Adding a stern thruster with wireless joysticks for complete vessel control - Sideshift Bow Thrusters and Stern Thrusters
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Those fortunate enough to have a bow thruster already know how valuable they can be. With simple and accurate positioning of the bow the stress of docking is reduced, helping everyone on board feel more at ease. Bow thrusters are so useful we often become reliant on them. At least I do.

A graphic saying "Sorry for what I said while docking the boat".

For maximum control over vessel position, a stern thruster is an excellent addition to any boat,  especially one with significant windage. Bow and stern thrusters operating in tandem with dual joysticks provide the ultimate control, allowing one to rotate the boat 360 degrees, or slide sideways towards or away from a dock with ease.  

Adding a stern thruster to a boat with an existing bow thruster couldn’t be easier thanks to  Sideshift’s modern wireless joysticks that are fully compatible with all factory bow thrusters. 2.4  GHz Bluetooth provides 100 plus feet of range – even through steel enclosures – allowing  Sideshift’s wireless joysticks to be installed or retrofitted at the helm, often utilizing existing control wires!

Sideshift’s elegant dual joystick design provides single handed control of both bow and stern thrusters. Far better than with push button controls, both side-to-side and rotational maneuvers can be performed while the captain’s attention remains focused on the dock or target mooring. 

Black and white Sideshift joysticks.

Installation is quite easy making for a great DIY project. It is often possible to tap into the existing bow thruster joystick control wires at the helm. Most existing legacy joysticks can then be removed completely for a clean install of the Sideshift wireless dual joystick into the existing joystick cut-out. Joystick faceplates are even available in black or white to help provide the best match possible at the helm. 

Wireless receivers are mounted closer to the thrusters, eliminating the need for long cable runs between the joystick controller and receivers. These Bluetooth receivers are small, about 2.5” x  2.5” x 1”. As such they can be placed almost anywhere. If new wires are needed, the runs are short, saving time and expense. 


Sideshift has even pre-packaged a special Dual Joystick Kit for those that want to control an existing bow thruster with a new Sideshift stern thruster. Not only are these kits compatible with all bow thruster brands, they also feature a wireless remote that enables key fob control of both bow and stern thrusters from anywhere on the boat! Imagine crew stationed at the bow or stern with a  bird’s eye view of the dock able to control lateral position or even slow a  leeward approach. Those handling dock lines can also use this key fob to control the gap between the boat and dock before stepping on or off.   

Sideshift key fob

With wireless joystick controllers, adding stern thruster capability to any boat, even if already equipped with a bow thruster is easier than ever! With kits available for boats from 25 to 70  feet in length, Sideshift has you covered. Take the stress out of boating and simplify your docking today!

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