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Channel thrusters

The channel thrusters can be used for main, as well as auxiliary, propulsion systems. Channel thrusters are driven electrically, hydraulically, or by means of a diesel engine. Installed in the bow or stern, channel thrusters considerably improve the vessel’s manoeuvrability, and alternatively act as a brake force thruster or emergency (main) propulsion unit.

Verhaar Omega’s channel thrusters are recommended over Transverse Tunnel Thrusters for auxiliary propulsion, especially in the case of inland waterway vessels with a shallow draught: predominantly river cruise vessels, inland waterway barges or pontoons, double-ended ferries, river dredgers and landing craft.

Verhaar Omega’s channel thruster features an integrated horizontal propeller/impeller that pumps water from under the vessel, inward, through a channel at the centre of the unit. Once inside the propeller channel, the water flow is deflected through a rotating drum, which determines the direction of thrust, into outlet channels. As the drum is 360° rotatable, clockwise or counter-clockwise, the thrust force and direction can be controlled accurately within a short response time. The channel thrusters, available in a range from 100kW up to 1500kW, can be fitted with two, three or four outlet channels, depending on the requirements.

The Verhaar Omega channel thruster accommodates two separate drive units: one for the propeller, and another for the rotating drum. This unique design eliminates any risk of oil spills or water contamination by grease.


  • Full thrust in all directions (360°)
  • Suitable for auxiliary or main propulsion system
  • Gearbox and thruster have separate seals
  • Propeller and rotating drum have separate dedicated drives – increasing reliability
  • Gearbox and thruster have separate bearings
  • Propeller rotates in one direction – no reverse gear
  • Accurately controlled thrust direction and force with short response time – appr. 6 sec. from SB to PS
  • Maximum bollard pull (18,3 lbf/hp) at minimum draught (1 to 1,5 ft)
  • Generating thrust, even at sailing speed of 6 to 7 knots
  • No flanking rudders required (tug and push boats)
  • Low noise compared to a tunnel thruster
  • No protruding parts under vessel – reduced risk of damage
  • Environmentally friendly – no risk of oil or grease spill
  • Maintenance friendly – no risk of water ingress, and minimal down time
  • Available in:
    • 2-channels
      • SB & PS outlet channel
    • 3-channels
      • SB & PS outlet channel
      • Emergency propulsion channel
    • 4-channels
      • SB & PS outlet channel
      • Emergency propulsion channel
      • Speed reduction channel – emergency brake
    • With or without Gondola

Scope of application

  • Push boats
  • Inland waterway barges
  • Inland vessels
  • Pontoons
  • River dredgers
  • Jack-up rigs
  • River cruise vessels
  • Double-ended ferries
  • Landing craft
  • Every inland waterway vessel with shallow draught

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