Why Choose Sideshift bow stern thruster??
Does the thought of taking your boat out on the water on a windy day make you
more stressed out than excited? Are you using your boat less and less because of
your fear of docking? You are not alone.
Docking can be one of the most stressful experiences you will face as a boat
owner. Worrying about damaging your boat or your neighbours boat can turn a
beautiful day on the water into a stressful nightmare.
That’s where SideShift can help. Most of our customers purchase a SideShift
thruster system for one or more of the following reasons:
- I Want to Be Able to Park My Boat with Confidence: Slips
are getting tighter, and there are times when the wind just won’t cooperate.
- I Want to Stop Worrying about Damaging My Boat and My Neighbours
Boat: Our boats are major investments and I don’t want to risk
damage every time I want to go out on the water.
- I Want to Be Confident Exploring New Places: I bought my
boat so that I could explore new waters, but I need more precise control to
navigate unknown marinas and locks with confidence.
- I Want to Be Able to Dock in Any Condition: Windy
conditions make docking too unsafe for me to manage on my own or with my
- I Want My Boating to Be Fun, Including Docking: Boating
is fun, but docking is stressful and I’m tired of the anxiety that comes with
docking in difficult conditions.
Do any of these points hit close to home? Then a Sideshift thruster
system might be the perfect answer for you.
Why Sideshift Outperforms Other Docking Solutions
Sideshift bow and stern thrusters rely on a revolutionary design that places
the thrusters on the outside of the hull, rather than inside.
This unique design allows for quiet operation, better response and easy
installation, all at an affordable price that is unmatched by conventional
Sideshift bow and stern thrusters are mounted externally to your boat, Unlike
tunnel thrusters that have the motor mounted inside the hull producing
significant noise and vibration, Sideshift thrusters are silent and vibration
Sideshift thrusters’ external mounting position places our 8” aluminum
propellers in direct contact with the water, providing instant response when
seconds count. Conventional tunnel thrusters have to move water through a tube
or “tunnel” to provide thrust, which can delay response, wasting valuable
seconds in a critical docking situation. In addition, our external mounting
system places the thruster further forward or astern on the boat, which provides
a pivot-point advantage and more immediate response.
When you buy a bow or stern thruster from Sideshift, you’re dealing with the
industry pioneers behind external thruster technology. We help you every step of
the way to ensure that you get the right product, along with unlimited phone
support from our team of technical experts.
Our team at Sideshift has helped thousands of customers with every
kind of boat and installation requirement. You can contact our customer support
directly by phone any time.
Is Sideshift Right for Your Boat?
Sideshift’s bow and stern thruster systems are perfect for all boats between
20 and 60 feet in length.
Our bow and stern thrusters are particularly suited to:
- Sports Boats
- Pontoon Boats
Choosing the right bow and stern thruster is as easy as picking the product
that matches the length of your boat. And installation is so easy that it can be
done while your boat is still in the water!
How does Sideshift Compare to Tunnel Thrusters?
What would you say if we told you that you could get better response, silent
performance, less drag and a quicker install for up to 50% less money than
a tunnel thruster by purchasing a Sideshift thruster system?
When you choose Sideshift bow and stern thrusters, you get significantly
better performance than conventional tunnel thrusters, at up to half the cost.
Our thrusters have been proven to out-perform conventional tunnel thrusters,
while also being inexpensive and easy to install.
Want to read more about the Sideshift advantage over conventional
tunnel thrusters? Take a look at our comparison chart to learn how you can get
better performance for less with a Sideshift thruster system.
See How Sideshift Compares to Conventional Tunnel Thrusters
At Sideshift, we understand the decision to purchase a bow or stern thruster
needs careful consideration to ensure you have the best possible solution for
See the chart below to learn how Sideshift outperforms the competition. Our
results speak for themselves!
|Easy same-day installation
|No tunnel or holes below waterline
|In-water installation possible
|Virtually silent operation
|Zero drag when planing
|Pivot point advantage for optimal performance
|Prop-in-water design for greater responsiveness
|Canadian built to perform in heavy weather conditions
|Can be retrofitted to a future boat
|Virtually maintenance free
|2 Year Warranty
|Potential to void hull warranty
|Fits any type of boat – cruiser, trawler, cuddy, sailboat, pontoon or
|Typical installed cost for boats up to 60’
Total Installed Cost – Detailed Breakdown
|2.5hp – 7.5hp Thruster
|Installation – DIY
|Installation – Dealer
How do I Install Sideshift Thrusters?
Our thrusters mount easily using our unique, universal mounting system.
Virtually any V-shaped bow, pontoon or stern can be accommodated. And there are
no mounting holes required below waterline, eliminating any concerns about
potential leaks! Did you know that according to BoatUS Insurance, a full
44% of sinkings are a result of failed fittings below the waterline?
And, to make things even simpler, our thruster systems now come standard with
our wireless joystick technology, The included wireless joystick control offers
simple plug and play for the helm to motor controller connection, eliminating
the hassle of long wire-runs, and shaving hours off installation time.
Installing a Sideshift bow and stern thruster is so easy that you can do it
yourself in less than a day. Other thruster systems can cost thousands of
dollars to install and take up to a week to complete. Not Sideshift! Just follow
the easy, step-by-step instructions that are included with every kit to get your
boat out on the water faster. And we’re always available to provide phone
support if any questions come up.
Or, if you aren’t comfortable installing a Sideshift thruster yourself, you
can take it to your local marina or boatyard to let the professionals handle it.
Unlike tunnel thrusters which can cost thousands of dollars to install,
Sideshift thrusters can be installed for as little as $600-$800. Our thrusters
have been specifically designed for easy installation by any marine mechanic,
and as always, we’re available to speak with your installer if there are any
Is Sideshift easy to use?
Yes, Sideshift’s bow and stern thrusters are very intuitive and easy to
use. Just toggle left or toggle right on the joystick for operation. It
can’t get any easier than that!
Does the motor pivot to push the boat the
No, the thruster motor stays in a fixed position. The propellers reverse
in direction to push the boat left or right.
How long can you run a Sideshift?
Sideshift bow and stern thrusters have a maximum run time of 30 seconds
with a 10 second cool down. The immediate response means you will
typically run the thruster for only a few seconds at a time
What do I do for maintenance?
Change the anodes once per year to protect your investment from
corrosion. Ensure that the airline is in good condition and secured in a
dry location. Ensure that the bow and stern thruster mounts are properly
secured to the boat and tighten any loose fasteners. As required or when
you repaint the hull, paint the unit with anti-fouling paint… That’s it!
How deep should I install the unit into the
Your Sideshift thruster must be installed with the top of the propellers
five inches or deeper below the water surface.
What is the airline for and where does it go?
The airline serves as a vent for the thruster motor, to avoid pressure
build-up on the seals. Please ensure that the airline is in good
condition and is secured in a dry location inside the boat.
Do I have to take my boat out of the water to
install a Sideshift bow or stern thruster?
No, Sideshift thrusters can be installed while your boat is still in the
water since all the mounting locations are above the waterline. However,
it is easier to install when your boat is out of the water.
How long does a Sideshift take to install?
The average installation ranges from 5 to 8 hours depending on the size
and complexity of the interior wire runs.
Does the thruster retract or deploy?
No, our thrusters do not retract or deploy. They are permanently fixed
to the hull and rise out of the water when the boat planes, creating
What about large waves hitting the bow
Sideshift thrusters are ruggedly manufactured using high quality cast
aluminum, extruded aluminum and stainless steel components. Our unique
three point mounting system creates an extremely strong attachment to
the hull. Our bow thrusters have been used in some of the harshest
environments around the world. Boats that are used in rough water should
add checking to ensure all points of installation are secure on a
regular basis as part of their maintenance program.
Can I install the thruster myself?
Yes, Sideshift thrusters were designed with the DIY’er in mind. With
basic mechanical skills and a little bit of electrical system knowledge,
you can easily install your own Sideshift system. Every thruster kit
includes a detailed installation manual and unlimited phone support.
Installation video’s can be viewed at Sideshift.com
Are Sideshift thrusters installed permanently
or can I remove it?
Sideshift thrusters are a permanent mount. However, they can be removed
and reinstalled on your next boat. They can also add value to your boat
if you sell it.
How noisy are Sideshift thrusters?
Sideshift thrusters are silent and vibration-free since they are mounted
on the exterior of the hull.
Can I still put my boat on a trailer after
installing a bow or stern thruster?
Our bow and stern thrusters can be trailered for travel. Make sure that
you to drive the trailer deep enough in the water to ensure it does not
touch the bow thruster.
Do you have a wireless remote key fob?
Yes, we have an optional wireless key-fob available. One key-fob can
control either a single thruster or both bow and stern thrusters from
anywhere on the boat or dock. The wireless key fob is a great safety and
I have an upper helm, can I install a joystick
at both stations?
Yes, our motor controller is made for more than one joystick. You can
purchase additional joysticks for your extra driving station or you can
also choose to install a wireless key-fob controller so that you can
control the thruster wirelessly from any location on your boat.
Will the bow and stern thrusters work on a
Yes, the thrusters will work on a displacement type hull and will create
no noticeable drag.
What kind of corrosion protection do Sideshift
bow and stern thrusters have?
Sideshift thrusters are protected with a two part Interlux epoxy primer
and two coats of high quality Interlux anti-fouling paint. In addition,
every thruster comes installed with sacrificial anode protection.
What if I hit something?
Sideshift bow and stern thrusters are very ruggedly built from
high-grade aluminum and stainless steel to withstand the harshest
environments and weather conditions. The Sideshift universal mounting
system provides incredible strength that will actually protect the bow
of your boat from logs and debris in the water.
What size of boat can Sideshift handle?
We have bow and stern thruster solutions for all types of boats ranging
in length 20-60 feet. For larger boats beyond 60 feet we have many
customers who have installed two stern thrusters for effective
Do Sideshift bow thrusters create much drag
when my boat is on plane?
No, unlike traditional thru-hull thrusters, there is no drag with
Sideshift Bow and Stern Thrusters while the boat is on plane.
Displacement or semi-displacement speeds create minimal drag that will
be unnoticeable to the operator.
What gauge and length of cable should I use to
connect power to the Motor Controller?
Our 340 series units can run on max 40 feet at 2/O.
The 350 series units can run on max 50 feet at 2/O.
Our 230 series units can run on max 30 feet on 1/O.
All amperage, voltage, duty and start-up/run amperage have been
calculated and considered in the recommended cable length. All cable
used must be high grade tin coated copper, marine grade cable. Cable
ends must be high grade cast copper, tin coated compression type
terminals with double wall heat shrink moisture protection.
How many batteries do I need?
SS230 require one 12V battery with 850 cold cranking amps.
SS340’s and ST340’s require two 12V batteries with a total of 1700 cold
cranking amps in a parallel configuration.
SS350’s and ST350’s require two 12V batteries with a total of 1700 cold
cranking amps in a series(24V) configuration.
What is the best type of battery to use for my
thruster? Where do I put the thruster batteries?
The most important consideration is meeting the required cold cranking
amperes (CCA). Achieving high cranking amps is easier and more typical
with a starting type battery vs. deep cycle. When choosing a location to
install the batteries keep in mind the batteries need to be installed as
close to the thruster as possible for optimum performance. If you are
installing batteries in a non-vented area you will need to use AGM
sealed batteries or sealed combination batteries. In vented areas you
can install flooded starting type batteries or unsealed combination
Can I use the batteries from my windlass?
For the SS230 if the boat has windlass and the cabling is 1/0 in size
the skipper may use this cabling as a power supply instead of a battery
at the bow. The battery that is supplying the windlass must be at least
850 CCA. The SS230 draws 300 amps max so if there are fuses or breakers
in line they must be able to meet that requirement.
For the SS340 if the boat has windlass and the cabling is 2/0 in size
the skipper may use this cabling as a power supply instead of a
batteries at the bow. The batteries that are supplying the windlass must
be at least 1700 CCA. The SS340 draws 550 amps max so if there are fuses
or breakers in line they must be able to meet that requirement.
All Sideshift motor controllers have built in breakers for protection.
We do not recommend using windlass batteries for our SS350 bow thruster.
How close should my batteries be to the
thruster? How far away can they be?
Batteries should be installed as close as possible to the thruster.
Battery cable should not be longer than thirty feet from the motor
controller. If you need to run long cables use good quality marine grade
cable with correct gauge:
SS230 1/0 marine battery cable
SS/ST340 and SS/ST350 2/0 marine battery cable
Also ensure the use of good quality cable ends. The longer the battery
cable the greater the potential for voltage drop and reduced
Can I use my deep cycle battery bank?
We don’t recommend deep cycle batteries for our application. However, if
the correct cold cranking amps(CCA) is present this may be an option.
Can I use my existing batteries?
Existing batteries can be used as long as the batteries meet Sideshift’s
required cold cranking amps (CCA) and cabling size is adequate. Please
remember it is always recommended that the batteries be as close to the
thruster as possible.
Replacement Motor Installation Instructions