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Bow Thruster - no thrust!!


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Anyone help? I’ve got a Nobel Aquafax and it was working fine till last weekend. Voltage at the bow thruster end is 13.2 V on a multimeter which I think is enough to power the motor, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Controller box at the stern also seems to be powered.

However, in removing the cover, a inch thick metal band (clamp?) with a hole in either end fell out as I removed it. I have heard rumours of a sacrificial split pin that fails in order to protect the motor if it’s overused. If so, does anyone have any knowledge or can post some pictures to help?

thank you. Jay Tee

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12 minutes ago, JayJayTee said:

Anyone help? I’ve got a Nobel Aquafax and it was working fine till last weekend. Voltage at the bow thruster end is 13.2 V on a multimeter which I think is enough to power the motor, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Controller box at the stern also seems to be powered.

However, in removing the cover, a inch thick metal band (clamp?) with a hole in either end fell out as I removed it. I have heard rumours of a sacrificial split pin that fails in order to protect the motor if it’s overused. If so, does anyone have any knowledge or can post some pictures to help?

thank you. Jay Tee

If you could post some pictures of yours it would help..........................................................

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  • 3 months later...
4 minutes ago, JayJayTee said:

It just clicks at the thruster end when I press the port/starboard button. As if there is power to the unit but maybe a fuse has gone or something?

 

Low voltage at the motor ?

 

What voltage are you getting at the motor (not at the battery) when the button is pressed ?

 

Bad / Loose connection either on the motor or on the battery.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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4 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Low voltage at the motor ?

 

What voltage are you getting at the motor (not at the battery) when the button is pressed ?

 

Bad / Loose connection either on the motor or on the battery.

Not sure but will check. Does the BT go off the normal starter battery or leisure battery?

4 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Worn brushes?

Can you still get them, and can I remove the BT from the spline with the boat in the water?

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4 minutes ago, JayJayTee said:

Not sure but will check. Does the BT go off the normal starter battery or leisure battery?

Can you still get them, and can I remove the BT from the spline with the boat in the water?

 

1. may well be its own battery right at the front of the boat?

 

2. Brushes, no idea, but with a bit of effort you should be able to find pattern ones of pattern ones that are a bit oversize that you can file down.

 

3. Without the manual, I have no idea about taking the motor off while afloat.

 

The click suggests the contactor is moving, but that is all. It might mean:

 

discharged batteries

faulty connection

contactor not making proper contact

worn motor brushes

seized or otherwise faulty motor

Possibly a jammed prop, but hopefully the shear pin would have failed.

 

If the shear pin had failed, the motor should run but produce no thrust.

 

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2 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

If the shear pin had failed, the motor should run but produce no thrust.

At my latest blacking a couple of months ago, I was surprised to find a blade missing from the impeller on my Vetus unit. I rarely use the thing and certainly remember no incidents with it. These (rather expensive) impellers are made from some sort of very robust nylon type material and I think a lump hammer would have a hard job in detaching a blade. I can't even begin to imagine how such a blade would give up before a shear pin. The little metal drive pin in the old, and supplied with the new, looked like solid stainless steel to me. I'm inclined to think the shear pin is a myth!

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Mine stopped working because condensation in the BT locker had caused the motor to sieze up. 

 

My Vetus motor is easily removed without compromising the boats ability to stay afloat, not sure about yours.

 

I had my motor reconditioned at Cox's of Atherstone for a very reasonable price.

 

However it still wouldn't work, clicking like yours when I rsinstalled it, so I ran jumper leads from the battery to the motor, whereupon it worked. I checked every connection between battery and motor and found I was dropping several volts across the battery isolator.

 

Replaced it and all has been well since.

 

 

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On 07/08/2021 at 11:21, JayJayTee said:

It just clicks at the thruster end when I press the port/starboard button. As if there is power to the unit but maybe a fuse has gone or something?

Have you tried a different battery? 

If not the battery could be a faulty battery isolator switch ?

Or  corroded electrical connections

Or the Albright solenoid 

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Not really, most BT compartments are uninsulated and prone to condensation during the winter months.

 

I now leave the top of the BT compartment open over winter (but not open to the elements as it is under the cratch) to aid ventilation which has cured the problem.

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42 minutes ago, Sir Nibble said:

What about the "inch thick" bit of metal. Any chance of a picture of that?

I’ll get some photos next weekend

5 hours ago, MartynG said:

Have you tried a different battery? 

If not the battery could be a faulty battery isolator switch ?

Or  corroded electrical connections

Or the Albright solenoid 

Nothing looks corroded.  What does the solenoid look like?

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18 minutes ago, JayJayTee said:

I’ll get some photos next weekend

Nothing looks corroded.  What does the solenoid look like?

 

There is a photo of the contactor (solenoid) up further back in the topic. The one where you can see contacts. It will almost certainly be the thing that is clicking near the motor, probably a rectangular box like thing with about 4 thick and two thin wires coming out of it.

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22 minutes ago, JayJayTee said:

I’ll get some photos next weekend

Nothing looks corroded.  What does the solenoid look like?

Its not a solenoid, its a relay/contactor which switches the heavy current when it is energised by the control switch at the stern either forward or in reverse, left or right.

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  • 10 months later...
On 08/08/2021 at 12:46, MartynG said:

Have you tried a different battery? 

If not the battery could be a faulty battery isolator switch ?

Or  corroded electrical connections

Or the Albright solenoid 

Just want to thank you MartynG. I left this job for ages (well, over a year actually) and only came back to it a few weeks ago. I measured the voltage at each battery and all fine. I gambled on the Albright Solenoid because of the way it had failed and the clicking noise. Now all working again. Perseverance pays off, sometimes…..

On 08/08/2021 at 19:08, Tracy D'arth said:

Its not a solenoid, its a relay/contactor which switches the heavy current when it is energised by the control switch at the stern either forward or in reverse, left or right.

Thank you too Tracy!

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On 07/08/2021 at 18:08, Sea Dog said:

At my latest blacking a couple of months ago, I was surprised to find a blade missing from the impeller on my Vetus unit. I rarely use the thing and certainly remember no incidents with it. These (rather expensive) impellers are made from some sort of very robust nylon type material and I think a lump hammer would have a hard job in detaching a blade. I can't even begin to imagine how such a blade would give up before a shear pin. The little metal drive pin in the old, and supplied with the new, looked like solid stainless steel to me. I'm inclined to think the shear pin is a myth!

 

Impeller? Propellor?

 

I took mine off once and found that the shear pin behind the prop had bent in opposite directions on both sides which meant it couldn't easily be removed. I managed to get an angle grinder with a slitting disc into the tunnel without a guard and carefully cut off one of the ends of the pin next to the prop shaft. Then I clamped a pair of grips onto the other end of the pin and tapped it with a hammer until it finally came out. 

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4 hours ago, blackrose said:

I took mine off once and found that the shear pin behind the prop had bent in opposite directions on both sides which meant it couldn't easily be removed.

Hard to understand how that qualifies as a shear pin really, isn't it? 

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