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OPACMARE gangway not rotating


luvkante
 

Dear friends,

I am constantly facing problems with the rotation axle of my OPACMARE gangway, since I crossed the Atlantic (oxidation?).


When I leave CHIARA alone for a couple of months without operation, the rotation axle does not work. I have to rotate the gangway with big force manually backwards and forwards many times and slowly the gangway starts to rotate again. After many operations it works flawlessly again.


When the gangway is stuck, I hear the pump working, so it is ok. So should be the valve. It seems to engage properly. I checked it with the screw driver. 

A service man was not very helpful. He suggested to change the oil. I do not believe, that that is the problem, because the other linear axles seem to be ok. 

Any ideas?


Martin

AMEL 54 #149

CHIARA


Arno Luijten
 

You are confronted with the poor design of an otherwise very nice piece of hardware on your boat. To set off frightening you first. The repair of my passarelle was about 14k $.

Still there?

The good news for you is that your rotary actuator is not yet completely seized up as mine was. That means you can probably still take it apart. But to get to that thing is quite the job. First you need to get all the hydraulic hoses off and sensors off. Before you do that make sure the passarelle sticks out 90 degrees. Now you can remove the top part. It's heavy, really heavy. About 100+ kg or so. once that part is off you need to get off the base part. Again not so easy as removing the bolts still leave the chaulking to stick. Once the base is loose you can bring this to a hydraulics shop and the can start rebuilding it.
A new rotary actuator is around 6k$ including transport.

My passarelle was fully overhauled, all seals were replaced all cylinders overhauled, a brand new actuator and the whole thing was repainted.
I made a small change to prevent the ingress of (sea)water into the rotary actuator by putting a cover over it and putting a think layer of lanolin grease under the cover. The problem is that the way the actuator has been designed is that part that rotates sits inside a large cylinder. There is a narrow seam between the moving parts on the top side of the actuator. Opacmare made a poor design choice here to allow seawater to reach this seam and slowy but surely get into the mechanism. Once that happens it starts rusting (it is all mild steel) and at some point it is stuck to the point you will never be able to disassemble it.

If you need more details let me know.

Regards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi,

first I must make a disclaimer, as  SM owner I have never had anything to do with the pasaralle on a 54. However I understand it swivels on a vertical shaft in a tube. The problem arose after an offshore passage. There is a very high level possibility that friction created by salt crystals formed between the shaft and the tube as the water evaporates is the culprit. Simple rinsing with fresh water regularly will prevent this. If it is constructed of mild steel (surely not???) then obviously, given salts impressive ability to cause corrosion, if left it will soon change from a salt crystal problem to corrosion and application of high quality corrosion resistant lubricant following the rinsing is essential but be careful this does not entrap future salt crystals.

The swivels at the top of the main, mizzen and headsails suffer from the salt crystal problem causing friction, and in advanced cases seizing, particularly after extended offshore passages. In their case, being manufactured of less corrosion susceptible material simple flushing with fresh water provides a cure.

Kind Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 01 May 2020 at 07:57 Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...> wrote:

You are confronted with the poor design of an otherwise very nice piece of hardware on your boat. To set off frightening you first. The repair of my passarelle was about 14k $.

Still there?

The good news for you is that your rotary actuator is not yet completely seized up as mine was. That means you can probably still take it apart. But to get to that thing is quite the job. First you need to get all the hydraulic hoses off and sensors off. Before you do that make sure the passarelle sticks out 90 degrees. Now you can remove the top part. It's heavy, really heavy. About 100+ kg or so. once that part is off you need to get off the base part. Again not so easy as removing the bolts still leave the chaulking to stick. Once the base is loose you can bring this to a hydraulics shop and the can start rebuilding it.
A new rotary actuator is around 6k$ including transport.

My passarelle was fully overhauled, all seals were replaced all cylinders overhauled, a brand new actuator and the whole thing was repainted.
I made a small change to prevent the ingress of (sea)water into the rotary actuator by putting a cover over it and putting a think layer of lanolin grease under the cover. The problem is that the way the actuator has been designed is that part that rotates sits inside a large cylinder. There is a narrow seam between the moving parts on the top side of the actuator. Opacmare made a poor design choice here to allow seawater to reach this seam and slowy but surely get into the mechanism. Once that happens it starts rusting (it is all mild steel) and at some point it is stuck to the point you will never be able to disassemble it.

If you need more details let me know.

Regards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Danny,

The electro-hydraulic passerelle uses a rotational actuator very much like the one in this picture.



It uses hydraulic pressure to move the disc in the middle to go up and down. There is a sort of helix shape in the middle that causes the face at the top to twist when the disc moves. The base of the unit is bolted to the boat. This unit takes up all the weight and forces of the gangway on top of the unit.

Now imagine this at the back of the boat in a way that allows seawater to stand on the face for extended periods. Also imagine this thing made from mild steel. You can expect it will give you trouble with corrosion at the point where the stationary and the moving part meet sooner or later. What I did is put a sort of lid on top of this face sandwiched between the actuator and the actual gangway. Any water drops on the (Stainless) lid. Between the lid and the actuator I put as much lanolin grease as possible so water cannot get inbetween. Given the existing design this was the best way I could think of without major surgery on the construction.

Hope that helps,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


CARINA HAMMARLUND
 

Hi Martin,
we had the exact problem 3 years ago. After trying to communicate with Opacmare for over a month we gave up and took it apart ourselves.
the problem was corrosion. This is a very heave piece of equipment!
Conny constructed a tool himself to be able to take it apart, but I guess you can find such a tool at a well equipped tool shop. We did this at Spice Island Marina in Grenada. Conny donated the tool to Oscar, the mechanical manager at the yard.

Before taking it apart conny sprayed it with oil to dissolve the corrosion, days before trying to take it apart. It’s extremely important to clean it so you find the hole for the small Alan key that is the lock screw in the threading between the engine house and the ring you want to turn to take it apart.
it was 4 people working together to take it apart because it was so stuck! Arm yourself with a big portion of patience:)))

when it was disassembled he cleaned it and he also drilled a hole from the side and put in a grease nipple.

If you want to discuss it more in detail please send a pm to us and we can have a video call, Conny is happy to share what he learned in the process with you.


finally I must make a comment on Opacmare.
They where not helpful at all, they were not interested in sharing knowledge on how to repair the gangway they just wanted to sell us a new engine for 3000 euro!
Conny managed to repair ours for 7 euro!!!
but it was hard work.

Carina
SV Ultimo
Amel 54 No 165


luvkante
 

Arno,

that diagnosis is a shock!
I have to sit down and reflect, what to do.
Because CHIARA is currently in Varazze/Italy, I currently have no access.
As soon as I am back on board, I will see, what to do.

Martin
AMEL 54 # 149
CHIARA


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Carina,

You were very fortunate. Our actuator was seized up so bad that the whole workshop of FKG hydraulics here in St. Maarten found no way to disassemble the thing. I suppose if there is still some motion in the actuator you will be able to take it apart. That seems good news for Chiara.

To your comments about Opacmare. Yes we had trouble with them as well, although not as bad as you describe. On the other hand , a fellow boat owner had a passerelle from a different manufacturer and he also suffered huge communication and cooperation problems with that vendor. Apparently business for these people to too good to care about after-sales... Me thinks that will have changed post-covid time.

REgards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Gregory Shea
 

Arno, 
Is the actuator totally hydraulic or is there an electrical component to it. If there is any electro-magnetic control/clutch function, the manufacturer must use low carbon mild steel to concentrate the magnetic flux (think soft iron core in a transformer). Could this be the reason they used material that is so unsuitable in a marine environment?

Greg Shea
Sharki 133 Cap des Iles



From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...>
Sent: Friday, May 1, 2020 9:25 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] OPACMARE gangway not rotating
 
Hi Carina,

You were very fortunate. Our actuator was seized up so bad that the whole workshop of FKG hydraulics here in St. Maarten found no way to disassemble the thing. I suppose if there is still some motion in the actuator you will be able to take it apart. That seems good news for Chiara.

To your comments about Opacmare. Yes we had trouble with them as well, although not as bad as you describe. On the other hand , a fellow boat owner had a passerelle from a different manufacturer and he also suffered huge communication and cooperation problems with that vendor. Apparently business for these people to too good to care about after-sales... Me thinks that will have changed post-covid time.

REgards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Arno Luijten
 

Hj Greg,

The actuator is pure hydraulic/mechanical. It has two oil connectors. Push oil in one and the thing rotates in one direction, pushing oil from the other connection. Reversal by putting pressure in the other connector. 

Opacmare does not make this thing themselves. It’s a more or less generic part that can also be used in other machinery. We tried to find out who actually makes it but Opacmare removed any reference from the actuator. 

My guess is the thing was never designed for the marine environment and Opacmare did a sloppy job protecting it from salt water. 


Regards,
Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


luvkante
 

Arno,

do you have a OPACMARE part# of the rotary actuator?

Martin
AMEL54 #149 „CHIARA“ 


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Martin,

I'm not sure. I found this reference on the estimate I got from FKG:

"Rotating Actuator OpacMare Passerelle:1849.26.02.24"

So this may on may not be the Opacmare number.

Cheers,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


luvkante
 

Thank you Arno,


This might be the passerelle Type Mr as well. I am not sure.


Martin

AMEL54 #149 „CHIARA“ 


Scott SV Tengah
 

To be the voice of hope - perhaps you can check the sensors.

Our sensor wire was damaged and therefore would not operate on one axis. That said, by engaging the valve with a screwdriver enabled me to operate it hydraulically. Replacing the sensor fixed the problem. Amel has them.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


luvkante
 

Thank you Scott, but they`re ok!

Martin
AMEL54 #149 „CHIARA“