On Sunday, July 12, let’s all plan to go boating.

Retractable Thrusters

The thruster’s stainless steel structure is tapered to reduce drag. Hidden Power

If you like the idea of getting maximum efficiency out of a thruster that extends beneath the bottom of your boat, but would prefer it be out of the way while running, check out a retractable thruster. It can be mounted at a boat’s bow or stern and retracts into the hull beneath a covering plate. Because a retractable thruster when deployed extends deeper into the water than a tunnel-style thruster, it also tends to exert more influence in cases where a tunnel type that’s closer to the water’s surface would ventilate. Some manufacturers of retractable thrusters are Max-Power (www.max-power.com), Side-Power (www.imtra.com), and Vetus (www.vetus.nl). Retractable thrusters are generally more expensive than tunnel types with the Side-Power SR80/185T-12V starting at $11,300 on the IMTRA Web site. This particular thruster is designated for boats from 35 to 48 feet long.