Riviere Salee In Guadeloupe

amelliahona <no_reply@...>

April 27, 2003
Hello to all. I have enjoyed reading all the messages over the last
year or so. Many useful items of information. Our Super Maramu 2000
is currently in Marina Bas du Fort, Guadeloupe. We anticipate leaving
for Antigua in a few weeks. I have received varying opinions about
whether an amel with full water tanks and full fuel tanks and moderate
load of people and junk can navigate through the Riviere Salee. Has
anyone out there done it? How recently? Any words of advice?

Shortly after reading about the failure of the fresh water pressure
accumulator tank on another Amel, ours sprung a leak. It appeared to
be a failure at the the base of the 3/4 inch pipe fitting where it is
welded to the tank. There was corrosion and the tank metal in this
area coulbe be easily penetrated with a pencil. The boat is 21 months
old. This jetted fresh water onto the genset. After drying up the
engine compartment I partially disassembled all the panels on the
genset and was able to verify that no water damage was done. I'm not
sure why this failed but I believe it was a faulty weld. This sounds
like the exact same spot that the other member had a failure. Caution
to all. You might consider probing this area gently at the neck of
the fitting with a piece of sharpened wood to see if it is thin and
about to rupture.

On a more serious note, the same day, the desalinator low pressure
feed pump suffered a catastrophic seal failure. This happened while
we sailed between Grenada and Carriacou. As we sailed we made water
and at one point the bilge alarm went off. I immedicately opened the
engine hatch only to see water sloshing back and forth in the engine
room. I jumped below and a quick lick of the water confirmed it to be
sea water. I didn't see where it was coming from initially so I
turned off the main thru hull and then isolated it to the above noted
pump. The clean up of the engine room and Boeshielding everything took
a day. Disassembly of the pump in Tyrell Bay showed severe corrosion
on the shaft of the motor which caused the shaft seal to rupture. The
pump is un-repairable because the shaft was so badly corroded. Total
time on the desalinator is 95 hours. Laurent Colonna in Guadeloupe
says he has never seen this type of failure before. To Amel's
everlasting credit (and once again proving that they are a top notch
company) they are replacing the pump under warranty. I am concerned
though about this premature failure. I have always meticulously
flushed the system with fresh water after every use. I did have the
boat on the hard in Grenada for 5 months during the hurricaine season
and wondered if crevice corrosion occured under the seal from the
stagnant water. The other possibility is that the anchor wash-down
pump (that has leaked since new despite Laurents best efforts to seal
it)that sits next too the desalinator pump had allowed salt water onto
the exposed portion of the motor shaft thus causing the corrosion.
Has anyone else had this problem? When the boat will be inactive for
a period of time would it be better to completely empty the water
lines and pumps rather than just flusing them all with fresh water? I
would be interested in other peoples experience. Still the Amel is a
great boat and Chantiers Amel is a great company with great people.
Gary S. Silver s/v Liahona Hull # 335

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