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

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS

Sounds good, great there was virtually no other damage.

Kind Regards


On 23 March 2018 at 07:20 "Sailing Island Pearl colin.d.streeter@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:



Hi Danny

No point in claiming from Insurance for just a 3500 euro new bow thruster. Have only a couple bottom paint scratches on under side of cast iron keel, so it's only a new Bowthruster required which is nice to start off with a bran new one again anyway.

If I claimed on insurance for that, it is almost equal to the cost of the excess payable under the policy, and then I lose my 20% no claim bonus. Not worth it. Will rather save the insurance claiming for any real accidents or breakages if they occur down the track.

Best regards


On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 4:11 AM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Hi Colin,

That.s a good outcome. The adventure continues. Are your insurers being helpful too?

Kind Regards


SM 299 Ocean Pearl

On 23 March 2018 at 00:38 "Sailing Island Pearl colin.d.streeter@... [amelyachtowners]" <> wrote:



Thank you everyone for helpful comments.

Just to close this post off, we can report that Amel have been extremely helpful to us. They did not have any SM53 bowthruster units in stock, but given our urgency, started manufacturing a new one for us immediately. We will have it in 2 weeks at a cost of 3500 euro excl freight to Maldives.

I must say, after 6 or so years of ownership, Amel continues to impress me with their quality, responsiveness and service! Incredible.

Amel 53 #332, Maldives now, and soon sailing on across the Sth Indian Ocean

On Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 1:12 AM, James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners] <> wrote:


   With respect to just sealing the hole in a secure fashion with easily available materials.  I would probably remove the rest of the damaged shaft and use two pcs. of 3/4” plywood (1” if you can find it or laminate as needed),  one pc. inside and one outside with a good sized bolt passing through the center of both pcs.  If you have some large  washers it will help spread out the load needed to compress a gasket (neoprene wet suit type rubber should work) or you might be able to use caulking.  I would prefer the gasket since additional compression could be applied by tightening the bolt if needed.  I would put some caulking around the bolt shaft where it passes through the pc. of plywood on the outside of the hull but the wood will swell some and seal this part pretty well if the hole is a snug fit for the bolt.  This will of course leave the hull cutout exposed which will cause some drag but at least you could be sure that there would not be any leakage..  You should be able to install this temporary seal with the boat still in the water and it could be removed without any major cleanup to reinstall the bow thruster.

Best of luck,

SV Sueño
Maramu #220

On Mar 19, 2018, at 10:01 AM, Sailing Island Pearl colin.d.streeter@... [amelyachtowners] <> wrote:

Hi Eric

Thank you for your kind advice.

I have since been in touch with both Amel, and Alexandre.'

What a helpful forum this always is!

Best regards


On Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 7:52 PM, 'sailormon' [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


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: [mailto:amelyachtowners@...] 
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2018 4:23 AM
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, [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










Colin Streeter
0411 016 445




Colin Streeter
0411 016 445





Colin Streeter
0411 016 445



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