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Graham, The Bison/Buffle series Amel bow thrusters were the very first generation of what was used later until the end of Super Maramu production. The thruster on the 54 and onwards is very different with little commonality. The thruster on your "last of the series Maramu"is very similar to what is used on the SM 53. The main differences are it is 12 volt so not nearly as powerful and the retraction mechanism. Similar but not the same. That said, if you have a diagram of either, you can understand the basic design and discover the serviceable components which are mainly the shafts lip seals and compression neoprene gaskets. So, the bad news is your thruster isn't real strong/powerful. The good news is your Maramu maneuvers in reverse (and forward for that matter as the prop is just in front of the rudder) MUCH better than the SM 53. Seriously, once you have some weigh on in reverse in a Maramu, you can claw your way port or starboard. As a pilot, think of your boat as a taildragger. Don't quit "flying" it until it's tied down! You will love your Maramu. It is a sweet design.
Joel F. Potter
THE EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY
Mine is a Maramu and I'm given to understand that the bow thruster
is different to the one on a SM and may be something called a
BISON/BUFFLE. However, if there is a useful exploded diagram, I'd
be grateful if someone can point me to it.
On 02/01/2016 18:23, sailormon
I believe I
posted a exploded diagram of the bow thruster
mechanism if not it was posted by Bill on BeBe.
There is really
nothing to fix inside the thruster.
the motor turns, unless there is a broken gear
inside, the thruster will work.
connections and the electric jack are another issue.
is to take the boat out of the marina to open water
and try making loop de loops in reverse with the bow
thruster, it is very easy.
Super Maramu #376
Many thanks for your thoughts. As a retired
airline pilot and aviation medicine specialist
physician, I'm acutely aware that I may have had
brain failure so I certainly don't feel scolded!
In particular, owing to my current inexperience
with the boat, the limited space in the marina
where I'm berthed and the unnerving proximity of
various million dollar yachts, my mental capacity
was dramatically reduced by this event and I
cannot now be absolutely sure that the bow
thruster motor was turning when I diagnosed the
failure. Plainly, if the motor was not turning,
then there is a completely different set of
possibilities, including the possibility that I'd
inadvertently switched it off. The marina where
I'm berthed has virtually no current and is very
sheltered so that there is almost no wind so I
doubt that they are factors.
I did have some manoeuvring practice with the
previous owner although it was not extensive and
all the sternward manoeuvring was accomplished
with the aid of the bow thruster. I agree with
you that it makes sense to try to use the standard
handling techniques employing prop kick and prop
wash rather than resorting to the bow thruster in
the first instance and I'm trying to acquire the
necessary skills. However, I've been warned by a
friend, who is a very experienced SM owner, to
expect it to be very difficult to manage when it
is making sternway so I'm currently developing a
plan for managing my berthing in the event of
another bow thruster failure. I'm also planning
to take the boat out tomorrow and to dive to
observe the bow thruster functioning.
Finally, I wonder if there exists an exploded
diagram of the bow thruster that would help me to
understand its mechanisms and how technical
problems might be addressed. My Maramu is the
1989 model launched in 1988 and is hull number
240. Maude has been unable to supply more than a
very rudimentary owners manual.
With many thanks and kind regards
On 31/12/2015 18:58, 'Joel
Graham, as odd
as it might sound, Trevor’s suggestion of
‘heat of the moment brain fade’ could be the
likely culprit. I have sold hundreds of used
Amel’s and offer clients a training period of
several days to get them up to speed. On more
occasions than you would believe, when things
get tense the first few times with the new
owner on the helm ( after I demonstrate that
“THIS IS EASY”), they lower the thruster and
then turn off the power switch the first time
they reach for the toggle/joy stick.
Especially with short timers, panic ensues and
the helmsperson goes into save the boat mode
and neglects to turn the power on. Just to
make an indelible impression, I wait until the
helmsperson gulps, loudly , before restoring
If this is the case, don’t feel bad. I’ve had
many folks much brighter than I, which is just
about everybody, do this. Some have even
turned the power back on in their panic
without realizing they had turned it off! Go
easy on yourself.
Were you fortunate to have the seller/other
knowledgeable person spend time with you
familiarizing you with your-new-to-you Amel? I
sure hope so, If not, find an Amel owner close
to you and buy them dinner with many adult
beverages if they will get you on the path.
Lots of little secrets, all of which add to
the greatness and enjoyment of these very
cleverly conceived and mostly well engineered
Some misconceptions that have been
inadvertently offered here…
Your bow thruster is an early Amel
BISSON/BUFFLE type, more than likely. Lots of
evolution since. It is a 12 volt unit, not 24
volts as on the Super Maramu and subsequent
Amel models. It is better than nothing
certainly but not a game changer/life saver
like the much more powerful 24 volt units that
followed. The bow thruster on the Amel 54 is a
completely different animal, dual props,
counter-rotating, very powerful. Your
installed bow thruster won’t allow you to dock
your Amel Maramu with impunity in 20 plus
knots of wind until you practice and really
learn the capabilities and limitations and
even then... Practice makes perfect and I try
to use the bow thruster as little as possible
to keep my boat handling skills alive but do
not hesitate to employ it before it is needed.
There is no fuse/thermal limiter on the
electric motor on any Amel installed bow
thruster on a Sharki, Maramu, Mango, Santorin,
Super Maramu, or Amel 54 so don’t go looking
for that as there is none
Anybody close to Graham in Barbados? I think
you will be getting a dinner invite.
I waited to chime in as I make my living
selling experienced Amels and I wanted someone
else to make the suggestion that Trevor did. I
can’t afford to have anyone feel I have
scolded them and I sure hope you don’t. You
will love and appreciate this owners group.
Have Fun With Your Amel, Joel
Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC
THE EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY
954 462 5869 office
954 812 2485 cell
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 12:24 PM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re:
Intermittent bow thruster - Maramu
The motor (15hp) has so much torque it will
either throw off weed or light plastic
immediately, or break the nylon shear bolts.
This is a really lame suggestion, but as it is
all a bit new to you, is it possible you
turned off the switch beside the toggle switch
in the heat of the moment?
The good news is the more that you practice
the easier it will become, you will quickly be
able to wander through a marina in 25kts+ of
winds stern too, without a thought.
Happy new year.
Seafever of Cuan
SM 425 Redline 2004
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