Bow thruster leak

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS

Hi all, somewhat shocked to read that some are accepting leakage from the bow thruster as a given. What a risk. We had a leak soon after we bought ours. Replaced the lip seal. end of leak. 18000 miles later we have replaced the seals on each biannual haulout, last time in May 2012 there was a seep, nothing more. Replaced the lip seal and the foams and 1500 miles later still dry as a bone

I believe the use of the pin to lock up is essential as that is Amels design length set. Also, think about cable failure without the pin. Ouch. I would believe one of the purposes for the foams is to stop rattle. (as well as to absorb some of the surge) Imagine what it would be like without them and the thruster to socket, hard to hard. Would shake all over the place. Same for the top one, gives a flexible base to sit on. Lip seals go in smooth side up. The specified 60 x 80 x 12 seals have a double lip. I have used 10mm single lip with success but clearly the double is better. I put a smear of RTV silicone on the outer edge of the seal to help with sealing the join.
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
soon to leave Nuku' alofa Tonga

From: Judy and Bill aboard SV BeBe <>
Sent: Thursday, 19 July 2012 5:04 PM
Subject: [Amel] Need everyone's help on this---2 diferent types of foam seals


If each one of us asks Amel to label these foam seals when they are shipped I am sure that:
1.) Amel will not make a mistake and send 3 of one kind...AND...
2.) We will not make a mistake and install them incorrectly.

I will not be ordering for 4 years as I have a supply of the two types of seals. But if each of you ordering these foam seals will ask Amel to label them, we can solve this issue.


BeBe, SM2k, #387
Currently Selimye, Turkey

--- In, Kent Robertson <karkauai@...> wrote:

Hi, Bill,
I was aware of the discussion that there were two different kinds of seals, so I inspected them carefully and could find no difference.  It was time to launch so I used what they sent me and have had no leaking so far..

From: Judy and Bill aboard SV BeBe <yahoogroups@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 11:38 AM
Subject: [Amel] 2 diferent types of foam seals used on the bow thruster


There have been 2 types of foam seals for at least 7 years that I know of. One type for the top and 2 for the bottom.

The issue is that very few of us knew this 7 years ago, they were not labeled differently, and Amel did not ship them as different parts...

BUT, they are different.

I suspect the ones you received from Amel were 2 of one kind and the third different. It takes very close examination to see the difference.

BeBe, SM2k, #387
Currently Selimkye, Turkey

--- In, karkauai@ wrote:

When I ordered two sets of seals from Amel, there was only one type of foam seal. Two below and one far so good after a season.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone powered by Alltel

-----Original Message-----
From: "Judy and Bill aboard SV BeBe" <yahoogroups@>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 06:12:12
To: <>
Subject: [Amel] Re: there are 2 diferent types of foam seals used on the bow thruster


Yes, there are two different types of foam seals used on the bow thruster. When I discovered this a few years ago, I re-wrote the BOW THRUSTER SERVICE by Gary Silver.pdf which was originally written by you and Gary and posted it in the files section of the Amel website. Someone moved it to the Miscellaneous folder and it is currently at:

Amel told me that if you get the seals mixed up, you will get some water in through the bow thruster. I believe that you can also get some water by getting the torque on the lifting cable too tight or too lose. I know that some owners do not use the safety pin, but rather change the lifting cable adjustment to place more pressure on the seals when the Bow Thruster is UP. This adjustment changes the seal when the Bow Thruster is DOWN. And in my opinion, when it is down and in use you will get water inside if you have the wrong seal, or if you have incorrectly adjusted the lifting cable.

This is 80% opinion and 20% experience, so please take it as that.

Hope this helps.

BeBe, SM2k, #387

--- In, Sailormon <kimberlite@> wrote:

there are 2 diferent types of foam seals used on the bow thruster.

Dear Eric,

To help you with the foam seals, I have attached a drawing of the
bowthruster showing where they are located. Indeed the neoprene seals are
located outside the hull and the natural seal sits inside the boat. Please
tell me how many of each I should put in the shipment.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Maud/Chantiers AMEL Customer service


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