[Amel] Re: Amel Drive Seals leaking

amelliahona <no_reply@...>

Thanks Chris for that information. Very valuable. The first time I tried to remove my prop I stretched out two sets of screws and the thing would not budge (1 year old boat and the autoprop was recalled by the factory). No amount of hammering on the puller bolt worked but gently tapping "around" the hub of the prop where it fit on the shaft resulted in an immediate "snap" as the prop released. The key is to put tension on the prop with the puller then tap circumferentially around the prop hub (radially if you will).

All the best,

Gary Silver
s/v Liahona
Amel SM # 335

--- In amelyachtowners@..., Chris Smither <yachtakwaaba@...> wrote:

Hi Kent (et al),
   I've been reading the posts about the prop seals and the "C" drive with interest. Just to add a little to the correspondence, on our Santorin, the seals failed shortly after we set out from the Caribbean for the Med. (in 1998)

   By the time we reached Gibraltar and hauled out, the oil in the reservoir was almost pure white. On stripping down and checking there was no sign of any excess wear or play in the gears. They were "squeaky clean". A local engineer commented that what had been in there was an oil & water emulsion, and in the days before deterging engine oils that was what was used to wash out engines & gearboxes - known as flushing oil. Fresh water would have been better. but no harm had been done.
   We washed the drive out with water, (fresh), from the bottom, using the drain hole, and the shaft space, then flushed with oil before replacing the ring and 3 seals, filled with oil, rotated, drained, refilled, until there was no sign of any water contamination. 
   I spoke with Amel, at that time the SAV was run by J-Y Selo, and he confirmed our actions, and advised that the likely cause was monofilament line in the water, winding round the prop and melting with the friction, thus ruining the seal. He also said that there was little likelyhood of any harm being done. He said that he would not advise me to leave the boat unused for any length of time with the "white stuff" in the reservoir and gearbox.

   Since 1998, I have replaced the seals 3 times, each time as a result of contamination, only once at anything other than a planned haulout. (We were going on a cruise into an area where there were no haulout facilities)
   I, also, have never even considered using anything other than a bronze wearing ring on the prop shaft, in fact I have two spares, with seals, (and yes the seals do have s/s springs), one purchased from Amel on a visit to France, the other locally made, I find it hard to tell the difference. It's relatively easy to change the ring, a HUGE job to do anything to the shaft.
   In passing, I was told by another Amel owner that to remove the fixed pitch prop the best way was to heat it gently whilst applying gentle pressure with a puller, there will be a "pop" and the prop will be free. I once managed it without a puller-but remember to wear gloves!
   Hope this helps everyone.

Mike & Chris


From: Kent Robertson <karkauai@...>
To: amelyachtowners@...
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Amel] Re: Amel Drive Seals leaking

Thanks, Gary.  I should be able to figure it out, especially with your pic.  I won't get back to the boat until Nov, so can't report back what I have yet.  I'd be willing to bet that when the new engine was installed, that drive (and reservoir) was filled with transmission fluid...instead of oil.  What a mess!  I'll let you know what I find.  Sometimes it feels like I'm no farther along now than I was 3 years ago in knowing what I need to know to take care of a boat like this.  Thanks again for dragging me along with you...hope I don't get too heavy.
Anyone else want to weigh in on the pros/cons of switching to the SS retaining ring/bushing on the drive shaft for the prop?

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