We have had a 42 for two seasons in Croatia with no bow thruster. It can certainly blow hard down there but we seem to have managed OK without one. I have found that as long as one is backing into the wind there is no major issue and the boat responds well to the rudder.

    We have been caught out a couple of times when berthing in the bora (30kts) but fortunatey the Croatians are used to this and help you get in OK.