Date   

espar heater

James Cromie
 

I am writing the group to ask for advice regarding installation of an Espar diesel heater which I plan to install on my Amel Super Maramu, hull #347.  I have acquired the various components, along with a D5 24V Diesel Espar heater.  

Though the heater comes with an installation kit including insulated exhaust tubing and hull fitting, I note that Amel installed heaters have a rigid stainless steel exhaust tube and associated fiberglass exhaust shroud.  

I have inquired of Amel in La Rochelle, and they no longer carry these parts, nor did they have a drawing of the shroud.  

I'd like to as the following of the group:

-Do any of you have tips / advice on installing the heater?
-Any recommendations for installation experts in New England or Annapolis area?
   (I have already reached out to Peter of Helm Yacht on Long Island)
-What was used for the exhaust fittings?
-Did you do the installation yourself? 
-Any other advice on the use or care / maintenance of the heater system?

Thank you so much for your input!

James
SV Soteria
Amel SM2K, Portsmouth, RI


Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

Alan Leslie
 

This would be very useful to know about if / when it happens.
I just tightened all four bolts...they had loosened slightly over the last couple of months, not even 100 hrs of motoring since the last tightening session. 
What do others get in terms of hours ??
Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Steering Failure on “Aloha” SM72

greatketch@...
 

James,

Here is some more good information on the adjustment of the Amel steering system from Olivier in response to a question I posted some time ago...

The steering system doesn't need any lubrication, except where you see the steel rods at the end of the cables. These rods enter a tube and you need to keep them greasy.
There shouldn't be too much slack in the cables...What too much means is when you turn the wheel and the rudder shaft doesn't turn after 5 cm (2 inches) on the wheel's circumference, then you have too much slack in the cables.
Then, you need to tighten the cables ' housings (just like on a bike brake's cable).
This happens in the aft cabin. You first undo the big hex nuts that secure the housings to the threaded tubes.
Then you turn both tubes clockwise (when you face them looking towards portside). To know how much you turn, carve a little mark on each tube.
Start with one turn on each tube, then try to turn the wheel and watch when the rudder shaft starts to turn. if you can still turn 10 cm before the rudder shaft moves, you still have too much slack. Then turn each tube half a turn and check again.
Don't forget to tighten the HEX nuts at the end of the operation.
You're right to mention that with a loose cable system, the pilot rotary drive is working half the time for nothing.
If you really tighten the housings too much, you will feel it when you turn the wheel, it will be harder.

Good luck.

Olivier
Hope that blast from the past answers your question.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Steering Failure on “Aloha” SM72

James Alton
 

Hello All,

   A lot of good information here on the Amel steering system, thanks for all that have contributed.  I was wondering if anyone could comment on whether the cables or any other parts of the steering system require  adjustment over time?  The steering on my boat is feather lite such that the wheel wants to turn back and forth at the dock due to even slight movements due to wave action.  The action in both directions is also perfectly smooth and light.  There is however a  slight amount of play in the system and I am wondering what is considered normal?  I have not measured the amount of play but would estimate that if the wheel is locked that the rudder can be moved back and forth at the trailing edge perhaps 1/4”.  Part of this play appears to be in the lower bearing but most seems to be in the cables and perhaps the rack and pinion.  The system appears to be original so would now be 31 years old but the boat was lightly used.  Any information on adjustments (if any) to the steering system would be appreciated.

Thanks,

James Alton
SV Sueño
Maramu #220

On Aug 2, 2018, at 3:07 PM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Thanks for this detailed description Steve,

I would suggest though that your problem with the rack and pinion was a direct result of the cable failure. The seriously increased load caused by the failed cable caused that. So I agree, if there is stiffness in the steering check the cables first, and do it sooner than later and replace them before more damage is done. Then it is much less likely the rack and pinion will fail and I doubt if preventative replacement is necessary.

Kind Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl.


On 02 August 2018 at 06:51 "flyboyscd@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote: 

 

I want to thank everyone who helped diagnose our steering problems, and let you all know the final outcome. After our complete steering failure from Panama to Hawaii due to broken t eeth in both steering racks, we assumed that replacement of both racks and pinion/steering shaft would resolve the problem, but that proved not to be the case. We have now replaced both steering cables, and our steering perfect. 

When we removed the steering cables from the boat and racks, we found that one cable worked smoothly by hand, and the other was nearly impossible to move. We inspected the bad cable externally, and found no sign of any damage.. When I get time, I’ll attempt to cut the sheath off the cable, and determine what actually failed. Once the new cables were installed in the boat, the steering was smoother than it has ever been, and we have the required 1.5 turns in each direction. 

When we first replaced the racks and pinion, I couldn’t imagine we had a problem with the cables, as they look incredibly robust. We learned a lesson on this one, and if anyone suspects a problem with their steering, I’d recommend replacement o f all components. The cables and racks are made by Ultraflex of Italy, and can be supplied by Amel for about $1200 plus shipping. That price also includes a new pinion. Our pinion was in serviceable condition, but we did not want to mate the
new racks with a slightly worn pinion. If you have an older hull number like ours, you will probably find the original Ultraflex cables are M41 23 FT, and the new cables supplied will be M61 25FT. They appear to be the same cables except the new ones are 2’ longer and have a different style adjustment nut near the quadrant. I suspect sometime not to long after hull 72, Amel decided that a 2’ longer cable made for a slightly smoother cable run. Also, the end pieces that screw onto the cables and then insert into the racks were originally of a plastic material. At some point in production, Amel started manufacturing a metal end piece, and changing them out in the racks supplied by Ultraflex. We were able to buy the end piec es from Amel for about $50 each, and replace the ones provided with our new racks. If you have an older SM with the plastic end pieces, it would not be a bad idea to change them. 

We could not find a lot of good information on the forum regarding how to take the steering apart. The first time we changed the racks and pinion was a bit of a learning curve. By the third time we completely removed the steering from the boat to change the cables, we were fairly good at it. It is not a bad job once you know what you are doing, and we could now easily remove the entire steering system from the boat and reinstall in a day. Removing the cables requires at least 2 people. I’ll try and write something up and post it when I have time. Anyone with a fairly old hull number that has seen a lot of sea miles should consider replacing their steering. We had convinced ourselves the steering would last forever, but learned the hard way, that is not the case. My other recommendati on is while on a nice day sail, rig your emergency steering, and see how it works. You will find the boat actually fun to steer with the tiller, and it would be nice to know you have all the parts available, and know how to put it together. 

On another note, Liz and I are the OCC Port Officers for Hawaii, and for anyone considering sailing here, please contact us, and we can provide you some useful information. Thanks again for the help in diagnosing our problem, and now we are going sailing. 

Best Regards,

Steve and Liz Davis
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii


 


 




Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Safety deposit box in aft head of Super maramu

Alan Leslie
 

A good friend told me that to remove the safe is quite simple.
Lift up the carpet in the floor and there are two nuts, undo these, et voila, the safe is free.
The bolts however are glassed into the shelf and not so easy to remove.
Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Steering Failure on “Aloha” SM72

Stephen Davis
 

Hi Danny,

I tend to agree that the friction in the steering cable was a major contributing factor to losing teeth in the racks. With that said, the boat was almost 26 years old at the time, and metal fatigue in the racks could have easily have been a factor as well. With 20/20 hindsight, I should have replaced the steering with the major refit we did on the boat after we bought her. Live and learn!!

Regards,

Steve Davis
Aloha SM 72

On Aug 2, 2018, at 09:07, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Thanks for this detailed description Steve,

I would suggest though that your problem with the rack and pinion was a direct result of the cable failure. The seriously increased load caused by the failed cable caused that. So I agree, if there is stiffness in the steering check the cables first, and do it sooner than later and replace them before more damage is done. Then it is much less likely the rack and pinion will fail and I doubt if preventative replacement is necessary.

Kind Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl.


On 02 August 2018 at 06:51 "flyboyscd@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

I want to thank everyone who helped diagnose our steering problems, and let you all know the final outcome. After our complete steering failure from Panama to Hawaii due to broken teeth in both steering racks, we assumed that replacement of both racks and pinion/steering shaft would resolve the problem, but that proved not to be the case. We have now replaced both steering cables, and our steering perfect.

When we removed the steering cables from the boat and racks, we found that one cable worked smoothly by hand, and the other was nearly impossible to move. We inspected the bad cable externally, and found no sign of any damage.. When I get time, I’ll attempt to cut the sheath off the cable, and determine what actually failed. Once the new cables were installed in the boat, the steering was smoother than it has ever been, and we have the required 1.5 turns in each direction.

When we first replaced the racks and pinion, I couldn’t imagine we had a problem with the cables, as they look incredibly robust. We learned a lesson on this one, and if anyone suspects a problem with their steering, I’d recommend replacement of all components. The cables and racks are made by Ultraflex of Italy, and can be supplied by Amel for about $1200 plus shipping. That price also includes a new pinion. Our pinion was in serviceable condition, but we did not want to mate the
new racks with a slightly worn pinion. If you have an older hull number like ours, you will probably find the original Ultraflex cables are M41 23 FT, and the new cables supplied will be M61 25FT. They appear to be the same cables except the new ones are 2’ longer and have a different style adjustment nut near the quadrant. I suspect sometime not to long after hull 72, Amel decided that a 2’ longer cable made for a slightly smoother cable run. Also, the end pieces that screw onto the cables and then insert into the racks were originally of a plastic material. At some point in production, Amel started manufacturing a metal end piece, and changing them out in the racks supplied by Ultraflex. We were able to buy the end pieces from Amel for about $50 each, and replace the ones provided with our new racks. If you have an older SM with the plastic end pieces, it would not be a bad idea to change them.

We could not find a lot of good information on the forum regarding how to take the steering apart. The first time we changed the racks and pinion was a bit of a learning curve. By the third time we completely removed the steering from the boat to change the cables, we were fairly good at it. It is not a bad job once you know what you are doing, and we could now easily remove the entire steering system from the boat and reinstall in a day. Removing the cables requires at least 2 people. I’ll try and write something up and post it when I have time. Anyone with a fairly old hull number that has seen a lot of sea miles should consider replacing their steering. We had convinced ourselves the steering would last forever, but learned the hard way, that is not the case. My other recommendation is while on a nice day sail, rig your emergency steering, and see how it works. You will find the boat actually fun to steer with the tiller, and it would be nice to know you have all the parts available, and know how to put it together.

On another note, Liz and I are the OCC Port Officers for Hawaii, and for anyone considering sailing here, please contact us, and we can provide you some useful information. Thanks again for the help in diagnosing our problem, and now we are going sailing.

Best Regards,

Steve and Liz Davis
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii


 


 


Volvo MDI issues USA

Alan Leslie
 

I don;t have a Volvo motor but some of you do.

I have a friend who has had issues with the MDI dying.

Apparently there was a bad batch in US delivered motors and Volvo US have been very helpful in sorting the issues.

His contact who was very helpful is :


Dana Hatton

Customer Relations

Volvo Penta of the Americas

Telephone: 866-273-2539

Telefax: 757-436-5150

Email:  VPA.customerrelations@...


Maybe this could be useful for someone.

Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437



Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Steering Failure on “Aloha” SM72

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Thanks for this detailed description Steve,

I would suggest though that your problem with the rack and pinion was a direct result of the cable failure. The seriously increased load caused by the failed cable caused that. So I agree, if there is stiffness in the steering check the cables first, and do it sooner than later and replace them before more damage is done. Then it is much less likely the rack and pinion will fail and I doubt if preventative replacement is necessary.

Kind Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl.


On 02 August 2018 at 06:51 "flyboyscd@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

I want to thank everyone who helped diagnose our steering problems, and let you all know the final outcome. After our complete steering failure from Panama to Hawaii due to broken teeth in both steering racks, we assumed that replacement of both racks and pinion/steering shaft would resolve the problem, but that proved not to be the case. We have now replaced both steering cables, and our steering perfect.

When we removed the steering cables from the boat and racks, we found that one cable worked smoothly by hand, and the other was nearly impossible to move. We inspected the bad cable externally, and found no sign of any damage.. When I get time, I’ll attempt to cut the sheath off the cable, and determine what actually failed. Once the new cables were installed in the boat, the steering was smoother than it has ever been, and we have the required 1.5 turns in each direction.

When we first replaced the racks and pinion, I couldn’t imagine we had a problem with the cables, as they look incredibly robust. We learned a lesson on this one, and if anyone suspects a problem with their steering, I’d recommend replacement of all components. The cables and racks are made by Ultraflex of Italy, and can be supplied by Amel for about $1200 plus shipping. That price also includes a new pinion. Our pinion was in serviceable condition, but we did not want to mate the
new racks with a slightly worn pinion. If you have an older hull number like ours, you will probably find the original Ultraflex cables are M41 23 FT, and the new cables supplied will be M61 25FT. They appear to be the same cables except the new ones are 2’ longer and have a different style adjustment nut near the quadrant. I suspect sometime not to long after hull 72, Amel decided that a 2’ longer cable made for a slightly smoother cable run. Also, the end pieces that screw onto the cables and then insert into the racks were originally of a plastic material. At some point in production, Amel started manufacturing a metal end piece, and changing them out in the racks supplied by Ultraflex. We were able to buy the end pieces from Amel for about $50 each, and replace the ones provided with our new racks. If you have an older SM with the plastic end pieces, it would not be a bad idea to change them.

We could not find a lot of good information on the forum regarding how to take the steering apart. The first time we changed the racks and pinion was a bit of a learning curve. By the third time we completely removed the steering from the boat to change the cables, we were fairly good at it. It is not a bad job once you know what you are doing, and we could now easily remove the entire steering system from the boat and reinstall in a day. Removing the cables requires at least 2 people. I’ll try and write something up and post it when I have time. Anyone with a fairly old hull number that has seen a lot of sea miles should consider replacing their steering. We had convinced ourselves the steering would last forever, but learned the hard way, that is not the case. My other recommendation is while on a nice day sail, rig your emergency steering, and see how it works. You will find the boat actually fun to steer with the tiller, and it would be nice to know you have all the parts available, and know how to put it together.

On another note, Liz and I are the OCC Port Officers for Hawaii, and for anyone considering sailing here, please contact us, and we can provide you some useful information. Thanks again for the help in diagnosing our problem, and now we are going sailing.

Best Regards,

Steve and Liz Davis
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii


 


 


Re: changing cockpit cover installation from old Super Maramu to SM2K

philipp.sollberger@...
 

Dear Ann-Sofie,

Yes there is a big difference. Precisely for tall people is the SM2K Cockpit cover installation. On the old SM the cockpit cover is parallel to the cockpit protection triangle and tall people will have to bend themselves if they don't want to risk hitting their head on the inox tubes of the cockpit cover.

For this I wood like to have the dimensions of the inox tubes of a SM2K.

Fair winds,

Philipp


Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

greatketch@...
 

I do not know what the factory originally did on my boat.  Those bolts have been pulled out and reinstalled several times with the installation of new engine mounts, alignments and other maintenance procedures. If somebody was paying attention to details (and Harmonie's previous owners were very good at that) they replaced at least the washers, and likely the nuts and bolts each time. They may, or may not, have been put back in the original configuration.

I do not understand exactly what your local dealer is proposing to do, but there are a great many good solutions to keeping these connections tight.  There could be long arguments about which is the "best," but there are many solutions that I'd be happy with, probably including some I haven't seen before.  

Remember, pretty much every boat has a connection like this between prop shaft and transmission.  Keeping them connected is not a new problem, or one unique to the Amel drive train.  In fact, you could make a good argument that the Amel C-Drive presents a much easier problem because the loads are lower and more controlled than with a standard prop shaft.

If you put these bolts on your regular maintenance schedule and check them for tightness after the first 10 hours, and after that at least every 50 to 100 engine hours, you'll be good to go.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA


---In amelyachtowners@..., <svperegrinus@...> wrote :

Hello Craig and all others,

Many, many thanks for all the valuable input.

Regarding the possibility of the nuts coming loose, yesterday the Yanmar dealer told me they are creating "a washer" (via an outsourced turner).  I am sure there is a language barrier + my lack of mechanical engineering knowledge.

But if I understand correctly, this will be some sort of one disc that they will insert after the four nuts have been tightened, and this will prevent the four nuts from working themselves loose.

My main concern is that if the solution were so simple and obvious, why wouldn't the factory had implemented it?

Cheers,

Peregrinus
SM2K #350 (2002)


Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

greatketch@...
 




---In amelyachtowners@..., <svperegrinus@...> wrote :

Hello Craig and all others,

Many, many thanks for all the valuable input.

Regarding the possibility of the nuts coming loose, yesterday the Yanmar dealer told me they are creating "a washer" (via an outsourced turner).  I am sure there is a language barrier + my lack of mechanical engineering knowledge.

But if I understand correctly, this will be some sort of one disc that they will insert after the four nuts have been tightened, and this will prevent the four nuts from working themselves loose.

My main concern is that if the solution were so simple and obvious, why wouldn't the factory had implemented it?

Cheers,

Peregrinus
SM2K #350 (2002)


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Transmission problem,

 

That is the propeller shaft brake. When the engine is running, transmission oil pressure opens and releases the brake pads from the disk.

With the engine off, the brake pads close against the disk and stop the prop shaft from turning. 
Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

On Thu, Aug 2, 2018, 06:06 arthur@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

You see the cylinder in center of picture which is fastened with black straps. The thumlike thing on top seemed like stopped working in and out. But after sailing for 6 hours we started the motor and all was normal. What job Does the cylinder do?

Thanks for answering
Arthur. Sundqvist

Vista. SM 435


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Transmission problem, [1 Attachment]

Arthur Sundqvist
 

You see the cylinder in center of picture which is fastened with black straps. The thumlike thing on top seemed like stopped working in and out. But after sailing for 6 hours we started the motor and all was normal. What job Does the cylinder do?

Thanks for answering
Arthur. Sundqvist

Vista. SM 435


Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

svperegrinus@yahoo.com
 

Hello Craig and all others,

Many, many thanks for all the valuable input.

Regarding the possibility of the nuts coming loose, yesterday the Yanmar dealer told me they are creating "a washer" (via an outsourced turner).  I am sure there is a language barrier + my lack of mechanical engineering knowledge.

But if I understand correctly, this will be some sort of one disc that they will insert after the four nuts have been tightened, and this will prevent the four nuts from working themselves loose.

My main concern is that if the solution were so simple and obvious, why wouldn't the factory had implemented it?

Cheers,

Peregrinus
SM2K #350 (2002)


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

greatketch@...
 

Craig and James,

Absolutely! Loose coupling bolts can do the same thing. I should have thought of that!

I'll add two more things to the excellent list of solutions that James posted: A second "jam" nut works well--if there is room. I have also taken a punch to the threads where they disappear into the nut.  This doesn't work with nylock nuts, but with regular nuts and lockwashers it adds a significant extra measure of security.

On my old boat the bolts actually threaded into the prop shaft flange, so no nuts.  The bolt heads were drilled across the flats, and then wired to prevent backing out.

Nothing replaces checking on a regular basis.  

In addition to drive train fasteners, the others I have had chronic problems with on every boat have been in the steering system.  The irregular, reversing, loads make it tough to keep everything tight. Again, nothing is more important than checking regularly.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

James Alton
 

Craig,

   I agree with your post.  I have also found that it is not uncommon to find loose coupling bolts and agree this is something to check on a regular basis.  I have had good results using Nylocs in addition to a good lock washer for coupling bolts.  For applications where the longer nylocs are a problem,  I use the red Loctite in addition to a good (new and sharp) lock washer.  If I encounter any difficulty removing the bolts due to the Loctite, the application of heat via a hot air paint stripper gun works wonders.

Best,

James
SV Sueño
Maramu #220

On Aug 1, 2018, at 2:28 PM, sangaris@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


I'd add  a fifth cause to Bill's excellent list, namely, the nuts having come loose. I've seen that on three boats, one with a nut actually missing. It's a good routine check to make and easily done.
Craig, SN68

---In amelyachtowners@..., wrote :

I would have no problem drilling one set of new holes in the flange.  If that bothers you at all, machining a new flange would be an easy job for any machine shop and would not be very expensive.

Based on the damage I see, it looks like the holes in the flange were quite a bit too big for the bolts used.  When this is done, two things happen. The metal of the flange is "point loaded" by the bolt, and the two flanges rotate relative to each other slightly when the transmission is shifted.  This result s in an impact of the bolt against the flange, which pushes metal aside every time the transmission is shifted, resulting in exactly the kind of damage you see.  The more the hole is enlarged, the further the bolt moves when shifting and the harder the impact. You can see where this story goes...

Larger holes than appropriate happen for one of four reasons.  The manufacturer wasn't confident of alignment, so gave some extra "wiggle room." Or, there was a mismatch of specifications between two different manufacturers. Or, the flange was sourced from third party stock parts without attention to such niggling details.  Or, a bolt was used without paying attention to the proper size. I vote for option three!

You should have a what a machinist calls a "clearance fit" on the bolts and holes. This minimizes the relative rotation of the the flanges during shifting, and spreads the load of the bo lt across as large an arc as possible. 

If at all feasible, the guy doing the drilling should have the mating flange as well so he can be absolutely sure of alignment. These need to be very carefully aligned. In the absence of a  documented specification (check the transmission manual...), I'd look for a relative runout of no more than 0.002" 

Also, it is best (although not always easily arranged!) if the bolts used are unthreaded where they go through the flange to spread the load across as wide an area of metal as possible.  

Good luck!

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA




Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

hanspeter baettig
 

Hi Bill Kinney
Intersting feedback about your tecnical knowhow, but nowbody answere his question. Why this e longated hole can happen ?
regards
Hanspeter
Tamango 2
on the way to Capo Verde
SM16


Von meinem iPhone gesendet

Am 01.08.2018 um 18:06 schrieb greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>:

 

I would have no problem drilling one set of new holes in the flange.  If that bothers you at all, machining a new flange would be an easy job for any machine shop and would not be very expensive.


Based on the damage I see, it looks like the holes in the flange were quite a bit too big for the bolts used.  When this is done, two things happen. The metal of the flange is "point loaded" by the bolt, and the two flanges rotate relative to each other slightly when the transmission is shifted.  This results in an impact of the bolt against the flange, which pushes metal aside every time the transmission is shifted, resulting in exactly the kind of damage you see.  The more the hole is enlarged, the further the bolt moves when shifting and the harder the impact. You can see where this story goes...

Larger holes than appropriate happen for one of four reasons.  The manufacturer wasn't confident of ali gnment, so gave some extra "wiggle room." Or, there was a mismatch of specifications between two different manufacturers. Or, the flange was sourced from third party stock parts without attention to such niggling details.  Or, a bolt was used without paying attention to the proper size. I vote for option three!

You should have a what a machinist calls a "clearance fit" on the bolts and holes. This minimizes the relative rotation of the the flanges during shifting, and spreads the load of the bolt across as large an arc as possible. 

If at all feasible, the guy doing the drilling should have the mating flange as well so he can be absolutely sure of alignment. These need to be very carefully aligned. In the absence of a  documented specification (check the transmission manual...), I'd look for a relative runout of no more than 0.002" 

Also, it is best (although no t always easily arranged!) if the bolts used are unthreaded where they go through the flange to spread the load across as wide an area of metal as possible.  

Good luck!

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA


Steering Failure on “Aloha” SM72

Stephen Davis
 

I want to thank everyone who helped diagnose our steering problems, and let you all know the final outcome. After our complete steering failure from Panama to Hawaii due to broken teeth in both steering racks, we assumed that replacement of both racks and pinion/steering shaft would resolve the problem, but that proved not to be the case. We have now replaced both steering cables, and our steering perfect.

When we removed the steering cables from the boat and racks, we found that one cable worked smoothly by hand, and the other was nearly impossible to move. We inspected the bad cable externally, and found no sign of any damage. When I get time, I’ll attempt to cut the sheath off the cable, and determine what actually failed. Once the new cables were installed in the boat, the steering was smoother than it has ever been, and we have the required 1.5 turns in each direction.

When we first replaced the racks and pinion, I couldn’t imagine we had a problem with the cables, as they look incredibly robust. We learned a lesson on this one, and if anyone suspects a problem with their steering, I’d recommend replacement of all components. The cables and racks are made by Ultraflex of Italy, and can be supplied by Amel for about $1200 plus shipping. That price also includes a new pinion. Our pinion was in serviceable condition, but we did not want to mate the
new racks with a slightly worn pinion. If you have an older hull number like ours, you will probably find the original Ultraflex cables are M41 23 FT, and the new cables supplied will be M61 25FT. They appear to be the same cables except the new ones are 2’ longer and have a different style adjustment nut near the quadrant. I suspect sometime not to long after hull 72, Amel decided that a 2’ longer cable made for a slightly smoother cable run. Also, the end pieces that screw onto the cables and then insert into the racks were originally of a plastic material. At some point in production, Amel started manufacturing a metal end piece, and changing them out in the racks supplied by Ultraflex. We were able to buy the end pieces from Amel for about $50 each, and replace the ones provided with our new racks. If you have an older SM with the plastic end pieces, it would not be a bad idea to change them.

We could not find a lot of good information on the forum regarding how to take the steering apart. The first time we changed the racks and pinion was a bit of a learning curve. By the third time we completely removed the steering from the boat to change the cables, we were fairly good at it. It is not a bad job once you know what you are doing, and we could now easily remove the entire steering system from the boat and reinstall in a day. Removing the cables requires at least 2 people. I’ll try and write something up and post it when I have time. Anyone with a fairly old hull number that has seen a lot of sea miles should consider replacing their steering. We had convinced ourselves the steering would last forever, but learned the hard way, that is not the case. My other recommendation is while on a nice day sail, rig your emergency steering, and see how it works. You will find the boat actually fun to steer with the tiller, and it would be nice to know you have all the parts available, and know how to put it together.

On another note, Liz and I are the OCC Port Officers for Hawaii, and for anyone considering sailing here, please contact us, and we can provide you some useful information. Thanks again for the help in diagnosing our problem, and now we are going sailing.

Best Regards,

Steve and Liz Davis
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii


Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

Craig Briggs
 


I'd add  a fifth cause to Bill's excellent list, namely, the nuts having come loose. I've seen that on three boats, one with a nut actually missing. It's a good routine check to make and easily done.
Craig, SN68

---In amelyachtowners@..., <greatketch@...> wrote :

I would have no problem drilling one set of new holes in the flange.  If that bothers you at all, machining a new flange would be an easy job for any machine shop and would not be very expensive.

Based on the damage I see, it looks like the holes in the flange were quite a bit too big for the bolts used.  When this is done, two things happen. The metal of the flange is "point loaded" by the bolt, and the two flanges rotate relative to each other slightly when the transmission is shifted.  This results in an impact of the bolt against the flange, which pushes metal aside every time the transmission is shifted, resulting in exactly the kind of damage you see.  The more the hole is enlarged, the further the bolt moves when shifting and the harder the impact. You can see where this story goes...

Larger holes than appropriate happen for one of four reasons.  The manufacturer wasn't confident of alignment, so gave some extra "wiggle room." Or, there was a mismatch of specifications between two different manufacturers. Or, the flange was sourced from third party stock parts without attention to such niggling details.  Or, a bolt was used without paying attention to the proper size. I vote for option three!

You should have a what a machinist calls a "clearance fit" on the bolts and holes. This minimizes the relative rotation of the the flanges during shifting, and spreads the load of the bolt across as large an arc as possible. 

If at all feasible, the guy doing the drilling should have the mating flange as well so he can be absolutely sure of alignment. These need to be very carefully aligned. In the absence of a  documented specification (check the transmission manual...), I'd look for a relative runout of no more than 0.002" 

Also, it is best (although not always easily arranged!) if the bolts used are unthreaded where they go through the flange to spread the load across as wide an area of metal as possible.  

Good luck!

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA


Re: Elongated hole on conical coupling

greatketch@...
 

I would have no problem drilling one set of new holes in the flange.  If that bothers you at all, machining a new flange would be an easy job for any machine shop and would not be very expensive.

Based on the damage I see, it looks like the holes in the flange were quite a bit too big for the bolts used.  When this is done, two things happen. The metal of the flange is "point loaded" by the bolt, and the two flanges rotate relative to each other slightly when the transmission is shifted.  This results in an impact of the bolt against the flange, which pushes metal aside every time the transmission is shifted, resulting in exactly the kind of damage you see.  The more the hole is enlarged, the further the bolt moves when shifting and the harder the impact. You can see where this story goes...

Larger holes than appropriate happen for one of four reasons.  The manufacturer wasn't confident of alignment, so gave some extra "wiggle room." Or, there was a mismatch of specifications between two different manufacturers. Or, the flange was sourced from third party stock parts without attention to such niggling details.  Or, a bolt was used without paying attention to the proper size. I vote for option three!

You should have a what a machinist calls a "clearance fit" on the bolts and holes. This minimizes the relative rotation of the the flanges during shifting, and spreads the load of the bolt across as large an arc as possible. 

If at all feasible, the guy doing the drilling should have the mating flange as well so he can be absolutely sure of alignment. These need to be very carefully aligned. In the absence of a  documented specification (check the transmission manual...), I'd look for a relative runout of no more than 0.002" 

Also, it is best (although not always easily arranged!) if the bolts used are unthreaded where they go through the flange to spread the load across as wide an area of metal as possible.  

Good luck!

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA

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