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TOPIC: Bow propeller repair/replace options

Bow propeller repair/replace options 19 Jan 2022 13:43 #127613

  • Chris Green
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Our little (10.5 metre) Dutch cruiser has a Vetus BOW5012 bow thruster
which worked well for some years (with the occasional replacement of
the shear pin). However a year or so ago it died more permanently,
the symptoms are like a broken shear pin but it's not that, it would
appear that a gear has stripped (or something similar) in the 'tail
piece' down in the cross tube (i.e. below water level).

While we have managed reasonably well to manoeuvre without the bow
prop it would be very nice to have it back so I'm looking at what our
options are. Any comments and ideas regarding the following
possibilities and issues would be very welcome.

Spares no longer available
The Tailpiece (part number BP276) is no longer available from Vetus,
does anyone know if there are specialists who can help. I.e. are there
any 'old Vetus parts' specialists? ... or are there places that would
be able to make tailpiece internals such as bevel gears? I'm (fairly)
happy to take the tailpiece apart and reassemble it if necessary.

As built the boat needs to be out of the water to get the prop and
tailpiece out. It would also involve cutting the grill off one end of
the cross tube and replacing it (i.e. welding) afterwards. It occurs
to me that it would be no less of a big job to cut a section out of
the cross tube from inside the boat to get the tailpiece and prop out,
one could even then add a flange and make it a demountable 'access
panel'. Does this seem a possible approach? It would require rather
less 'out of the water-ness', just a lift of the bows.

Yards with facilities
We're on the Sambre at Hautmont, are there any boatyards who could
take on this sort of work nearby? Anything from simple lift-out so I
could do the work myself to somewhere that would do thw whole job. (if
it comes to it I can do reasonable welding and such, given time, so
lift-out only would be OK given time and space).

Alternatives to repair
We have a 185mm bow tube, what could we replace the Vetus with if we
decide that's the way to go? A new Vetus costs getting on for £2000
and is likely the wrong size now as a 55kg thrus Vetus is 150mm.

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