Bow Thruster Abuse

pstas2003 <no_reply@...>

Good day to all,

Yesterday we had to dock the boat in very windy conditions and the bow thruster got way more use than I have ever subjected it to before.  When I went below, I smelled a slight burning smell and immediately went forward.  The thruster was hot, very hot, but fortunately not burning.

After it cooled, I smelled gear oil and when I removed the face panel and took a thorough look, there was a small amount of gear lube dripping down the shaft and a small puddle of lube in the bow thruster locker floor - approximately 50 mls.

I have always tried to make sure I didn’t keep the thruster on for more than 10 or 15 seconds, but I guess yesterday I didn’t pause long enough between use.  The thruster appears to be working just fine, but the oil confuses me.  Did we overfill the unit when we serviced it last October, or did the unit get so hot that some boiled out?  

Has anyone had a similar experience?

Should I be concerned about the abuse I subjected the thruster to yesterday, or like most things on these boats was the unit over engineered to handle such abuse?

Should I just add another 50 mls of lube and monitor it, or should I drop the unit for further inspection?

My appreciation to all who take the time to respond with their thoughts and wisdom.

All the best,

Paul Stascavage
SM #466 - s/v Rita Kathryn
Cruising Martinique

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