STABILIZER PROBLEMS ABOARD THE NORDHAVN 46 ENVOY DETAILED BY WAYNE DAVIS, OWNER, AUGUST 4, 2003
Envoy is Med moored for the first time since Gibraltar in Palma de Mallorca. Up until now we have avoided all marinas but there is no choice here. We have anchored in many gorgeous (but sometimes quite busy) anchorages. The Balearics are spectacular and we are having a great time.
I would like to reply to the Naiad statement you sent to me, just to correct some misunderstandings. (Naiad statement is posted August 10.) Sorry for the length but detail is important to me.
"An older model 1018"
The 1018 Naiads were installed by Naiad Marine Florida (NMF) on May 11, 2000 by the first owner of Envoy as he prepared for an Atlantic crossing. His plans changed and we purchased Envoy in Jan. 2001. The 1018s, although they carry a Naiad nameplate, were actually built by KoopNautics, a company in the Netherlands that was either acquired by, or merged with, Naiad. The 1018s have two hydraulic cylinders on each actuator (unlike the single cylinder design of the Naiad 201 and 252 models) and (according to a Naiad engineer) the 1018s are rated for boats up to 18 meters. NMF performed warranty service and changed the oil and filter in 2001 after we purchased Envoy. To the best of my knowledge, none of our failures had to do with the 1018 actuators of fins.
". . . which underwent a Naiad Multisea II stabilizer controller conversion just prior to the NAR."
True. The Multisea II was installed by NMF April 7-11, 2004. This upgrade included all new cylinders, hydraulic hoses, new hydraulic pump, servos etc. It was a major installation. NMF lived up to their end of the contract and, although there were many more labor hours than they had anticipated, the cost of the job was exactly as quoted to me. We were pleased to have the new system. We had approximately 75 hours use on the new system prior to the NAR, all in mild Florida coastal situations.
Also, in preparation for the NAR, on Feb. 23, 2004 Envoy was put on the hard and her stabilizer fins were removed and all fin seals replaced by Bob Payne, Payne Engineering, Jacksonville, Fl. Bob is authorized to service Naiads and did the work when NMF could not schedule us. In fact, the arrangements to upgrade to the Multisea II were initiated on Bob's cell phone in a conversation I had with Vic Kuzmovich on Feb. 23, 2004.
"a reported thumping sound. . ."
We did experience a thumping sound from our stabilizers but this was not the substance of our first failure. At 2:40 AM May 17 (approximately 11 hours into the NAR) we experienced a low oil level shutdown on the Multisea IIs. I looked everywhere for the leak, finding none I refilled the reservoir and restarted the unit. Thirty minutes later we had our second low level shutdown. Seas were choppy; our paravanes were deployed. The next morning I looked further and found the leak: a high pressure hose that was only finger tight connecting the servo valve to the cylinder on the port side. This required pinning the fins, removing much of the plumbing, fixing the leak and reinstalling hoses and cylinders. Approximately 5 hours later, we refilled the reservoir and we were underway. The Naiads worked fine the rest of the way to Bermuda.
In Bermuda Phil Fornabaio (Naiad Service Engineer) determined that one of the supply hoses was too short (<3") and the constant movement of the cylinder had literally pulled the servo off the mounting. A longer hose was installed, the servos were remounted, shims were installed to reduce thumping and we were back in business.
"Replaced both the hydraulic pump and overhung load adaptor (free of charge despite being two years beyond the warranty expiry) due to a keyway failure in the standard industrial overhung load adapter."
The pump that failed was new and was installed by NMF in April, 2004 at the time of the Multisea II upgrade. I watched the installer attach the "new" pump to my used load adaptor. At that time, I asked if I should carry a spare pump (and adaptor) and was told, "These pumps never fail." Since it was new, we elected not to buy a spare. Up until this time we had never had a problem with our Naiads except hydraulic leaks.
The hydraulic pump failed at 20:30 on 6/5/04 with a loud crashing sound that actually changed the RPMs of our Lugger. The load adaptor failed 4 days later (6/9/04 at 22:25). I had shut down the Naiads following the pump failure and the hydraulic pump was spinning freely on the belt driven load adaptor. After four days, the bearings on the load adapter failed. I turned off the Lugger, cut the belts, and after restarting, we were good to go. I understand now that I probably should have removed the belts to the load adapter when the pump failed. However, the engine room was hot, the seas were considerable when the failure occurred and I didn't think there was any risk to the unloaded pump and adapter.
After installing a new pump and load adapter in the Azores, Phil and I spent 4 hours trying to get it to prime. We were unsuccessful. The next day, Brad Smith (PAE) and Phil installed the used pump off of Egret (Egret received a new, larger pump) and this slightly-used pump is currently working fine on Envoy.
Our failures were:
1) Installation errors, both of which were associated with the upgrade in April, 2004: a. A loose connection of a hydraulic hose that resulted in lost hydraulic fluid, b. A "too short" hydraulic hose connection between the servo and actuator cylinder, And,
2) A hydraulic pump failure of the "new" pump installed April 2004.
Our failures were NOT:
1) Associated with the age of the system, lack of service by Naiad, or
2) The fact that we had Model 1018s. ( I would not swap my 1018s for the single cylinder models I have seen on other Nordhavn 46s.)
We were very displeased to have failures of any kind on Envoy. We had prepared meticulously for the NAR and did not anticipate difficulty with our newly upgraded Naiad stabilizers. However, we are happy that Naiad has stood behind their product and we very much appreciated seeing Phil in every port. Phil's good humor went a long way to assuage our frustrations with mid sea failures. We are confident that Vic Kuzmovich and his people at NFM will do their best to assist us if needed in the future.