Re: Lubrication of the Mechanism That Drives The Main Sail Furling Unit

Giovanni TESTA

Hi all, when I was at Marin Amel Martinica, they used a gray grease. No more drops
Eutikia SM 428

Il Ven 7 Ago 2020, 17:28 CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> ha scritto:
Craig, Kent, et al;

This is the best summary that I can give you of this obviously moving target. Most is based on verified fact, but some is based on logical conclusions. So take this with a grain of salt.

Shortly after Kent posted that, I was in discussions with the original supplier of that gearbox to Amel who is the same guy (no retired) that made the SM genoa gearbox and motor assembly. He said that Kent was correct. The oil that Kent specified is what he recommended. However, the practical usage of this gearbox and the lubrication of the gears causes me to conclude that even though the supplier of the gearbox suggested oil, it is not practical. And, FYI, I believe that every SM that I have seen has a wet input shaft seal. I also believe that as these gearboxes sat new on his shelf, none leaked.

This gearbox and its supplier was changed during the production of the 54. I assume that this change had something to do with no longer buying the genoa gearbox. The guy that originally supplied this gearbox and the genoa furling gearbox and motor retired. The new supplier (unknown to me) of that gearbox possibly "fixed" the poor fit of the oil seal. I know that the new supplier changed one seal in this gearbox from 45mmX60mmX7mm to 45mmX58mmX7mm, because one of my SM clients had one size and a 54 client had the other size.

Also, I should note that some owners observed, "The outer lip seal (for the input shaft) is 30x40x7 but might be a very sloppy fit. Use RTV or machined it out to fit a 30x41x7 Lip Seal." This note is included in my Amel Book for the rebuild of this gearbox.

Although it might have nothing to do with this, there is also an O ring that seals the input shaft plastic cover to the gearbox. Possibly some owners have missed this. One owner measured it as 1.4mm fitting into an O ring groove.

I hope that this helps.

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
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On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 8:47 AM Craig & Katherine Briggs via <> wrote:
This may sum it all up - bottom line, grease, not oil:
  • Bill Shaproski on Pacific Cool initiated the discussion.
  • Randall on A54 #56 referred him to the YouTube video by Ken on Aquarius. In that video Ken used grease, not oil.
  • Kent on Kristy said his was filled with “very heavy gear oil” and he used Shell Oil WE320 when he redid his but found it leaking onto the deck for a couple of days after.
  • Bill Rouse then said “Kent is exactly correct” … to use WE320 and gave a source for buying it.
  • Bill Shaproski then asked Kent if he meant the manual furler (not the gearbox driven by the electric motor) because he wondered if he could oil his in place. Kent said he poured the oil in with it lying on the bench before completing reassembly.
  • Bill S noted again that Ken on Aquarius used grease, not oil. Jean-Pierre Germain on Eleuthera said you must install grease nipples, but then clarified that he was talking about the reduction gearboxes (driven by the electric motors) and that for the manual furler a fresh water rinse works fine for him.
  • Kent then updated his situation and noted that his newly redone furler (using WE320, not grease) was (still) leaking onto the cabin top and he could redo it using grease.
  • You, Fred on ScentStone, then posted to say you had used oil and it was leaking.
  • I posted to reiterate that grease should be used.
  • Bill Rouse then posted to say that he (now) thinks grease is to be used, not oil.
Fred, I think you’ve got your answer. There may have been some confusion in this tread between the manual furler and the reduction gear box. Definitely grease for the manual furler.  For the reduction gearbox either 320 oil or grease, with perhaps the best being to use grease and add Zerk fittings for periodic maintenance.

Cheers, Craig - SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL

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