Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Intermittent Bow Thruster to Port

Stephen Davis

Thanks Joel. While our boat has been actively used for the last 3 years, we don't use the bow thruster much, as we are rarely in marinas, and I do exercise it monthly. With that said, not that you could tell by looking at Aloha, we certainly qualify as an older boat. Will try the toggle first, and move to the motor if that does not do the trick. We should be in Bonaire for most of the month, and I have plenty of time to sort it out. 

On another subject, we installed a slightly used Watt and Sea hydro generator while we were in Sint Maarten. On our 68 hour trip to Bonaire we never ran the generator, and arrived with almost full batteries. It seems with the combined input from our 420 watts of solar and the watt and sea, we are energy independent while passage making. For a frame of reference, we were running 2 chart plotters, radar at night, autopilot, a refrigerator and 1 freezer. I'm going to call this project a success. 

Steve and Liz
Aloha SM 72

On May 5, 2017, at 10:35, Joel Potter jfpottercys@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Make the forecabin dark. Have someone operate the thruster. See if you can notice sparks inside the thruster coming from the commutator. If the smell of electrical ozone is also present with more than minimal sparking, then a lathe "clean up" will solve the problem. I see this a lot on older boats for sale that don't get used quite as much as they should be or infrequently. Probably the switch as suggested but if tetra chloride cleaning of the contacts and a bit of emery cloth don't make it right, check this out. Darker the better...

Good luck, Joel

Joel F. Potter

On May 5, 2017, at 8:21 AM, flyboyscd@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


When we left our slip in Sint Maarten a few days ago, when I used the bow thruster to port, it intermittently would not respond. If I continued to toggle the joystick back to center and the to port, it would usually start ion my 4th of 5th attempt. Once the thruster started, it would work normally until I re-centered the joystick. On the next attempt to port, it would sometimes work on the first try, or it could take several attempts again. Bow thrusting to starboard works normally every time.

I suspect the problem is just in the switch below the toggle, as it appears to be original to my 1992 SM. Has anyone else had these same symptoms, and if so, how did you repair it? Also, is there something else I should be looking for that might be causing the problem?

All thoughts and ideas are welcome.


Steve and Liz Davis
Aloha SM72

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