Bow Thruster Amel 54


Nick Newington
 


There is one area of Amelia which has been running flawlessly but I have anxiety about.  It is the bow thruster. 

When I first bought the boat I had to change the little relay switches that control the up down and also the stop buttons. I also changed the big brushes on the motor which were badly worn due to the commutator being  a bit rough. I did a bit of a sneaky one, and set up a drill to drive the motor as if it were on a lathe. Starting with a file and finishing with 800 grit paper, I re-faced the commutator in situ. Managed to blast it clean with a dive tank and vacuum cleaner. The only problem was that the drill started to smoke after about 10 minutes. It took hours but saved taking the whole thing out to a machine shop to have it re-faced. It was one of those "in the field”  temporary jobs that I did in the Azores. That is still fine. It has run perfectly ever since. Apart from that and an oil change some good old fashioned cleaning, I have done nothing more than corrosion X application.

It does not appear to leak sea water. I have tested this by shutting the drain valve in the saloon and heading up wind and then inspecting the forepeak for water. The oil is clear and not milky. The level never goes down.

So all is good.


However I keep hearing stories of leaking seals and locked up shafts due to corrosion, in particular the coupling between the vertical shaft and the motor.  Not sure if this refers to the 54 or the previous generation of thrusters. When I haul out in November I was thinking of dropping it and changing all the seals, greasing the coupling.  So not the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but more “ stitch in time”.  To be fair if one was to calculate the hours of use it would be minimal. A few bursts here and there. 

My feeling is that:

1. If the seals are working well and not leaking then they are fine.

 2. I should have been dropping the unit, even a few inches, and greasing the shaft annually, but alas it has not been done.

What is the consensus on when to change these seals, when to drop out the box? 


Kind regards

Nick (in UK but only 3 weeks to go)

S/Y Amelia 
AML 54-019
ashore in Leros Gr



Scott SV Tengah
 

I replaced my seals a year ago and one of them was completely destroyed. I believe Amel suggested doing it every 2nd haul out or something like that? In any event, it's not insanely difficult. you will need a big puller, which I did not have and no one had in Tahiti.

So we went to the trash bin and found two big pieces of metal and bought two long bolts and nuts and made our own puller. Worked very well. It did require a lot of force, so I have to imagine the corrosion would only make things worse over time.

When you say "coupling between the vertical shaft and the motor", do you mean the flexible coupling? I had to replace that in the past and it wasn't too difficult. 

One more tip - apply some Boeshield T9/CorrosionX to the contacts in what Sleipner calls the "Control Box". The one that looks like a long relay.  I had a persistent issue of the BT working intermittently and accidentally discovered the problem to be invisible microcorrosion on those contacts. 

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


Mohammad Shirloo
 

Hi Nick,

We replace the seals along with the oil every 2 years when hauled out. It requires dropping the lower unit which allows for inspection and catching any corrosion early. We have not had any issues. Sometimes it does take a bit of force to disengage the shaft from the motor.  I look at it as preventative as most other Maintenace items on the boat. 

Mohammad & Aty
B&B Kokomo
A54 #099

Respectfully;


Mohammad Shirloo
+1-323-633-2222 Cell
+1-424-644-0908 Fax


From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Nick Newington via groups.io <ngtnewington@...>
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2022 12:20:42 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Bow Thruster Amel 54
 

There is one area of Amelia which has been running flawlessly but I have anxiety about.  It is the bow thruster. 

When I first bought the boat I had to change the little relay switches that control the up down and also the stop buttons. I also changed the big brushes on the motor which were badly worn due to the commutator being  a bit rough. I did a bit of a sneaky one, and set up a drill to drive the motor as if it were on a lathe. Starting with a file and finishing with 800 grit paper, I re-faced the commutator in situ. Managed to blast it clean with a dive tank and vacuum cleaner. The only problem was that the drill started to smoke after about 10 minutes. It took hours but saved taking the whole thing out to a machine shop to have it re-faced. It was one of those "in the field”  temporary jobs that I did in the Azores. That is still fine. It has run perfectly ever since. Apart from that and an oil change some good old fashioned cleaning, I have done nothing more than corrosion X application.

It does not appear to leak sea water. I have tested this by shutting the drain valve in the saloon and heading up wind and then inspecting the forepeak for water. The oil is clear and not milky. The level never goes down.

So all is good.


However I keep hearing stories of leaking seals and locked up shafts due to corrosion, in particular the coupling between the vertical shaft and the motor.  Not sure if this refers to the 54 or the previous generation of thrusters. When I haul out in November I was thinking of dropping it and changing all the seals, greasing the coupling.  So not the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but more “ stitch in time”.  To be fair if one was to calculate the hours of use it would be minimal. A few bursts here and there. 

My feeling is that:

1. If the seals are working well and not leaking then they are fine.

 2. I should have been dropping the unit, even a few inches, and greasing the shaft annually, but alas it has not been done.

What is the consensus on when to change these seals, when to drop out the box? 


Kind regards

Nick (in UK but only 3 weeks to go)

S/Y Amelia 
AML 54-019
ashore in Leros Gr



WASABI - Rudolf Waldispuehl
 

Hi Nick

 

I’m on the same track with the BT-Service on Wasabi like you. I know I should dismantle and maintain it one day, but it is running flawlessly since years. No leaking Oil, always on same level and clear. Personally I don’t think it’s necessary to change the Oil regularly, just because of some small BT burst here and there.

 

The BT compartment is always dry and clean since year. No sign of seawater ingress and therefore I assume the seals are all fine. A loose cable on a crimped cable lug was the only thing to repair, next to some cleaning and anticorrosion treatment I have done nothing else.

 

I learned sometime it’s better not to touch a running system. I have done some preventive maintenance like the outhaul gearbox or the Bamar furler’s. In those cases I found a pristine system fully functioned, watertight and perfectly greased, just learned how to disassemble and dismantle nothing else ;-)

 

However one day I think I need do give some love to my Bow-Thruster System, and I’m also curious about others opinion and consensus like you.

 

Best regards

Ruedi

SY WASABI

AMEL54 #055

Sailing in East Sardegnia

 

Von: "main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io" <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> im Auftrag von "Nick Newington via groups.io" <ngtnewington@...>
Antworten an: "main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io" <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Datum: Dienstag, 16. August 2022 um 12:20
An: "main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io" <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Betreff: [AmelYachtOwners] Bow Thruster Amel 54

 

 

There is one area of Amelia which has been running flawlessly but I have anxiety about.  It is the bow thruster. 

 

When I first bought the boat I had to change the little relay switches that control the up down and also the stop buttons. I also changed the big brushes on the motor which were badly worn due to the commutator being  a bit rough. I did a bit of a sneaky one, and set up a drill to drive the motor as if it were on a lathe. Starting with a file and finishing with 800 grit paper, I re-faced the commutator in situ. Managed to blast it clean with a dive tank and vacuum cleaner. The only problem was that the drill started to smoke after about 10 minutes. It took hours but saved taking the whole thing out to a machine shop to have it re-faced. It was one of those "in the field”  temporary jobs that I did in the Azores. That is still fine. It has run perfectly ever since. Apart from that and an oil change some good old fashioned cleaning, I have done nothing more than corrosion X application.

 

It does not appear to leak sea water. I have tested this by shutting the drain valve in the saloon and heading up wind and then inspecting the forepeak for water. The oil is clear and not milky. The level never goes down.

 

So all is good.

 

 

However I keep hearing stories of leaking seals and locked up shafts due to corrosion, in particular the coupling between the vertical shaft and the motor.  Not sure if this refers to the 54 or the previous generation of thrusters. When I haul out in November I was thinking of dropping it and changing all the seals, greasing the coupling.  So not the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but more “ stitch in time”.  To be fair if one was to calculate the hours of use it would be minimal. A few bursts here and there. 

 

My feeling is that:

 

1. If the seals are working well and not leaking then they are fine.

 

 2. I should have been dropping the unit, even a few inches, and greasing the shaft annually, but alas it has not been done.

 

What is the consensus on when to change these seals, when to drop out the box? 

 

 

Kind regards

 

Nick (in UK but only 3 weeks to go)

 

S/Y Amelia 

AML 54-019

ashore in Leros Gr