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Types of thruster we install

SLEIPNER offer a wide range of bow and stern thrusters from the conventional on/off tunnel thruster to fully proportional and retractable thrusters.

Installation & Support

KDM Marine Systems & Electronics work very closely with JPC Direct, who are the East Coast distributer for SLEIPNER UK.

The collaboration between JPC and KDM brings together a wealth of experience from across the marine industry, offering outstanding product knowledge, experience and support.

Our mobile service and installation team offer an onsite service to carry out installation surveys, installations, commissioning and repairs throughout the UK 

We know what is involved when it comes to installing a thruster and  understand the issues associated with the installation, our team is skilled in fabricating, laminating and electrical engineering. 


Ultimately our aim is to work closely with our customers to provide the best possible cost effective system with ongoing support.

Tunnel Thruster

If you want the most flexible and adaptable option, a well-made and professionally installed tunnel thruster is the best choice.

However, it's crucial to ensure that your boat has enough internal volume and bow/stern access to accommodate the installation correctly. The submerged tunnel's position relative to the waterline is critical for optimal thruster performance and noise reduction.

Today tunnel thruster options are fantastic, and if you choose a reputable manufacturer, you can choose a PRO™ system that allows you to control your thrusters with precision, similar to how you would use the gas pedal in a car, providing total close-quarters manoeuvrability and single-handed control.

External Thruster

These thrusters have the propeller and electric motor enclosed in a hydrodynamic housing, which reduces drag and makes drilling small holes for the mounting shaft and internal cabling less costly and more convenient. Moreover, due to their positioning at the outermost extremities of a hull, these thrusters benefit from an increased leverage arm, which means they are able to move larger size boats by requiring nominally less power than conventional thrusters.

However, if you regularly launch and recover your boat using a trailer or store your boat ashore on a raised stack system, you will need to consider that there’s an additional appendage protruding from the lower half of your hull. Additionally, external thrusters are not recommended for planing hulls and may cause increased water resistance and associated drag.

An ideal stern thruster for boats with twin outdrives

Retractable Thruster

Retractable thrusters are becoming increasingly popular and can be placed in either the bow or stern locations of a hull. They are discreet and are particularly useful in bespoke yachts and flat-bottomed boats where the minimum draft required to install a traditional tunnel thruster is not available.

The propellers used in retractable thrusters are housed in shorter tunnels, which are more efficient and less noisy compared to traditional tunnel installations. The best retractable thrusters come with protection against running aground, and some can be controlled using proportional control.

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