and dock with a good wind with this new thruster and no real practice.... EURECA !
Same sensation for the entry to my dock in my marina (Valleyfield).
In summary, and I will describe it in french :efficace, fiable, solide et parfait pour redonner confiance .
Why did I wait 2 years to install this thruster....I am still asking myself.
For readers of this comment...I am not link in anyway with commercial interest. I am just a very impressed and happy customer.
Lasse Marine Trader 34\' 20000lbs
After extensive research I ended up buying the Sideshift stern thruster for my 34’ Marine Trader. Now I can say it was a good decision. It may be hard to believe, but the installation of the thruster, control box, and batteries took only about three hours – two man team. The joystick took about an hour because of a very convoluted way to the bridge. The great detail is that there are no holes needed below the waterline. A couple of days ago I had a good day to test the thruster. Twenty to twenty five miles per hour wind was straight against my port side, pushing the boat against the dock. My draft is 3’ 8” but the stern moved softly and nicely. What a “silent” and nice powerhouse! For somebody planning to install the thruster as DIY, I’d like to say the only challenging thing is to find the right battery cables. Go immediately to a professional place. The usual shops try to sell you cables that are too thin. Thanks again to Mark, for a good product and excellent customer service.
Lasse J Paivola
Docking a 27 foot single screw Cruiser was often an adventure when there was a stiff breeze or a slight current.
The first time I saw the demo of the SIDESHIft Thruster I knew that could be my answer.
I have now boated for an entire season with a SHIDESHIFT bow truster and docking, even in unfamiliar slips, is no longer itimidating.
Great product. Highly recommend it.
Thank you for your advice, prompt service, and to Side Shift for providing an easily installed, professional looking Stern Thruster that really works quietly and effectively on my 50 ft. boat.
Thanks again to you, and the Side Shift Team for a wonderful product and staff.
Marty Bishop, Imagine This, West Palm Beach, Florida
Installed the front bow thruster on a Glastron GS259 cruiser.
Its a single engine inboard and always had problems with the wind blowing my bow especially at the dock.
Installation was easy but if you have a trailer the front bunks are in the way. I had to move the front bunks out so I can get the boat on the trailer without ripping the truster off the boat.
When we first tried it out it was windy at the dock and normally I can't back out half way before the wind starts to turn the bow 180 degrees and I would have to recorrect a number of times. As soon as it started to turn me I used the the truster for a few seconds to straighten out. It also elimated help from others to safely dock it by letting the truster do the work and not having to worry about someone getting hurt or damaging the boat or the bow rails. The things that you can do with the trusters relieve the stress and all I could say is WOW! it is definetly worth it and makes the day so much better. :)Couldn't be happier with this product. The customer service is outstanding. I called them multiple times and they always had the answers and very helpful.
got my thruster early this year..put it on my bayliner 2355 while it was in the water..it was a bit hard to drill the holes as the drill was almost in the water..but the rest was easy..its so good and easy to use..money very well spent..makes boating a pleasher...boating on uk rivers
Finally got my boat back from drydock. The stern thruster I installed is unbelievable and works great. It really makes docking easy.
ST340 Stern Thruster installed on a 34 foot Marine Trader
Mark, launched the houseboat this past tuesday. The thrusters worked perfectly. Rand took it back to his dock and got in with no issues, he was beyond happy. Thanks for all the help.
The Winds of Cold Springs Harbor Marina
Mike Ridley ST340 Installed on a 36' Rinker Express Cruiser
Over the years I have had the privilege of operating a wide range of boats from 10 feet to 63 feet and pride myself at being pretty good at the helm around the docks. After installing the ST340 Stern Thruster on my 36 foot express cruiser I was quite impressed with the performance of the thruster. Backing down on a slip is now a snap and pulling up into the wind on a dock is greatly enhanced. Working with the thruster and the twin inboards allows me to walk the boat sideways. Quite impressive.
As for the install, it really can be a DIY project. The instructions were easy to follow and only basic tools and skills were required. Well done.
Producer and Host
Just a short note to express my appreciation concerning the acquisition and installation of both my SS350 Bow Thruster and ST350 Stern Thruster. You personal time that was afforded me at your facility in Ottawa as well as complete and comprehensive discussion concerning installation and use of the thrusters was enlightening and was paramount in me reaching the decision to go with your product.
Needless to say I am not sorry for my decision. The thrusters work exceptionally well and have made docking and maneuvering my 41 foot Gibson Mono-Hull House Cruiser a breeze. Initially I had my doubts as to actually requiring the stern thruster, especially since I have twin engines but time after time I have found the stern thruster extremely helpful when positioning my vessel in a confined space.
Thanks for all your time and patience, your product is worth every penny and have the folks at our marina wondering how a vessel like mine can move sideways, into the wind and onto the dock with so much ease !!!
Kip and Diane Powick
SS340 Fresh Bow Thruster
and ST340 Stern Thruster Set with Dual Joystick installed on a 34 foot 1968 Nautiline Housecruiser
"Your thrusters have made my summer cruising a wonderful experience. Received many compliments as I dock or go through the Trent. Many Thanks. "
Two years ago I purchased a Sideshift model SS230S bow thruster for my 29' Cruisers Yachts. I am a fairly new boater but dreaded docking, especially when the wind or currents pushed the bow around. I am on the ocean in Washington State and love to travel to the many destinatons like the San Juan Islands. I have the confidence now to try just about any docking situation thanks to the Sideshift bow thruster. I would recommend this product to anyone with or without boating experiance. The stress relief has made my boating much moe enjoable and safer as well.
Boat Name: Happi-Ness
Boat Year: 1999
Boat Type: sport cruiser
Boat Make: Bayliner
Boat Model: 2859
Thruster Type: SS230S
Review of the product:
Operation: Outstanding. Far exceeded expectations. Docking was a pinball game before installing this bow thruster. Now its a non event. There was no learning curve. We're in a very tight marina with little space to maneuver. I took lessons, but still had problems and concerns to the point where I wasn't using the boat.
Without doubt, the SideShift Bow and Stern Thrusters have changed boating for me. Docking is effortless, even with strong side wind. We even took the boat all the way to Manhattan and went well over 50 locks and docked in all sorts of conditions, some of which I don’t think I could have done without the Side Shifts period, let alone stress free.... Spectacular!!
I installed the unit in a day with the boat in the water. The instructions were comprehensive & easy to follow. The following week we had a holiday on the boat; this was the first test of the Sideshift. It has transformed a rather unwieldy cruiser which was easily blown off course by the wind or badly affected by river currents into a boat that can be maneuvered with great accuracy at the touch of a button. When the Sideshift is used in conjunction with the 'paddle wheel' effect of the prop, the boat can actually be moved sideways. Our boat was always poor to handle when going astern, again due to the paddle wheel effect; but now a short burst with the Sideshift to straighten up the bow is all that is required to go back in a straight line.
Previously my wife did not like to go out in the boat when the weather was windy, now, no problems at all - confidence all round. My wife was a little reluctant to spend £2k on a bow thruster, she thought it was just a gimmick or another toy; she is a definite convert.
The unit I purchased was the SS230 which is recommended for boats from 20-30ft, our Seamaster 30 is obviously at the upper limit but the unit copes admirably, only short bursts being required to alter course. I would recommend the Sideshift to anyone, easy to fit as a DIY job & it will transform the boat's handling, builds
confidence, reduces scratches on the hull & wait till you see the look on
other people’s faces when you maneuver into tight places.
All the best, Steve
30' Larson Cabrio 274
Boating Experience: 30 Years
Time since SideShift Install: 1 Month
I can't believe how much difference this bow thruster makes when docking our boat. Granted it was a lot of money (between the actual bow thruster cost and the marina's charge to install it) but worth every dime!
Our marina always seems to have an off-shore breeze blowing and by slip required me to lay the boat against the wind, not a pretty site with another 30 footer beside me, the bow always seemed to blow out. My wife has bad knees and can't jump onto the dock to assist when we return.
Now I look like a professional docking, in fact I have received complements from other boaters on my docking skills.
Your Name: Rob Dekam
Boat Name: Meant To Be
Boat Length: 26ft
Boat Year: 1977
Boat Type: Cruiser
Boat Make: Tollycraft
Boat Model: Sedan
Thruster Type: ST340 Stern Thruster Salt Rev2
Review of the product:
Your product was highly recommended to us as a must have as my wife and I would never boat long on single shaft power. We chose to get the stern thruster after our difficulty and stress anchoring last year, mostly docking in un-familiar marina's in challenging spots on windy days, causing my wife to prefer not to go for a cruise by ourselves if breezy.
After our first time out with the newly installed thruster, we could not wipe the smile off our faces. We backed out of our slip, gave the thruster two short shots and we were good. Before with a single V-Drive we had to go reverse and forward a few times to turn using the torque of the shaft, and in wind it was not uncommon to have my wife stressfully monitoring and pushing off docks and adjacent boats with the pole. Our first trip out we enjoyed docking and leaving among other boats on a government wharf just for fun, and then easily moored back into our slip using the thruster to turn in and then push the stern against our dock. We enjoyed anchoring by easily rotating the boat in one spot to anchor in the direction we wanted. The torque of the thruster effortlessly moves our stern left and right, offsets the push of wind against our canvas, lets us back up straight and turn against the torque of our shaft drive at slow speed.
Your service and product is great and the install went smooth, thank you! We now look forward to going out more and coming back every time, and no longer mind people watching us dock, I look like I know what I'm doing now!
My husband, Victor Pizzey very recently ordered and received a stern thruster from your company. We have a 26' Tollycraft with a single engine and V-drive, as does our friend who has been encouraging us to install one for some time as he is so satisfied with his. An additional dedicated battery and the needed wiring took place last week. This morning, with the sun shining, the boat was hauled for the installation of the thruster. Everything went smoothly with no unexpected problems. It took only 3 hours from haul out to re-launch. But the most impressive part was docking! Our slip is difficult to get in and out of.......not any more!! The thruster responded just as hoped....and there was no learning curve. Thank you for developing such a fine product. Though my husband is an experienced operator, wind and current can cause problems, especially for boat with a single motor....but no more! I look forward to a much less stressful boating season, docking and departing our home marina as well as the numerous marinas we visit.
Carol Pizzey, first mate
I installed an SS340F on my 1984 newly remodeled, 42' Gibson houseboat as I have a single I/O engine. The boat has been out of the water, but launched on 3/12/2010. When I docked for the first time 15 or 20 people were watching the "new" houseboat coming to its new slip. I saw many jaws drop when I hit the joystick and precisely guided the housebaot into the slip. I had at least 4 or 5 people ask where I got the thruster. All weekend I had other boaters stop by and want to see the bow thruster.
Tom Clark - Lake Conroe, Texas
I recently bought a 30' Canmar Commander with bow and stern thrusters. While I didn't think they would be needed on a twin diesel with outdrives, I am amazed at how useful they are and how much easier they make all the "fine tuning" steering corrections while at slow speeds (1-3 knots). They are always "on" and ready to help and they contribute zero drag whenever the boat is up on plane.
Kudos to Sideshift for an outstanding product.
Port Orchard, Washington
Your Name: Charles Brunner
Boat Name: Hafa Adai
Boat Length: 34’
Boat Year: 1981
Boat Type: Trawler
Boat Make: Mainship
Boat Model: Mk-1 (Trawler)
Thruster Type: ST-340
Review of the product: The unit worked exactly as advertised, which is exactly what I wanted. The installation took about 5 hours; the directions were clear and the installation straightforward (providing you do a little planning on battery placement beforehand). I have now used the unit for a little over a month in various boating conditions and find that all boat handling tasks are much easier and less stressful on the captain (me) and crew (my wife).
P.S. Please Thank Mark Houle for me, the information he provided was key in my decision to purchase your product.
Dave Anderson Newburgh, Ont
I thought you might be interested in this message that I sent to Eric Sorensen of Soundings magazine after I read his article in the November issue. I hope he takes my prompt to do a feature on your great product.
I enjoyed your article on docking power boats in the November 2009 Soundings magazine. I noticed that although you applaud the use of bow and stern thrusters, you mentioned that their use can unfortunately draw attention to the skipper because of the distinctive noise that they make. I think we have all been startled by the typical grinding of a thruster in a quiet marina basin. You said that you wished there was a model that was quiet, so that it would not draw attention to itself.
Perhaps you have not heard of “Sideshift” thrusters. They are virtually silent, with the only sound being that of the water rippling on the surface. I have installed Sideshift thrusters on both bow and stern of my Heritage East 36 and have often been amused by the reaction of people on the dock as they try to figure out how I am moving sideways. There are no tell-tale “coffee grinder” sounds to give my secret away. The Heritage has a lot of windage and the Sideshift thrusters give me a great deal of confidence on approaching a dock in an uncooperative breeze.
The “Sideshift” is a Canadian product, developed and manufactured in Ottawa, Ontario. The manufacturer ships their thrusters internationally. Both bow and stern models are mounted externally with no large holes cored in the hull, only ½” diameter for wiring and bracket bolt. They are significantly cheaper than most traditional, through hull thrusters, and I installed them myself with standard hand tools in about a day each, including wiring
If you would like more information about Sideshift thrusters, you can check them out at www.sideshift.ca. You may even decide to do an article on this versatile product. More boaters should know about them. Installing them on my boat was probably the best upgrade I could have chosen to date.
I fitted front and rear thrusters to our 3700 Sunrunner 19 months ago. I am very impressed with the way in which they work, so much so, that if I had known how well they worked I would have only installed the front thruster as this gives great manouvrability itself. I would highly recommend Sideshift as an easier and cheaper alternative to making a hole in the hull. They truly work brilliantly.
I have wanted to buy and live on a 42 to 50 foot houseboat for years but I wanted one I could actually cruise on, however the thought of the difficulty of turning those big houseboats in a wind and in confined areas stopped me from doing it. I don't want to live on a boat confined to a dock. Your Sideshift seems like the perfect product to let me go ahead with my dream.
We just got back from a three week cruise in the San Juan Islands and the thruster worked flawlessly and helped me get in and out of a lot of moorages. Thank you fro making a wonderful product at a reasonable price. We like the product enough that we tell everyone we run into about it. If you need anyone to represent the product down in Puget Sound let us know. Jack and Judy in Gig Harbor
Rich Pender Burnaby, BC
I installed your ST340 stern thruster on my Bayliner 3388 about a year ago. Wow, what a difference. The look on peoples' faces when it appears I have magical powers placing the boat at a dock still entertains us no end. We were even thinking of re-naming the boat No Drama.
I have little or no fear in docking in tight or windy places. I just have to remind myself to use it and my wife says she just sits on the bow and watches. I never considered how much safer it is especially for her. She is in the most dangerous position on the boat during docking and no longer has to reach, grab, push or pull anything.
The thruster works well and the installation went relatively smooth. I did it myself and had to manufacture a mounting platform for my specific application.
Bob Toves Manotick, Ontario
I purchased a Sideshift bow thruster for my 35 foot Silverton Motor Yacht, I have never felt more in control, even in windy conditions it is stress free. This is an excellent product, easy to install and very powerful!!
INSTALLED A BOW THRUSTER AND JOY STICK. EVERYTHING WENT VERY WELL...
James Columbus, Ohio
Love your product. Thanks
Mark LeBrun Maryland, USA
The Bow Thruster is making a big hit at the marina... I can handle the boat single handed with wind or current. The installation is a breeze!
Garry Norfolf, NY
installed a Sideshift "SS340" on my boat this year and I am very pleased with the results. The instructions provided were good. The unit was packaged and delivered as promised. I would recommend this product to anyone wishing to have better control of their boat when docking or just manoeuvring in the wind. I am open to anyone who wishes to contact me about this product and the installation. Feel free to share my e-mail with prospective customers.
Ed Kingston, Ontario
Hi Steve, I have been using Sideshift for the last 3 weeks and my stress level has been reduced by 90% both in docking and leaving the dock. The installation went well.
Mike Lockport, NY
Wow, does this thing work. I got the boat in the water on Saturday. I was on the Niagara River with a brisk breeze of approximately 11 mph and with a current. The product spun the boat around on a dime. Just a slight touch on the switch was enough to bring an immediate response to the bow thruster. Docking was for the first time easy for me. I did not hit or bump into a thing. I am the first person in my area with a bow thruster and I expect a lot of conversations over the next few weeks about it. The installation process was very easy. Thanks again for all your help.
Just a line to thank you and your team I received my order and have checked everything was as per invoice, I am very pleased with the items and the build quality of the goods just need to get them fitted onto my cruiser now and will be in contact with you as to there performance, I have had quite a response from various motor cruiser people here regarding your product hope to be in touch with you regarding this soon.
Yours Sincerely Ed Wilkie.
Paul & Kerry
We recently purchased a new 55' Gibson Cabin Yacht. This vessel weighs 33,000 lbs; has over 800 sq ft of sail area; and draws only 2' 8"of water. It goes without saying, that even in the slightest wind, this vessel is dramatically affected. Additionally owning a large boat with a crew that consists of only myself and my wife, it is necessary to have our vessel perform well in all conditions. Just envision being in a 20 knot crosswind trying to turn 55' of boat into our slip from a 75' wide lagoon! Well we have those conditions, and on a regular basis. Due to the incredible responsiveness of our Sideshift Bow Thruster, manoeuvring our Gibson into our slip is effortless and stress-free!
In addition to our being completely satisfied with our Sideshift Bow Thruster, the residents and staff at the marina are also amazed as to how easily we can manoeuvre our boat. About a month ago, a very strong wind that no one expected kicked up in the afternoon. Four large boats (Some having "Traditional" thrusters) came in and all required the marina staff to help them get into their slips. When we came in, everyone ran to help us, and then just stood there as we manoeuvred into our slip with no outside assistance! Everyone was impressed! More recently, we were leaving the fuel dock in a strong crosswind. The dock attendant stated "A 55' boat going sideways into this wind, that's just not right". That says it all about Sideshift!!
Purchasing our Sideshift Bow Thruster was the best investment we made for our boat, and it was easy to install. We never will be without having a Sideshift Thruster on any vessel we own!
Great product Sideshift! Should you or any customers considering a Sideshift Thruster require any additional information, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Paul & Kerry
Used my unit for real for the first time getting back into the slip yesterday evening. There was hardly any wind, but it was effortless nonetheless. Response is immediate, and 3 or 4 second bursts were all that was required. It is a great product.
We have now reached the Mediterranean from England and I thought you would like to know that the Sideshift was fantastic! It has had very heavy use and worked perfectly until the very last stretch when I think I finally burnt out a motor.
As you said, the drag was immeasurably small, certainly less than 5% drop in speed both sailing the 100 miles across the channel to Le Havre and motoring for 1,332 km through France. It is also much easier to keep clean than a conventional tunnel thruster. A plastic bag got jammed round one spindle in Paris and I could free it from the quay. Despite all the logs and debris from the Seine floods, that was the only time it was necessary.
The Sideshift really came into its own in the 174 locks and the narrow, shallow canals between the Seine and the Rhone. We had the mast laid along the length of the boat just before the first Seine bridge at Rouen. It stuck out six feet over both the bow and the stern making fine control in the locks both more important and, of course, more difficult with only two of us. Yet despite all the turbulence from sluice gates and commercial boats we didn't swing into anybody and even the masthead light is still working perfectly.
To avoid big commercial barges we were able to reverse into small slots near the bank or turn in our own length. In the past we couldn't make this old boat steer backwards without lots of ropes, people and bad language! Now we have found that we can even use the morse, helm and sidethruster together to actually move the boat sideways to get off windward lock walls without scraping. In the very shallow canals, whenever we were aground we used it to twist us from side to side to find deeper water...
And the Sideshift is so quiet that onlookers think that all this is simply brilliant helming on my part! I suppose I should have told them...
My name is Herb Deane-Freeman I just purchased and installed a Sideshift 340 stern thruster on my 26 ft Tolly Craft with a V drive and single engine. I have been searching for years for the perfect thruster, well I can honestly say I found it in your product, fantastic manouvering that I never had before, everything you say about your thruster is true and then some. I have just returned from a 10 day cruise up Jervis and Princess Louisa inlets, anchoring and rafting in winds, rafting to a anchored boat used to be a real challenge ,now easy My boating buddies were impressed so you will probable get some inquiries from this neck of the woods. Thank you for a great product.
Sir Anthony Jolliffe GBE
I have got the bowthruster fitted on my 29ft crownline and it is fantastic I cannot explain how pleased I am with it. I can put the boat anywhere even in a strong wind.
Charles and Cyndi Crain
Overall, the product is a great one. It allows more confident and less eventful docking even with stronger winds. It is used every time I go out. I would recommend it without reservation.
Thanks again, Charles and Cyndi Crain
Some months ago my son and I installed your stern thrusters on my 72 foot Viking. Last week we returned from a Bahamas trip and after using them under all conditions I just can not say enough good things about them. Because of the boat`s length many of the marinas are rather congested and difficult to either enter or leave, not with my thrusters tho, just nothing to it. My admiration of your sideshift thrusters knows no bounds. All I could think of while executing difficult maneuvers was the things are so good it is a wonder they are not illegal. Many thanks for a great product.
Took the boat out again and put it back in the slip with no problems. People on the docks are amazed. With only 11 inches on each side and 60 feet long, the side shift makes docking safe and easy.
Sideshift on 60 foot Destination Yacht
I've only had the boat for a couple of weeks but already look like a pro when backing into docks. Actually did it single handed on the weekend.
SS230 on 26 foot Cruiser.
Vic MacQuarrie Maple Bay, B.C.
Just a note to say I just finished installing the SS340 on my boat MV Tierlach, a 41 foot Jenkins here in Maple Bay. I haven't had a chance to try it out at sea yet, but it sure moves the stern from side to side at the dock. Installation was very easy, in fact I didn't have to haul the boat, I installed it from my inflatable Zodiac right at the dock!!
I haven't got any pictures yet, but let me know if you would like me to email you copies when I do.
Excellant piece of machinery!!!
Thank you very much, the stern thruster is working well for our Mainship 400.
Questions answered from a Sidehift Owner
1 - maintenance (how long you have had the sideshifter and how it has worked)
I installed the SS350 in June of this year, so far absolutely no maintenance. Performance has been excellent.
2 - size of your sailboat and how it works
My boat is a 48 foot, full keel blue water cruiser with very high gunwales, she pushes the scales at just over 20 tonnes. Getting in and out of the marina with the bow thruster has been great!! Despite the full keel and free board, it works great even with a strong cross wind. I have a very tight slip to get in and out of. We used to use a big fender and "bounce" off of a piling to line up, now we just slide in sideways without any effort
3 - do you have a bow or stern thruster?
Bow only, the SS350
4 - any drag issues?
None at all. The other day we were undersail making about 7 knots and you couldnt even tell the thruster was there. I even went out on the bow pulpit to look down at it, nada!! Big ole bone in her teeth but no evidince of the thruster!!
5 - anything else i should know i havent asked about?
I dont know?? I really love the thing and the simplicity of it! I was quoted $14,000 USD for a traditional tunnel hull thruster. And that was just the thruster and the labor, none of the extras (batteries, wire, etc) I think my total install cost of the Sideshift was around $5000 and I did it myself with the boat in the water. I also like the fact that I dont have a 4inch hole running through my hull below the water line!
Jack & Judy
Got the thruster on the "Baby Grand" Trying to get it ready for a 3 week cruise to San Juan Islands. Tried it at the dock and it works like a charm so I think its going to be the cat's meow. Thanks for everything.
Jack and Judy in Gig Harbor.
32' Grand Banks Woodie
Name : Baby Grand
ST340 Stern Thruster
So far I cannot imagine owning a boat of this size or larger without the Sideshift.
The first time I used the joystick I was hooked. I have to keep reminding myself to use because there are so many applications. I am becoming spoiled and have no reservation about docking anywhere in any weather...
24' Chaparral Signature 240
Named: Water Wark
SS230 Bow Thruster
I am just emailing you to tell how great the bow thruster works. Since when I installed it at the beginning of the season, I can back into any slip, in any conditions. I think now I can dock the boat myself with no one on board. I am now enjoying my boat.
SS230F Bow Thruster
I am now entering my second season with the Sideshift Stern Thruster. It may be of interest to other to hear about the equipment when it is beyond new. After one and a half seasons going, I pulled my 40 ft boat for its scheduled inspection. The entire equipment from Sideshift looked as new with the exception of the sacrificial zincs which were consumed down with about 60% remaining. Several regular marine stores I checked do not stock them. As this equipment appears to require very little maintenance, it is very easy to forget to check its zincs. As they are readily accessible, they may be changed while the boat is in the water. Consequently, it may be advisable that a spare set of zincs be added to the initial purchase. In some areas, the zincs will be consumed faster than in others. After one replacement one is in a better position to determine the replacement cycle. It goes without saying that the Sideshift equipment is the level of quality and durability that makes boating safe and pleasurable. I only wish manufacturers of the other equipments in a boat would achieve the same level of durability.
Hi Steve, I have a 34', 12' 8" beam Silverton express that weighs approx. 16,500 lbs and it works like a charm. It is best investment we made for our boat. It is amazing how easy it is moves the boat. It was easy to install. Our neighbours at our dock are amazed how easily we dock and how the bow just swings against dock like nothing. We have a tight docking space and went from a 26' boat to 34' and the transition has been easy with the help of the bow thruster. We don't think we would ever be without it now that we have had one. When we are on plane the thruster is out of the water. You place it 3 inches below the waterline when installing it. I am able to dock the boat by myself without any one else on board. It gives us real piece of mind. We tighten the screw to the bow after using it for a couple of months. There are alot of boaters who are real curious about it when they see it on the front of our boat. I have enclosed a photo of it on our boat. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us.
Last year, we upsized our boat from a 32 foot twin I/O to a 49 foot Holiday Mansion with twin V-Drives. This new boat has a large full enclosure on the fly bridge and the design of the boat has a very minimal skag, so the boat moves around a lot in any type of wind. Prior to purchasing this boat, I felt I was a very competent captain and could handle any docking situation with ease. Last year after purchasing our new boat, I dreaded leaving the slip even for a pump out, because of the difficulty in docking and bringing it into the slip. Other boaters on the dock got a great kick out of this, and found it necessary to help us into the dock every time we left. This spring, prior to launching, I installed the 340HD Sideshift Bow Thruster. From the moment the boat hit the water, there was a phenomenal difference. Bringing the boat to the dock, even the first time, was a breeze. Last weekend, we took the boat out and when we returned to the dock, we had a cross wind of about 35mph. The boat walked in sideways, using the bow thruster and the engines, without a problem. The comments on the dock have definitely changed, and I feel much more confident of my abilities as well as the boat. I would never have another boat without a Sideshift.
Captain David S. Burnstine (Steve)
Your bow thruster is now an important tool in the "Rescue for Hire" business. With wind and wave action I can hold position while I throw a stranded boater a line, wait for them to hook up, and then I am ready to go. ---- More important - on a grounder, I can only get so close, the bow thruster lets me hold position while the grounded boater walks to my boat, gets the line, walks back to their boat, hook up, and I am in position, ready to go. With out it, sometimes I would have to pay out an additional 300+ feet of line just to get back in position. The thruster is great and a great labor saver for me. -- thanks -- Steve
I purchased a Sideshift in December. The product is working great. Sideshift is the talk of the marina. No one has ever seen anything like it before. This is a great product!