Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] New Bowthruster unit - cost and in-stock?

Eric Freedman


I would somehow get the thruster area out of the water and glass it over.

I would then put some expanding foam in the thruster cavity.

Finally I would silicone and screw some sort of cover at the top of the

thruster trunk.


I had to replace my bow thruster due to a lightning strike which blew the propeller off of the bow thruster assembly.


It was probably 8 years ago.


I received the thruster from Amel  in 2 pieces the entire thruster assembly and a v shaped piece of fiberglass that had to be trimmed and fiber glassed to the bow thruster assembly which created the hull portion of the bow thruster.


Were you able to recover the bow thruster? You might contact Alexandre in Sint Maarten and ask if he can salvage the bow thruster from Nikimat and ship it to you. You will probably have to replace the bearings an gears. Knowing Alexandre, he might even have a new set of bearings.


I believe you might have a long wait for a new bow thruster from Amel. That is why I suggest making a semi-permanent closure of the bow thruster area.


Fair Winds


Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376



From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2018 4:23 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] New Bowthruster unit - cost and in-stock?



Hi sorry to hear of your troubles but as you rightly say it could have been much worse. 


I reckon that when pounding to windward there will be considerable pressure put on the seals with no plate there to take the impact. Going to windward in open ocean is not much fun at the best of times but with a niggling worry or a steady stream of water pouring in it could easily get out of hand. So you should do something. I made a similar passage in the 1990’s and Cap D’hombre on the north tip of Madagascar permanently blows at gale force. The southern Indian Ocean is a windy place, the trades tend to crank so even broad reaching the bow area will take a damn good hammering at times.


I would consider;


fitting a block of rubber/wood into the hole with silicon. The problem with wood is that it will swell and be difficult to extract.

filling the cavity with closed cell expanding foam.

How about, fitting plastic sheet to isolate the hole and then use expanding foam to fill the whole cavity, then cut it to shape and glass over the whole aperture area with epoxy and fibre glass. Then when you next haul out just grind it off  and pick out the foam and fit the new thruster, fill and prime and paint. You would need to get the bow out of the water to do the work. Perhaps going aground alongside somewhere and letting the tide drop a couple of feet to expose the area. 


I am sure that with a bit of lateral thinking you could blank off the aperture such that you would not need to worry about water ingress. Just make sure that you can extract and clean up what ever you do when you are ready to replace the thruster.


The above solution would be more watertight than the original!


You could also look at doing something on the inside but ………





Amelia #54

On 19 Mar 2018, at 06:17, colin.d.streeter@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:



This morning we accidentally nudged a reef here in Maldives. Fortunately we were only doiing 2.5kts so no hull damage, but in getting off we sheered the bowthruster unit completely off! By this I mean it snapped at the base of the shaft where the shaft gear meets the rotary gear.


I dived and we fortunately have absolutely no damage, other than needing a full new Bowthruster unit from the shaft top down - ie just the removable unit. Just some paint scratches at bottom of keel which are no problem.


All in all, we were fortunate to be going slowly, and to get off quickly as the tide was dropping, or we would be high and dry right now, with real potential for hull damage as the water dropped and the boat rested on the rocks.


I am waiting to get in touch with Maud at Amel when they open today, however have two quick questions for the group in the interim:


1) Anyone know what the bowthruster unit costs new and if Amel have them in stock?


2) We just have the shaft in the water, no cover plate as that is sheered off.. In current flat water at 3 - 7kts boat speed tested, we have no water coming in through the bowthruster unit at all. Has anyone had experience sailing without the cover plate in big seas? Did you take on water?


Having departed from Australia almost a year ago, and enjoyed cruising all of Indonesia and SE Asia with absolute trouble free cruising in this boat, we are now half way across the North Indian Ocean, and next about to cross the Southern Indian Ocean, so have every chance of big wild seas ahead. From here in the Maldives we head to Chagos next mid April till mid May, then head south to Rodriguez (June), Mauritius (July), then Reunion (July/Aug), and back up and around the top of Madagascar (NosyB - Aug/Sept) and down to Cape Town.


Our current intentions are to return to Male, the capital of Maldives, to h ave a new bowthruster shipped here from Amel. Depending on how long that may take Amel, and the levels of import duty in the various Indian Ocean countries,  we may need to attempt the balance of Indian Ocean crossing without it, but that worries me a lot.

This is the reason I seek the wisdom of this group, from those of you who know best, and possibly even some who may have even experienced the same issue of cruising on without the bowthruster foot and cover plate in place?


Many thanks


Colin Streeter

SV Island Pearl II, Amel 53 #332








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