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I am now back on my boat in the Azores and have installed the new 175A alternator.
The leak test yields no leak, remember there was a negative leak to the bonding system.
The excitation circuit is as before but I have added a smart regulator.
The alternator kicks in straight away. Do not have to rev up to 1500 for it to kick in!
So great result!
What is the conclusion?
For sure somewhere within the old alternator there is a leak from negative terminal to the frame, tested it with multimeter.
We will not know until the alternator has been serviced exactlywhat is the problem. I will report my findings in due course.
On my next visit to the UK I will send it to the Leece-Neville distributor for service.
I also dived under the boat to check the anodes, and sure enough the prop anode has lost say 25%. So well done anode!
I believe it prudent to always fix a prop anode in all but wooden boats for just this situation.
On 30 Jun 2018, at 08:53, 'Mohammad Shirloo' mshirloo@...
are many aspects that affect the life of a diesel engine. If properly maintained
and regularly run under proper load it is not unusual for a diesel engine to run
in the 15,000 to 20,000 hours. We cruise for about half the year currently and
we only put about 200 hours per year. So the lifetime of a diesel engine could
last well beyond the average cruising life time.
Hello Olivier and Forum
Thanks a lot for your advice and it perfectly make sense what you say. I
was not thinking of this Voltage aspects!
Do you have an ideas what is the average lifetime of such an ONAN GenSet in
hours and years?
Fair winds and take care.
SY WASABI A54#55
Hello all AMEL 54 owners,
there is indeed a thermic switch on the bow-thruster motor. It is connected
to one of the carbon brushes. If you have already had it stop the motor, several
times, or you purchased a used boat and you don't know about the over-use of the
bow-thruster by the former owner, it may be time to check the carbon brushes of
Indeed, worn out brushes lead to warming up where the brushes make contact
with the rotor. And worn out brushes make the motor less powerful, then you may
use it a longer time for the same amount of thrust.
If you see a lot of carbon dust around your BT motor, it's time to
Moreover, when AMEL says that you should turn ON the generator when using
the bow-thruster (and the 100A battery charger), this is because the
bow-thruster will work with higher voltage (the voltage drop will be less if the
charger is ON, and as the main engine alternator is not charging much at low
revs). With higher voltage, the amperage will be less, the warming up of the
thermic switch too and the wear of the carbon brushes too.
Now, I agree that you don't absolutely need to turn on the generator and
battery charger in any conditions. But do it if you enter a harbor that you
don't know (you may use the BT a lot) or if the wind is strong.
In the french Navy, when a vessel enters a harbor, every means of power is
systematically turned ON, in case one fails. Bill R will tell us how they do in
the US Navy, but it may be the same.
This was the idea of Captain AMEL and Mr. Carteau when they decided to give
the "Generator ON when docking" advice.
Rüdi, don't worry about too much wear on your generator, it is a very
resistant piece of hardware....
Keep enjoying easy dockings!!
The main reason to run the Genset while using the bow thruster is not
to reduce the load on the batteries. Putting out 400-500A for short bursts will
not have a significant negative effect on the batteries.
By running the Genset you are maintaining a higher voltage to the bow
thruster, reducing the current requirement and thus reducing the heat generated
in the bow thruster and all associated wiring supplying the bow thruster.
This will maximize the time the bow thruster will function before the
thermal cutoff kicks in. Therefore for us it is not a calculation of
battery vs. generator life, but an issue of safety. A few extra seconds of bow
thruster availability may make a big difference in the result of the
Thanks for all your thoughtful responses. This is a great forum and I have
learned a lot within a short time about AMEL. I love it!
Here some comments on your responses:
I’m not using the bow truster more than 5-6 seconds per burst. When I use
it, I’m carefully not to overdue and I usualy waiting to cool down a bit between
2 burst. Thats why I was wondering how fast it was paused by the system….
No, I don’t use generator while use the bow truster, as AMEL and many
others recommending. I agree with Thomas about it.
- In one hand the Engine is running always when use the BT and is
supporting the batteries as well .
- On the other hand I do not extensively use the BT so my Batteries should
be able to carry the load.
- AND most important; I don’t want to shorten the live of my GenSet just to
help the batteries a bit.
In my opinion is; The live of a Diesel engine is shorten by too many short
usage without much load and without running it at leased 30min at a time. When I
turn the GenSet on, I use it for many things at the time, Laundry, Water-maker,
heater, charging, whatsoever. Therefore it runs at leased an hour when it’s
We don’t had the 425A fuse on #55 either. Olivier recommended to install it
and also an emergency shutoff in the BT compartment . So we did. ;-)
Hi Mohammad and Aty,
So you don't have that 425A fuse on Kokomo?
It'd be interesting to have other data points.
When we started seeing A54s for sale, someone from the yard in Hyères told
us Amel started to fit the emergency disconnect on 54s after instances of
incidents where the bow thruster wouldn't stop. The thermal switch should
provide that safety stop, but maybe they felt there should be a manual override
too, in case.
By the way, it was in the same sentence as "have the genset running when
you use the bow thruster" that raised a few eyebrows in this group a while back.
At the time, not knowing better, I took it for granted. Sufficient and safe,
yes. Necessary?, I'm not sure. We don't do it anymore as we don't go to marinas
that much and when we do, we try to play the game of least-bow-thruster-usage to
improve our handling skills, and our batteries can handle the high current
Your fuse may have been added on because
I've heard some surveyors and insurance companies regard this situation
as unsafe and will require the fuse to be added. I'm pretty sure that we were
told by Olivier during our survey that the bow thruster is directly connected
to the batteries. When I inquired about the reason, I believe the response was
that Amel felt that the safety of the boat, when absolutely needing the bow
thruster to be operational, was more important than the possibility of the bow
thruster being damaged due to overuse.
The emergency disconnect is a manually
operated switch which would require intervention form a person to stop current
flowing to the bow thruster.
Mohammad and Aty
Amel 54 #099
On Garulfo (54-122) there is also a 425A fuse on the positive cable and
an emergency disconnect (big red button), both housed in the box inside the
I recently found the emergency disconnect to be rusted frozen so it's on
the list for replacement.
I would encourage others to test the emergency disconnect as it has a
carbon steel backing plate and is mounted without any kind of waterproofing so
is bound to rust.
the Amel 54 has a thermal cutoff to prevent damage to the thruster as well
as continuous high current draw (Around 550 Amps at 24V) which could lead to
fire on board. We've had the thermal cutoff kick in only a couple
of times and it has reset in a matter of minutes. We have not timed the
exact reset duration.
not aware of any adjustments in the thermal cutoff. The bow thruster has a
direct connection to the batteries without a breaker. The thermal cutoff is
the only safety items preventing major damage to the thruster and/or
to use the thruster in bursts (less than 15 seconds), as much as possible,
so it has time to cool down between usage. We try to over correct a bit when
we use use the BT so as the bow falls off, the BT has more time to
On my Amel-54 I discovered that the bow truster stops working after
repeatingly use within 10-15 min timeframe.
I used the bow truster a bit more than usual when I practiced some
manouvers first time; - and on a second occation when I had to manouver in a
marina with a lot of windguests of 18+ kn and another chain over my
It stopped working and after a while (maybe 10 min.) it re-started &
operated normaly. I know BT Is not made for constant use, - only few seconds
at a time. Then wait and re-use another time.
Question from a beginner:
Does the bow truster has a termic fuse which is activated after some time
of usage to save the motor from overheating?
Does anyone know exactly how it works and if this can be adjusted because
I think the BT on Wasabi switches of quite fast. Any ideas or other
SY Wasabi A54#55
Sailing Cyclades GR.