Side-Power SEP Thruster and Joystick Control Panel
Starting at $5,000; www.imtra.com
Recently, I had the opportunity to dock a Princess V72 stern-to using Side-Power’s new SEP thruster system with Joystick Control Panel. And while the actual back-down went conventionally enough, the helm-mounted joystick panel (for the boat’s Side-Power bow and stern thrusters) greatly facilitated tie-up, thanks to the way you can adjust power levels proportionally. By hitting the “hold” function on the joystick panel, I discovered I could pin the boat gently against her fenders and keep her there with just enough power. Once that was done, I could then take my time helping with mooring lines. And furthermore, with a crosswind or crosscurrent in effect, I think you could input (and then in some situations momentarily forget about) just the right level of power to keep “the nose up,” as we boat handlers say, while you’re backing down. To upgrade an older, two-thruster Side-Power on/off system costs between $5,000 and $6,000. The system’s also available as an option on a variety of new boats.