One of the most relevant and applicable sayings when talking about boating products and the installation of after-market accessories is: "you get what you pay for", and this applies as much to bow- and stern thrusters, as it does for anything else.
Choose Carefully When Picking a Thruster Brand
It’s a point worth remembering because should you find the thruster brand you’ve installed does not meet your expectations in terms of performance, noise, or reliability, or perhaps with the generally shoddy way in which it has been installed, then a thruster is not exactly the easiest after-market product to simply whip out and replace!
Established Manufacturers and High Quality Thrusters Goes Hand In Hand
Therefore, it's better to stop a while and think carefully about which brand you should go for and look for clear evidence as to why it’s going to be the correct one to purchase.
In cases such as this, good old-fashioned common sense will nearly always pull you through. In other words, choose a brand that has been around for a long time. Long established manufacturers have built their reputation on providing high-quality products with reputations for reliability. It’s companies like these who are committed to serving the long-term needs of their customers, with good spare parts supply, excellent customer service, and back-up, even for old and discontinued model lines.
Find Out Which Thruster Manufacturer the Large Brands Are Using
Another healthy sign is to look for a manufacturer supplying thrusters as "standard-fit" on boats made by the best boat builders in the world. These brands will have undergone not only rigorous testing but significant performance/cost/reliability procedures by hard-nosed shipyard procurement managers so that you can now go ahead and make your own purchasing decision based upon a high degree of assurance and added peace of mind.
Do the Manufacturer Attend the Largest Boat Shows?
Look for regular boat show attendance - by way of a large and expensive boat show stand. This is another visible, tangible and always highly positive sign. Manufacturers and their staff who have great products and associated technology to talk about will relish every opportunity they can to display, discuss and promote their wares at every possible opportunity!
Read more: How to Reduce Noise From Your Bow Thruster →
Safety Matters in Engineering and Design of Thrusters Too
Another good idea is to check how much effort the design and engineering of thrusters have been placed in the name of safety. Ignition protected models for use in close proximity to petrol engines and features such as child-safe On/Off operation and automatic deactivation timed from when last used, are the kind of obsessive attention to detail features you should be looking for.