Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Main Sail Furling Motor Issue

Mike Ondra

Hi Bill, 
On our vessels we have several locations where there are lip seals in the horizontal position in exposed areas like what Mark found and the furling gearboxes. If the seal is slightly below the elevation of the gearbox surface it will tend to collect water. What do you think of going with a thicker, for example 8 versus 7 mm, Lip seal and inserting it such that it is slightly above the surrounding metal surface. In that way it will be less prone to collect water.
Mike Ondra
Aletes SM#240

On Sep 19, 2019, at 7:34 AM, Mike Ondra <mdondra@...> wrote:

I never thought of checking this one. Perhaps this could be a project for boat show weekend.

Begin forwarded message:

From: "CW Bill Rouse" <brouse@...>
Date: September 18, 2019 at 8:06:12 PM EDT
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Main Sail Furling Motor Issue


There has been some information out here that the seal is VA45mmX60mmX7mm Seal  OR 45mmX58mmX7mm. The middle dimension is the shaft size. I know for a fact that Amel 54 #69 had a 58mm shaft. One SM owner recorded his as 60mm, but was not 100% sure.

Can you verify this issue?

Your advice certainly applies to all Santorins, Super Maramus, and 54s. 


CW Bill Rouse Amel Yacht Owners School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 

On Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 5:43 PM Mark McGovern <mfmcgovern@...> wrote:
Just a friendly reminder to my fellow Amel owners to do a regular check on the shaft seal that sits over the main furler cylinder.  It's the one circled in RED in the picture below:

I would advise you have look at it ASAP and put it on your annual maintenance list to at least inspect it's condition and if it's at all questionable, replace it.  It costs less than $5 to buy a new one but could end up costing you hundreds of $ or more if it fails and you destroy the gears.  Don't be like me and wait until your main furler seizes before you check it!

Here is a picture of my seal.  It actually has a split in it so I use the term "seal" loosely:

I can confirm that it is a VA-45 or VA-045 V-ring Seal as you can faintly see "VA 45" molded into the rubber in the upper left side of the picture. 

The failed seal has allowed saltwater, rainwater and dirt to enter the furler cylinder for some time now and it eventually destroyed the tapered roller bearing that sits at the top of the the shaft.  Here is what my bearing looked like when I got it off the shaft AFTER I cleaned it up:

<Tapered Roller Bearing Cover 01-1.png>

Needless to say the bearing is completely destroyed.  Obviously this did not happen overnight but has been going on for a long time.  I've owned my boat for just over two years now and surprisingly the main furler has worked almost all of the time.  It did pop a breaker now and again but I attributed that to the motor brushes being old and worn and all the carbon dust that was inside the motor when I took it apart this spring to clean and change the brushes.  I'm sure that the worn brushes and carbon dust did not help things, but the main culprit was clearly the corroded roller bearing caused by the failed V-ring Seal.  

I would highly recommend that you have look at your furler seal now and inspect it on regular basis.  If you find it cracked, damaged or missing I suggest that you take the furler assembly down and open it up, clean the inside and inspect the bearing as well as the other ball bearing, three lip seals, and two o-rings that are inside.  It does not take that long nor require any special tools to do this tear down and inspection.  If you do need to change bearings, a bearing puller certainly makes the job easier.

Thanks to Duane (Wanderer) and Pat (Shenanigans) and others on this forum for some excellent pictures, part numbers and sources for replacement parts.  Some if the information is spread around a bit here so once I am sure that I have all of the correct information regarding all the replacement parts that I needed to do the rebuild I will make another post here to try to get it all in one place.

Mark McGovern
SM #440 Cara
Deale, MD USA

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