Wärtsilä Retractable Thrusters

Contact us

Wärtsilä Retractable Thrusters - High performance manoeuvrability and station keeping

Wärtsilä retractable thrusters have been selected for vessels worldwide, operating in the most demanding environments. Our customers are secure in the knowledge that each system from Wärtsilä conforms to the highest performance and reliability standards and are also supported by a worldwide network of service and support workshops. By the 8° tilted propeller gearbox the delivered thrust is more effective, contributing to decarbonisation of station keeping operation.


When selecting a dynamic positioning (DP) system Wärtsilä Retractable Thrusters are second to none. With a power ranging between 750 and 6500kW in both L-drive and Z-drive options, there is a solution to suit any operating profile and vessel - including wind turbine installation vessels, offshore support vessels, offshore construction vessels, shuttle tankers and heavy lift vessels.

The vertical retraction system minimizes the area footprint in the vessel and enables full retraction that reduces the vessel’s resistance and allows access to shallower waters and ports. The thrusters are controlled by the DP system or from the bridge stations by Wärtsilä ergonomic controls with intuitive touch screen displays providing intuitive management of the entire DP system.

Wärtsilä retractable thruster

WST-24R & WST-65RU

Downloads & links

Plug-and-Play Thrusters - Reduce installation time and complexity

The WST-R (up-to WST-32R) are assembled and pre-aligned in Wärtsilä factory. The pre-alignment enables a smoother installation of the thruster, reducing the time needed by shipyards for installation.

As global demand for renewable energy increases, the Prysmian Group has selected Wärtsilä’s retractable thrusters for the worlds most advanced cable laying vessel yet – the Leonardo Da Vinci. The Leonardo Da Vinci is a DP3 vessel and will be able to handle cable laying operations to depths of up to 3,000 meters, in some of the worlds most extreme weather conditions.

Why choose Wärtsilä

The excellent efficiency and performance of Wärtsilä retractable thrusters is further enhanced by the capability to design and configure the optimal configuration and power requirements to fit the vessel actual operating profile and needs of the owner. This is achieved through the use of advanced calculations including hydrodynamics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and includes the ability to add system failures to ensure safe operation. The result of these calculations and analysis allow for an accurate view of the thruster position, combination of thruster type, and most importantly the power required to deliver the thrust to support vessel operations safely and efficiently – this detailed insight allows the correct total vessel power requirement to be calculated rather than estimated, which can reduce the cost of the total power train configuration.

Add to this the 8° tilted propeller shaft, available on the latest models and Wärtsilä is able to offer a retractable thruster with reduced thruster and hull interaction, making it the most efficient retractable thruster package in the market. The unique design means that customers can expect up to 20% more effective thrust than conventional non-tilted thrusters, depending on vessel configuration and application.

By bringing together these technologies and expertise in a single configurable solution approach, the optimal solution can be agreed, which when combined with Wartsila’s thruster performance results in reduced overall weight and increased performance.   This ensures that owners, operators and yards benefit from significant savings and efficiencies not before possible.

Retractable Thruster Power Range

    750 - 1600 kW

    The Wärtsilä Retractable Thrusters up to 1600 kW are suitable as auxiliary propulsion units for offshore supply vessels (OSV), offshore construction vessels (OCV) and similar vessels. The thrusters are based on a modular and flexible design which enables optimum integration in the vessel. Although retractable thrusters are primarily used for DP, they can also be used for main propulsion if correctly selected and sized.

    Key Benefits:

    • Retractable to improve hydrodynamics and enable operations in shallow water 
    • High thrust to power ratio
    • Combined steering and retraction system reduces thruster room space requirement
    • Optional compliance with CLEAN notations and US EPA VGP2013 requirements
    • Configurable and customisable for easy vessel integration
    • Delivery as pre-assembled plug-and-play unit for simplified installation
    • Designed for easy access serviceability and maintenance
    • Fast and automated retraction and deployment

    1500 – 4500 kW

    The Wärtsilä WST-R is a powerful retractable thruster designed to provide auxiliary manoeuvring capability in dynamic positioning or station keeping operations. The power levels, small footprint and light weight makes it the ideal choice for shuttle tankers, Jack-Up Vessels and many offshore support and construction vessel types.

    The excellent hydrodynamic efficiency and performance of the Wärtsilä steerable thrusters is enhanced by the 8° tilted propeller shaft, which provides customers with a retractable thruster that has the lowest thruster and hull interaction, making it the most efficient retractable thruster package in the market. The unique design means that customers can expect up to 20% more efficient thrust than conventional non-tilted thrusters, depending on vessel configuration and application.

    Key Benefits:

    • 8° tilted propeller shaft delivers 20% higher thrust 
    • Retractable to improve vessel hydrodynamics and enable operations in shallower water
    • Less power needed for first class performance thus lowering operational cost (OPEX)
    • Combined electric steering and retraction system reduces thruster room space requirement (hydraulic driven for WST-45R)
    • Plug-and-play pre-aligned package for simple and fast installation (up-to WST-32R)
    • Compact design allows larger propeller within the same vessel envelope space
    • Optional compliance with CLEAN notations and US EPA VGP2013 requirements
    • Oil-free steering/retraction sealing system (up-to WST-32R)
    • Key components, such as the steering and retraction seals can be maintained inboard


    The Wärtsilä Retractable Underwater Mountable Thruster (WST-65RU) has been designed to meet the needs of large offshore construction vessels (OCVs) as well as semi-submersible rigs and drill ships.

    With its power output up to 6500kW it is typically designed for vessels that require thrusters that can be retracted during transit or while entering shallow waters, to increase the level of operational flexibility. Additionally, the WST-65RU thruster can be mounted or de-mounted while the vessel is afloat, to facilitate thruster maintenance and overhaul during the operational lifecycle meaning there is no requirement for drydocking. The WST-65RU is the first retractable thruster in the market to feature the unique combination of retractable and underwater mountable functionality.

    The WST-65RU is based on the WST-65U underwater mountable thruster which has been designed with performance and reliability as key requirements. The 8° tilted propeller shaft solution is a feature which is also found on Wärtsilä Underwater Mountable thrusters and reduces the interaction between the thrusters and hull significantly, thereby enhancing the dynamic positioning performance of the vessel. The outboard part of WST-65RU is exchangeable with WST-65U, optimizing maintenance and spare part strategies.

    In combination with Wärtsilä’s PCMS (Propulsion Condition Monitoring Service) downtime and maintenance costs can be minimized.

    Key Benefits:

    • 8° tilted propeller shaft delivers 20% higher thrust 
    • Retractable to improve vessel hydrodynamics and enable operations in shallower water 
    • Thruster outboard part can be exchanged without dry docking the vessel: mounting and de-mounting while afloat. (exchangeable with WST-65U)
    • Use of telescopic shaft technology allows the E-motor to remain static
    • Integrated solution provides smallest possible area footprint and overall lighter construction
    • Based on proven recognizable technology and in-house propeller design know-how

    Technical info

     Power (max.)
    Input speed 
     Propeller diameter
     Depth (B)
     Width (C) 
    Retraction (F) 
     Height without
    E-motor (H1)
    FS175/MNR1000 1200
     170028362900 2220L-drive
    190030003050 2400 L-drive
     210034353590 2655 L-drive
    2400 35003910 3215 L-drive
    WST-24R2400900 / 720
    2600 / 280040904410 3580 L-drive
    WST-32R 3100 900  2800
    9567 12400 53000 
    WST-32R3500  720 / 600
    3100 / 33004450 49004235 L-drive
    36005700 5200 4635 L-drive
     WST-65RU36500600 420053005780 5805 L-drive 1677020300160000

    Maximum power indication is related to dynamic positioning (DP) operation.
    Other input speed / power level combinations or applications are available on request.
    Selections are not valid for classification with ice class.
    Values for dimensions and weight are indicative.
    Dimensions and weight can vary depending on propeller type, propeller size and project specific customizations.
    1) Height indication H2 for L-drive execution is indicative, including a generic E-motor.
    2) Indicative weights in air; excluding E-motor, auxiliaries and oil.
    3) Thruster available on request


    Offshore wind farm
    11 Mar 2021 · Webinar
    The winds of opportunity - Optimising propulsion for next generation windfarm vessels
    The growing demand from offshore operations, particularly wind...
    Offshore webinar banner
    19 May 2020 · Webinar
    Capturing new market opportunities
    As the world’s energy sector moves away from fossil fuels and towards the use of renewable sources like wind...

    Customer stories

    • Orion reference
      Offshore construction vessel Orion

      The world’s first LNG fuelled offshore construction vessel being built for DEME will be powered by Wärtsilä.

      Read more about the solutions
    • Sleipnir banner
      The world’s largest retractable thrusters

      Performance of the propulsion solutions supplied by the technology group Wärtsilä exceeded the design specification and contributed to the success of the sea trials for the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessel (SSCV).

      Read more
    • RRS Discovery
      RRS Discovery

      The Royal Research Ship Discovery is designed to support the multidisciplinary research required for the 21st century. The ship is the fourth vessel to bear the name and continues the tradition of oceanographic research at sea.

      Read more
    • Nor Valiant
      Nor Valiant

      Delivered in 2008, the 78m ROV / Subsea Vessel Nor Valiant is a highly specialized vessel designed by Wärtsilä Ship Design for a wide range of subsea support work.

      Read more


    Heavy Lift Jack-Up Vessel
    30 Nov 2023 · Article
    6 min read
    Retractable thrusters: five features that matter when station keeping in offshore operations
    Station keeping is essential for offshore vessels –...
    Windfarm Thruster
    21 Dec 2020 · Article
    3 min read
    Wärtsilä Retractable Thrusters help the Leonardo Da Vinci maximise its potential
    The Prysmian Group is betting on Wärtsilä’s retractable thrusters...
    Upgrading OSV to take advantage of wind farm growth
    3 Nov 2020 · Article
    4 min read
    Upgrading OSVs to take advantage of wind farm growth
    With the continued growth of the wind energy industry leading to an increasing number of wind...
    Prysmian - Leonardo Da Vinci
    15 Oct 2020 · Article
    4 min read
    Innovating to solve problems: The case of the WST-24R retractable thruster
    When the coronavirus prevented on-site installation of a Wärtsilä...
    Meet the miracle WST-24R thruster
    20 Apr 2018 · Article
    3 min read
    Meet the miracle: WST-24R thruster
    Wärtsilä’s new WST-24R retractable steerable thruster beats its predecessor on a lot of levels: it comes at a...
    Wärtsilä’s new retractable thruster is an improvement across all parameters
    19 Jun 2018 · Article
    6 min read
    Wärtsilä’s new retractable thruster is an improvement across all parameters
    The WST-24R thruster, with its eight-degree tilted propeller shaft...
    Wärtsilä Marine. Let's connect.