Since 2011, proportional speed-control bow and stern thrusters from Side-Power have enabled smooth docking and maneuvering for Back Cove’s line of single-engine diesel cruisers. The company calls the combination the Easy Dock system, an option that many purchasers of Back Cove boats choose.
In simple terms, Side-Power proportional speed-control thrusters make it easy to maneuver a Back Cove without having twin engines and propellers. Utilizing proportional control, the driver can apply exactly the amount of power needed, rather than the all-or-nothing power that an on-off thruster provides.
Jamie Bloomquist, Back Cove’s Sales and Marketing Manager, highlights the “finite control” provided by the variable speeds of the thrusters. “I’ve seen customers who have gotten very good at controlling their boats,” he says, “not even touching the pilings, even with a good current running.”
Bloomquist credits the proportional control thrusters with boosting the captain and crew’s confidence in docking and adds, “When operating in a marina, the quiet operation of the thrusters doesn’t draw attention to you.”
Other benefits of the thrusters are that run times are significantly extended before encountering a thermal timeout from over-heating. The draw on the boat’s batteries is reduced, as well.
Bloomquist points to EasyDock’s Hold feature as a key selling point, allowing you to use both thrusters at a low speed to press your boat against the dock while tying or untying your dock lines. He adds that a joystick system with a station-keeping feature is no substitute for this because station-keeping’s typical three-foot range isn't precise enough for docking.
Easy Dock has provided a competitive value to the single-engine Back Cove models for 10 years now, offering excellent control compared to a twin-engine boat without thrusters. And having only one engine cuts fuel, maintenance and associated costs in half.
As Back Cove has expanded its line and begun selling larger models like the 37 and 41, EasyDock has made the step up easier for couples who at first think a larger boat might be too much to handle.
Over time, Bloomquist says, more and more dealers have ordered stock boats with the EasyDock system and they now sell the increased control you have as a feature of the boat. And if a buyer finds a boat without the proportional-control thrusters, Imtra can upgrade the motors as a retrofit at pricing equivalent to installing a joystick system on other boats.
For more information, check out these links: 5 Common Questions About Proportional Speed Thrusters; Back Cove Yachts