Bow Thruster Troubleshoot

Cregan13

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In the past 2 weeks the Side Power bow thruster on my 2006 330 Express has only been working sporadically. Sometimes when I pushed the on buttons it would turn on, and sometimes it wouldn't, no matter how many times I tried. Now, it doesn't come on at all. When it was coming on the thruster worked fine. It seems to me to be an electrical issue.

I looked at the wiring diagram and noted the 300 amp fuse. I went to the boat to check it out, and it was very corroded and hanging on by a thread. I thought that must be it, but after changing it out, that is not the problem (not easy to find those fuses by the way, they are not a standard size - Atlantic Marine actually had to grind one a little for me to get it to fit).

I thought I would check the connections on the back of the emergency stop. After unscrewing it, i realized you can't access the back through the cutout.

So, a few questions:

1. Anyone have this issue before and/or have some thoughts; and

2. How do i access the back of the emergency stop?

Thanks is advance.
 

mleads310

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What kind of thruster do you have? I ask because I had a bad controller that needed to be replaced and it was a similar issue as yours.
 

Cregan13

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Is there really a 300 amp fuse?

Yes, there was. Mechanic at the Grady dealership i got the replacement at confirmed it was the right one. Here's how it looked when I pulled it out. 20200514_163635.jpg
 

Cregan13

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Yeah, that's the one you can buy at Wet Marine and the one the Grady dealer had in stock. It doesn't fit on the fuse holder. The Grady mechanic learned over the years to grind the curves out to get it to fit, which is what he did for me. Unfortunately, the fuse was not the issue. Still glad i did it, though, cause the one that was on there clearly wasn't going to last much longer.
 

Cregan13

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Side-Power sells the fuses on their website. They look like this. Interestingly, they sell a 250 amp and a 325 amp, but no 300. The one that i took out said 300 on it. They are the same as those Blue Seas fuses, just a wide guage to fit over the posts on the fuse block.documents_ANL500_BXn0ae4.jpg
 

seasick

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I bet they don't look exactly like that:) It says 500 amps!
 

Cregan13

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What kind of thruster do you have? I ask because I had a bad controller that needed to be replaced and it was a similar issue as yours.
You may have nailed it. I just went down to the boat with a multimeter, and I have power coming to the back of the joystick controller yet it is still not working. I called Imtra, the U.S. Side-Power supplier, and their service guy said it is most likely a controller gone bad. I hope he is right, cause I just paid around $250 for a replacement!

They must go bad regularly. The one I just pulled off had a 2016 manufacture date on it.

I will let you all know if the new controller solves the problem. If not, I will be posting a new, Side-Power control for sale!
 

Flot

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My 2002 doesn't have the emergency stop, I instead have a high-amp contactor (relay) which is turned on/off via a switch at the dash.

Just getting clarification - on your 2006, the wiring goes directly from battery, to fuse, to emergency stop button? So the main power wire to the front is always energized?

FWIW the fuse on my 2002 was in similarly poor shape when I bought the boat, but I also had to replace the contactor. I had no trouble using a 300A ANL fuse from amazon though.
 
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Flot

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Interesting, thanks for that, I had perused the various diagrams over the years but didn't realized that had changed. The emergency stop is just a disconnect plunger, right? So normally it is pulled out and operating but if you kick it is breaks the circuit? (and you would not normally leave it depressed?)
 

Cregan13

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Correct. You give it a kick if your world starts spinning!
 

mleads310

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This is the joystick I replaced. Apparently they end up burning out every few years or so. I hope that's the only issue that you're having because it's a fairly simple fix
 

Cregan13

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The new joystick came yesterday evening, and I popped it on this morning. That was it. It came right on and worked fine. Knock on wood, we are good to go on that one. Thanks for everyone's input.

For what it's worth, they are super easy to replace - 4 screws and a matching wiring harness. It is nice ,for once, not to have to change 8 things downstream when installing something!
 
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mleads310

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Ain't it great when it's as simple as spending a known amount money to solve a problem lol. I'm serious tho, how many times I have said....I'd pay x amount of dollars just so I don't have to try to track down this issue. I'm happy it worked out for you and now enjoy the season!