Topics

[Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster


amelforme
 

Just so owners of earlier/pre-Millennium model Super Maramu’s are not confused by Walters otherwise correct and helpful posting on the bow thruster’s containment/drainage system on his late model SM 53, the earlier boats did not have this provision. Leakage from the thruster would make its way to the base of the main mast compression assembly at the foot of the watertight bulkhead separating the saloon from the forecabin. Use a sponge to transfer the sea water into the shower drain pan and service the thruster soon if leaks are present.

 

Have Fun With Your Amel, Joel

Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC

THE EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY

954 462 5869 office

954 812 2485 cell

 

 

 

From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2016 2:33 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster

 

 

Dear group,

referring to a topic some time ago about the bow thruster - if it is leaking, how to prevent water getting into the boat ...
My experience with SM2K #436, built 2004:
In the last 5 years and about 30.000nm we changed the seals for the lifting shaft once - no problems ever since.
In normal conditions the through-hull for the lifting shaft is well above the water line.
And: in case water gets through the lifting shaft seals, Amel designed the thruster housing to drain into the main sump, as the "sump" of the bow
thruster has a draining hose (like the anchor chain locker and the condensate
outlet (not to be mixed up with the seawater outlet) of the forward airconditioning unit.
Presuming everything is in good working order, no water will get into the forward cabin and there is no need to close the forward watertight bulkhead.
All draining hoses have seperate valves, all valves are connected to the bonding system.

 

Kind regards,
Walter
Noa, SM2K 436


Alan Leslie
 

I was surprised to read that post...
Our SM is #437 and we have exactly what you describe here Joel...no drain from the bow thruster compartment
Cheers
Alan 
Elyse SM437


amelforme
 

Wow, Alan. Now I am thoroughly confused. Is your bow thruster located inside of a sealed watertight containment where you have to remove an aft facing panel to gain access to the entirety of the thruster? With a little inspection/access door at the top? Or is it in an open compartment with a leather curtain hiding it from view?

 

Your production number should provide for the installation of the one with the containment and a separate shut off valve just in front of the forward air conditioner unit near the shut off valve for the chain locker.

 

I am more than curious to discover what you have aboard ELYSE. Please let me know…

 

All The Best, Joel

Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC

THE EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY

954 462 5869 office

954 812 2485 cell

 

 

From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2016 3:53 PM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster

 

 

I was surprised to read that post...

Our SM is #437 and we have exactly what you describe here Joel...no drain from the bow thruster compartment

Cheers

Alan 

Elyse SM437


Alan Leslie
 

Hi Joel,

Yes we have the wooden panel with the perspex hinged top to access the pin, not the curtain.
I can confirm there is only one pipe and valve and that is for the anchor locker.
Also, just before we did the bowthruster seals last year, we had a small amount of salt water in the well outside the forward head, now with new seals and proper adjustment we are dry.
Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437


Walter
 

Hi Allan,
#436 and #437 must have met when being built in 2004. Although the first owner of Noa let Amel built a few bits and pieces to his liking,
I´m pretty sure the setup of draining the bow thruster compartment
was not his idea. It would be nice to meet and compare the boats.
Cheers,
Walter (Noa, SM436)


Alan Leslie
 

Hi Walter,
Where are you?
We are in New Zealand waiting for weather to take us to Fiji.
Do you have any photos of this bowthruster drain pipe arrangement that you have and I don't?
Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437


Walter
 

Hi Alan,

New Zealand - we found it very hard to leave. Noa is currently in Lisbon, so a bit far for a little cuddle up of #436 and #437 at the moment. I´ll post some photos later.

Cheers,

Walter (Noa, SM436)


Jose Venegas
 

Joel,
I checked in my boat and as you mention, there is no draining tube out of the bow thruster compartment and that explain why we have been frustrated drying up with a sponge the water that regularly collects from the leaking bow thruster seals 

Since I bought my boat, I have serviced the bow thruster and replaced all seals in my SM278 several times (5 in 6 years) .   In all cases a leak developed around the lip seal soon after service. In fact, just after I bought the boat, the previous owner told me he had just serviced the thruster.  I was really shocked when I found the the compartment filled with water after just one overnight from Florida to Savanna.  I proceeded to replace all seals following AMEL instructions and the leak stopped for about a year.  That was the longest period without a leak and the start of my saga.

For the second to last service I spoke with AMEL in France and was recommended to add a third foam seal to the thruster assembly but that only eliminated the leak for a few weeks.  As I was about to cross the Atlantic, I developed a system with a clamp that I secured around the shaft and pushed down to create a good seal.  That worked well for the one year trip from Boston to Spain, Caribe, Santa Marta, Fort Lauderdale and back to Boston.  Although my solution is good and I recommend it to anybody doing long crossings,  as I returned to Boston it became a nuisance to have to clamp and unclamp the thruster every time we left the marina.  
So, taking advantage that I was  giving Ipanema a new bottom paint las week, I  serviced the bow thruster system for the last time and carefully cleaned the surfaces and changed again all the foam and lip seals and I added two extra turns to the top screw to bring the motor up as much as It was possible. 
Sadly, on my return trip from Glaucester to Boston under moderate waves I noted again a leak around the lip seal (brand new) in spite of the fact that I had to add manually quite a bit of extra tension to the cable in order to align the holes to pass the securing pin.  

Do you or anybody in this group have an idea of why is this leak persisting in my boat? 

I believe that the bottom two foam seals should be enough to completely seal the system and the lip seal should only work during the short period of time deploying or retracting the bow thruster.  So if they are not preventing a leak, it must be that in my boat poor alignment between the sealing surfaces may have developed or becomes important when tension is added to the cable to increase the sealing force.

Any suggestion about how to fix this problem.  It must not be very common as few people complain about it in this forum, but it may have been enough of a nuisance for Amel to add the tubbing/valve to isolate and send the leaking water  to the main bilge. 

Has any one retrofitted such a tubbing/valve in SM2K earlier than the redlined version? 

Jose Venegas
Ipanema SM2K 278 
Constitution Marina, Boston MA


eric freedman
 

Hola Jose,

Exactly where is the bow thruster leaking?

Is it around the large lip seal and the foam disks, or is it coming up the bow thruster and leaking oily water.?Your problem seems somewhat isolated in this forum. Most people who rebuild the thruster have no further problems. 2 months ago we beat into 35-50 knots for 9 days from Santa Marta Colombia to Guadeloupe and not a drop of water entered.

Do you plan on being in Boston this weekend. I am headed up there by car on business and possibly we can meet.

Fair Winds

Eric

Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376

 

 

From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 10:48 PM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster

 

 

Joel,

I checked in my boat and as you mention, there is no draining tube out of the bow thruster compartment and that explain why we have been frustrated drying up with a sponge the water that regularly collects from the leaking bow thruster seals 

 

Since I bought my boat, I have serviced the bow thruster and replaced all seals in my SM278 several times (5 in 6 years) .   In all cases a leak developed around the lip seal soon after service. In fact, just after I bought the boat, the previous owner told me he had just serviced the thruster.  I was really shocked when I found the the compartment filled with water after just one overnight from Florida to Savanna.  I proceeded to replace all seals following AMEL instructions and the leak stopped for about a year.  That was the longest period without a leak and the start of my saga.

 

For the second to last service I spoke with AMEL in France and was recommended to add a third foam seal to the thruster assembly but that only eliminated the leak for a few weeks.  As I was about to cross the Atlantic, I developed a system with a clamp that I secured around the shaft and pushed down to create a good seal.  That worked well for the one year trip from Boston to Spain, Caribe, Santa Marta, Fort Lauderdale and back to Boston.  Although my solution is good and I recommend it to anybody doing long crossings,  as I returned to Boston it became a nuisance to have to clamp and unclamp the thruster every time we left the marina.  

So, taking advantage that I was  giving Ipanema a new bottom paint las week, I  serviced the bow thruster system for the last time and carefully cleaned the surfaces and changed again all the foam and lip seals and I added two extra turns to the top screw to bring the motor up as much as It was possible. 

Sadly, on my return trip from Glaucester to Boston under moderate waves I noted again a leak around the lip seal (brand new) in spite of the fact that I had to add manually quite a bit of extra tension to the cable in order to align the holes to pass the securing pin.  

 

Do you or anybody in this group have an idea of why is this leak persisting in my boat? 

 

I believe that the bottom two foam seals should be enough to completely seal the system and the lip seal should only work during the short period of time deploying or retracting the bow thruster.  So if they are not preventing a leak, it must be that in my boat poor alignment between the sealing surfaces may have developed or becomes important when tension is added to the cable to increase the sealing force.

 

Any suggestion about how to fix this problem.  It must not be very common as few people complain about it in this forum, but it may have been enough of a nuisance for Amel to add the tubbing/valve to isolate and send the leaking water  to the main bilge. 

 

Has any one retrofitted such a tubbing/valve in SM2K earlier than the redlined version? 

 

Jose Venegas

Ipanema SM2K 278 

Constitution Marina, Boston MA

 


Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Good morning Jose,

Did “Amel” recommended to add a 3rd seal???

Could you please send me picture of the “system with a clamp” that you develop? I was thinking of a similar device.

I own my vessel since 2012 and the bow thruster also start leaking after 1 year of use (even after being serviced by Amel Martinique with a new bow thruster foot).
Consequently, I checked the bilge near the forward head every time I sail and I also installed a high water alarm and bilge pump.
http://www.nikimat.com/bilge_pump_high_water_alarm_bow_thruster.html

Every year when do the overhaul, the foam look good (but I still change them). I often suspect this is coming from the seal.
It seems the problem start if I accidentally motor over 2.5 kt (bow thruster down) which is some time unavoidable with 2 kt current.

I was also wondering if this was because of the rigging which I have not redone, but I just did the overhaul 2 months ago (and not the rigging) and no leak now even in 9ft seas.

My latest thought is the “contact cement” which could degrades after 1 year, but I don’t know for sure.

Our hull number are not far apart, may be there was a slight different design at that time.

Sincerely, Alexandre
SM2K #289 NIKIMAT
Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico



--------------------------------------------

On Tue, 6/7/16, jvenegas@alum.mit.edu [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 9:48 PM


 









Joel,I checked in my boat and as you
mention, there is no draining tube out of the bow thruster
compartment and that explain why we have been frustrated
drying up with a sponge the water that regularly collects
from the leaking bow thruster seals 
Since I bought my boat, I have
serviced the bow thruster and replaced all seals in my SM278
several times (5 in 6 years) .   In all cases a leak
developed around the lip seal soon after service. In fact,
just after I bought the boat, the previous owner told me he
had just serviced the thruster.  I was really shocked when
I found the the compartment filled with water after just one
overnight from Florida to Savanna.  I proceeded to replace
all seals following AMEL instructions and the leak stopped
for about a year.  That was the longest period without a
leak and the start of my saga.
For the second to last service I
spoke with AMEL in France and was recommended to add a third
foam seal to the thruster assembly but that only eliminated
the leak for a few weeks.  As I was about to cross the
Atlantic, I developed a system with a clamp that I secured
around the shaft and pushed down to create a good seal.
 That worked well for the one year trip from Boston to
Spain, Caribe, Santa Marta, Fort Lauderdale and back to
Boston.  Although my solution is good and I recommend it to
anybody doing long crossings,  as I returned to Boston it
became a nuisance to have to clamp and unclamp the thruster
every time we left the marina.  So, taking
advantage that I was  giving Ipanema a new bottom paint las
week, I  serviced the bow thruster system for the last time
and carefully cleaned the surfaces and changed again all the
foam and lip seals and I added two extra turns to the top
screw to bring the motor up as much as It was
possible. Sadly, on my return trip from
Glaucester to Boston under moderate waves I noted again a
leak around the lip seal (brand new) in spite of the fact
that I had to add manually quite a bit of extra tension to
the cable in order to align the holes to pass the securing
pin.  
Do you or
anybody in this group have an idea of why is this leak
persisting in my boat? 
I believe that the bottom two foam
seals should be enough to completely seal the system and the
lip seal should only work during the short period of time
deploying or retracting the bow thruster.  So if they are
not preventing a leak, it must be that in my boat poor
alignment between the sealing surfaces may have developed or
becomes important when tension is added to the cable to
increase the sealing force.
Any suggestion about how to fix this
problem.  It must not be very common as few people complain
about it in this forum, but it may have been enough of a
nuisance for Amel to add the tubbing/valve to isolate and
send the leaking water  to the main bilge. 
Has any one retrofitted such a
tubbing/valve in SM2K earlier than the redlined
version? 
Jose
VenegasIpanema SM2K 278 Constitution
Marina, Boston MA


Andrew & Kate Lamb
 

This will not help you Jose but I am going to mention the problems I had with my bow thruster for the benefit of the forum.

 

When we first bought the boat and were “virgin” Amel owner we did have quite a bit of leaking from the bow thruster on our first voyage, when we were crossing the Gulf de Lion.

 

Since then we have replaced the seals and foot oil each year and have adjusted the rigging to ensure the foot is always pulled up tightly against the seals, when the thruster is in the up position. However we have had a lot of problems both with the raising and lowering mechanism which resulted in us changing the linear actuator 2 years ago, changing the sensors and rebuilding the control box. This part of the system now seems to be working very well.  Having thought our problems were over, last year the bow thruster main motor stopped functioning – there turned out to be issues with the connections of the coils in the armature and commutator - I made some fixes to this (documented on this site) and the motor started functioning again. It has been ok since until last week when the motor failed again.

 

I contacted Maud at Amel (whom incidentally I have always found to be very helpful)  but she told me that these motors are no longer manufactured and at the moment they have no solution to offer either in terms of replacement or reparation. I have found a local motor engineering workshop near Perpignan who reckon they should be able to repair the motor, by changing the commutator and possibly some coils – however if they are unable to repair the motor then we have some serious thinking to do to figure out how we can get a working bow thruster again and we may have to even consider a more “conventional” approach to this. It is sobering to think that increasingly we may find that when parts of our boats malfunction that we may not be able to get replacements.

 

Andrew

 

Ronpische

SM 472

Canet–en-Roussillon

 

 

From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: 8 June 2016 13:24
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster

 

 

Good morning Jose,

Did “Amel” recommended to add a 3rd seal???

Could you please send me picture of the “system with a clamp” that you develop? I was thinking of a similar device.

I own my vessel since 2012 and the bow thruster also start leaking after 1 year of use (even after being serviced by Amel Martinique with a new bow thruster foot).
Consequently, I checked the bilge near the forward head every time I sail and I also installed a high water alarm and bilge pump.
http://www.nikimat.com/bilge_pump_high_water_alarm_bow_thruster.html

Every year when do the overhaul, the foam look good (but I still change them). I often suspect this is coming from the seal.
It seems the problem start if I accidentally motor over 2.5 kt (bow thruster down) which is some time unavoidable with 2 kt current.

I was also wondering if this was because of the rigging which I have not redone, but I just did the overhaul 2 months ago (and not the rigging) and no leak now even in 9ft seas.

My latest thought is the “contact cement” which could degrades after 1 year, but I don’t know for sure.

Our hull number are not far apart, may be there was a slight different design at that time.

Sincerely, Alexandre
SM2K #289 NIKIMAT
Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico

--------------------------------------------
On Tue, 6/7/16, jvenegas@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster
To: amelyachtowners@...
Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 9:48 PM


 









Joel,I checked in my boat and as you
mention, there is no draining tube out of the bow thruster
compartment and that explain why we have been frustrated
drying up with a sponge the water that regularly collects
from the leaking bow thruster seals 
Since I bought my boat, I have
serviced the bow thruster and replaced all seals in my SM278
several times (5 in 6 years) .   In all cases a leak
developed around the lip seal soon after service. In fact,
just after I bought the boat, the previous owner told me he
had just serviced the thruster.  I was really shocked when
I found the the compartment filled with water after just one
overnight from Florida to Savanna.  I proceeded to replace
all seals following AMEL instructions and the leak stopped
for about a year.  That was the longest period without a
leak and the start of my saga.
For the second to last service I
spoke with AMEL in France and was recommended to add a third
foam seal to the thruster assembly but that only eliminated
the leak for a few weeks.  As I was about to cross the
Atlantic, I developed a system with a clamp that I secured
around the shaft and pushed down to create a good seal.
 That worked well for the one year trip from Boston to
Spain, Caribe, Santa Marta, Fort Lauderdale and back to
Boston.  Although my solution is good and I recommend it to
anybody doing long crossings,  as I returned to Boston it
became a nuisance to have to clamp and unclamp the thruster
every time we left the marina.  So, taking
advantage that I was  giving Ipanema a new bottom paint las
week, I  serviced the bow thruster system for the last time
and carefully cleaned the surfaces and changed again all the
foam and lip seals and I added two extra turns to the top
screw to bring the motor up as much as It was
possible. Sadly, on my return trip from
Glaucester to Boston under moderate waves I noted again a
leak around the lip seal (brand new) in spite of the fact
that I had to add manually quite a bit of extra tension to
the cable in order to align the holes to pass the securing
pin.  
Do you or
anybody in this group have an idea of why is this leak
persisting in my boat? 
I believe that the bottom two foam
seals should be enough to completely seal the system and the
lip seal should only work during the short period of time
deploying or retracting the bow thruster.  So if they are
not preventing a leak, it must be that in my boat poor
alignment between the sealing surfaces may have developed or
becomes important when tension is added to the cable to
increase the sealing force.
Any suggestion about how to fix this
problem.  It must not be very common as few people complain
about it in this forum, but it may have been enough of a
nuisance for Amel to add the tubbing/valve to isolate and
send the leaking water  to the main bilge. 
Has any one retrofitted such a
tubbing/valve in SM2K earlier than the redlined
version? 
Jose
VenegasIpanema SM2K 278 Constitution
Marina, Boston MA



Jose Venegas
 

Good afternoon Alexander:

Yes I was told to add a third seal but that did not fix the problem.  I am uploading the pix of my Clamp system to the photos section.  Last Sunday we came back from Gloucester to Boston with 30-40 knots wind on the beam. I used the clamp and had virtually no water into the boat.   I also noticed that, as I was predicting, pulling the rod slightly back reduced the leak to a dribble, which confirmed my theory about the eccentricity of the rod relative to the seal.   I found a seal maker that is making one seal with a softer material and greater give so that the seal will not leak when the rod is of center.  I am hopeful it will work but not count on it given my previous experiences.  
Anyway I will let you all know 

Jose

Ipanema SM 278 
Constitution Marina
Boston


Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Thanks for the info Jose,

So you were told "by" Amel to add a 3rd seal? Not by a non-Amel person.

Can you precise: "pulling the rode slightly back" do you mean the bow thruster feet?
Pictures always help.

Sincerely, Alexandre



--------------------------------------------

On Tue, 6/14/16, jvenegas@alum.mit.edu [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow thruster
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 5:08 PM


 









Good afternoon Alexander:
Yes I was told to add a third seal
but that did not fix the problem.  I am uploading the pix
of my Clamp system to the photos section.  Last Sunday we
came back from Gloucester to Boston with 30-40 knots wind on
the beam. I used the clamp and had virtually no water into
the boat.   I also noticed that, as I was predicting,
pulling the rod slightly back reduced the leak to a dribble,
which confirmed my theory about the eccentricity of the rod
relative to the seal.   I found a seal maker that is making
one seal with a softer material and greater give so that the
seal will not leak when the rod is of center.  I am hopeful
it will work but not count on it given my previous
experiences.  Anyway I will let you all
know 
Jose
Ipanema SM
278 Constitution MarinaBoston









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Jose Venegas
 

Alexander,

Answer is yes to both. Obviously in the water you cannot pull the the bow thruster "foot" unless you dive.  I pulled the rod that links the motor to the foot of the truster.

Glad the pix was of use

Jose