Houseboat Steering - Bow Stern Thrusters, or use Twin Rudders?
Houseboat bow stern thrusters, or twin steering rudders?
I'm looking at houseboat steering, and I use bow and stern thrusters now, but thinking about installing twin rudders to steer?
My family and I have recently purchased a 16x75 homebuilt houseboat. The orginal owner did a fine job, but my only concern is that the only steering is (2) 250 lb thrusters mounted in pipes through the hull in the bow and stern.
The 160hp mercruiser is basically used for forward and reverse thrust. I recently had a survey done just for my peace of mind, and also help me get insurance.
The houseboat has a steel hull that is flat, and it was suggested to me to add a keel, and possibly 2 rudders instead of using the thrusters.
What is your opinion, and how are the large houseboats steering designed?
My other concern is they are battery powered, and if the batteries die than I am just a sitting duck.
Thanks for any help, Allen. Reply - Answer
Well Allen, welcome to the houseboat forums, and congratulations on purchasing a houseboat.
In reference to your question about how steering rudders are designed for large houseboats. Depending on the propulsion system, outboard, I/O, or inboard
If we look at inboard propulsion systems, they are usually single or twin rudders, and use a hydraulic, mechanical, or cable system, and the hydraulic piston steering system being the most popular.
As you are using electric bow and stern thrusters to steer a large houseboat (not a popular method), you definitely want to be sure that you have huge amounts of charging capacity available to keep the thruster batteries charged.
If I were you, I wouldn't plan on taking it out long ride on it's maiden run, because like you said, totally discharged batteries would mean you would most likely need to drop anchor.
I am sure that this post will bring other houseboaters that have had, or that are in similar situations to share tips, ideas, or comments. If you end up installing rudders, do take some pictures and share them with our houseboat community.Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat steering and rudder experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats
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