Archive | 2014

High Seas Hydraulics Adds Factory Trained and Certified on ABT•TRAC Systems to its List of Credentials

abtAt High Seas Hydraulics and High Seas Yacht Service, we take pride in the high level of service we provide our customers. One way to continue that tradition is to make sure our technicians receive the latest training on new and emerging marine systems.

We recently sent two of our hydraulics technicians to ABT•TRAC training in Rohnert Park, CA. ABT•TRAC is a leading manufacturer of world class yachting products. The Company specializes in stabilizers, bow and stern thrusters, and hydraulic systems.

During the training, our technicians honed their skills on re-building bow and stern thrusters, stabilizers and other hydraulic systems. Part of the training focused on installation and service for ABT•TRAC’s STAR and ReTrac systems. STAR is an option on all of ABT•TRAC’s stabilizers and provides vessels roll stabilization while at anchor or laying to. Introduced in 2013, ReTrac is the Company’s first retractable thruster.

After completion of the training and passing a comprehensive exam, our technicians are now Factory Trained and Certified to work on all types of ABT•TRAC systems. An added bonus of the training session, our technicians arrived back at our shop with comprehensive schematics for a number of hydraulic systems.

We firmly believe that to remain a trusted partner to our customers, we must remain on the cutting edge of technology.


High Seas Hydraulics Now Factory Trained and Certified on WESMAR Hydraulic Systems

wesmar logoOn August 25 and 26, we sent two of our Hydraulics technicians to Woodinville, WA, to attend WESMAR’s annual Sales and Technical Service Training Seminar. The seminar consisted of two days of intense classroom work along with time spent on the manufacturing floor assembling, testing and operating WESMAR’s stabilizer systems, bow and stern thrusters and hydraulic systems.

WESMAR is the inventor of the dual prop counter-rotating bow thruster and the electronic gyro powered roll fin stabilizers.

Wesmar training 2 At the end of the course, our technicians were awarded with a Certificateof Achievement for Successful Completion of the Mechanical Seminar on Installation, Maintenance and Operation of Bow Thrusters, Stabilizers, and Hydraulics. They are now Factory Certified to work on WESMAR Hydraulic Systems.

“This was one of the more comprehensive training classes I have attended,” commented Jeremy Short, High Seas Hydraulics Foreman. “Not only did we have the opportunity to learn in a classroom setting, but being able to actually breakdown and rebuild the stabilizers and thrusters gave me real world experience that I can bring back to my customers.

At High Seas Hydraulics, we believe that the investments we make in our people are investments we make for our customers. We will continue seek out new courses and certifications to help guarantee we can offer our clients the best service in the industry.

High Seas Hydraulics Technicians Complete Swagelok Training


Back in July, we sent two of our technicians to a Swagelok training course. The focus of the training was on hydraulic tube fitting theory and installation and level 1 hand tube bending for hard stainless steel tubing commonly found in many hydraulic installations. Having a thorough understanding of how to bend the hard tubing and the proper installation of the fittings is critical to the success of any hydraulic installation. Without this knowledge and experience, the systems would be subject to leaking of the hydraulic fluid.

The training re-enforced for our technicians the proper method to use when bending the tubing and assembling the fittings. It also covered topics including the proper method of tightening fittings on the tube and crimping.

Swagelok also provided our team with its Gap Inspection Gauge, a Dual-Tip Marker and a comprehensive Tube Fitter’s Manual.  While bending hard tubing and assembling the proper fittings in the right way may seem like a simple process, when done wrong can lead to dire consequences at the end of the project.

No process is overlooked or disregarded at High Seas Hydraulics, that is why we subject ourselves to rigorous training from simple processes to complex re-building of hydraulic systems.  

Replacing shafts on a Quantum Stabilizer system

While working on a Quantum Stabilizing system on a ABS Class 154 foot Richmond, we found that the stabilizer shafts had significant crevice corrosion where the lower lip seal rides.  The lip seals on a hydraulic shaft or rod need a smooth surface or the sea water will leak in causing a failure of the bearings. The model of Quantum Stabilizer system used on this vessel was a Zero Speed ™ known for its ability to stabilize a vessel underway or at anchor.

Shafts from a Quantum Stabilizer System

Shafts from a Quantum Stabilizer System

We were able to repair one of the shafts by cladding over the area where the corrosion occurred. Cladding or shaft weld-over, is the process of repairing a worn or damaged area on a shaft.  This type of work is done by our on-site machine shop, Straight Line Marine, which is the only shop in Florida that is ABS approved to perform this work on this class of boat.

However, the other shaft had corrosion that ran too deep so it was condemned and a replacement shaft was ordered.

Once the cladding process was complete and the replacement shaft received, we were able to re-install the stabilizer back in the vessel helping to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for all aboard.

Maxwell Windlass Repair using Belzona

Pitting and corrosion before repair

Pitting and corrosion before repair

Belzona applied over repair

Belzona applied over repair

While performing routine maintenance on a 110 foot Broward yacht’s Maxwell anchor windlass, we did a full tear-down and inspection. When we disassembled the Maxwell windlass, we found excess/severe pitting and corrosion in the cover body. Most marine aluminum equipment suffers from this type of corrosion over time. Unfortunately the part was so old that Maxwell did not have replacement parts readily available. The part was cast and very complicated so machining a replacement part was not feasible or economical.

In order to remedy the situation, we used a product call Belzona. It is a 2-part repair composite for metal repair and resurfacing based on solvent free epoxy resin reinforced with silicon steel alloy. This repair material will not corrode and resists a wide range of chemicals. It is easy to mix and apply without the need of specialist tools and can be machined using conventional tools.

The part was first sandblasted clean and prepped. We apply the Belzona to the repair area on the Maxwell windlass similar to applying frosting to a cake. Once it cures the material machines like aluminum.  We then put the unit in the lathe where the cutting tool cuts the ID (inside diameter) of the windlass part.  What we are showing in the accompanying pictures is the process half completed so what you are seeing is a smooth round surface under and to the left of the cutter and the frosting mix that is about to be cut to the right of the cutter.

Unit in the lathe where the cutting tool cuts the ID (inside diameter)

Unit in the lathe where the cutting tool cuts the ID (inside diameter)

The final step in the process is powder coating before re-installation back onto the vessel. With this type of repair, the owner should expect many more years of use of this Maxwell windlass.





Pressure Testing NAIAD Stabilizer System Heat Exchangers

Pressure testing NAIAD Stabilizer heat exchanger

Pressure testing NAIAD Stabilizer heat exchanger

In a previous post, we detailed the steps of flushing a NAIAD Stabilizer hydraulic tank off of a 100 foot Azimut yacht as part of rebuilding the entire system. The Naiad hydraulic fluid tank has a heat exchanger built inside that uses circulated sea-water to keep the hydraulic fluid cool. In this project the hydraulic fluid was turning a burnt orange color as seen in the sight glass which is an indication that the fluid was running hot.   We removed the tank and removed the heat exchanger for descaling. A final critical step in the process is pressure testing the unit before it is re-installed in the tank and back in the vessel.   If the unit fails it will mix sea-water with the hydraulic fluid with disastrous results.

We use a pressure testing system that starts with city water pressure and is boosted by a pump to 70 to 100 lbs. of pressure.  The boosted pressure is held in place by a valve. We then monitor the pressure gauge to see if the pressure holds.  If the pressure drops over an hour time then we know we have a leak.

If we detect a leak then the entire core needs to be replaced.

If no leak is detected, we proceed with the re-assembling and re-installation of the tank and add new hydraulic fluid to finish off the job.

Flushing NAIAD Stabilizer Hydraulic Tanks

NAIAD Stabilizer Hydraulic Tank from the engine room

NAIAD Stabilizer Hydraulic Tank from the engine room

We have repaired, rebuilt or replaced NAIAD stabilizers on boats of all sizes. On the fin side we mainly concentrate on checking hydraulic cylinders for leaks, removing fins &shafts, inspecting bearings and replacing the lip seal. But there is also servicing required on the hydraulic tank in the engine room.

This was the case on a 100 foot Azimut that was in our yard.   The hydraulic fluid was a burnt orange color as visible in the site glass. The hydraulic tanks for the NAIAD Stabilizer system uses salt water pumped through a heat exchanger to cool the hydraulic fluid. Over time, the heat exchangers in the units have a build-up of materials including limescale, barnacles and other marine encrustations that need to be flushed out.

The process involves draining the hydraulic fluid, removing the hydraulic tank from the engine room and removing the heat exchanger from the tank so it can be descaled. The process of descaling consist of running biodegradable acid through the inside and outside of the coils and flushing it with fresh water to remove any non limescale deposits and wash of the descaling liquid residues.

Once that process is complete, we pressure test the unit, re-assemble and reinstall it and add new hydraulic fluid.

Our experience with NAIAD Stabilizer systems allows us to deliver end-to-end service on the entire system.

One Stop Service for Multiple Projects on your Yacht

Having a machine shop, Straight Line Marine; a running gear shop, High Seas Yacht Service and a dedicated hydraulics business, High Seas Hydraulics under one roof at Lauderdale Marine Center really pays off for our customers who are in need of running gear and hydraulics work done on their boats while they are hauled in the yard.

Hose coupling being attached according to specifications.

Hose coupling being attached according to specifications.

We just completed work on a 73 foot Palmer Johnson Sport Fisher – a very unique vessel. The NAIAD Stabilizer System required a complete rebuild from replacing the bearings to new seals, hoses and cylinders. We were able to take advantage of our specialized capabilities in the hydraulics shop to make the new hydraulic hoses with our Parker crimping equipment. We have the ability to make hydraulic hoses up to 1-1/4 inches in diameter. We were also able to re-build and stress test the hydraulic cylinders with the help of Straight Line Marine.

We also performed basic running gear service on this boat, removing and straightening the shafts in our machine shop and replacing the Lasdrop Dripless Shaft Seal system using our mechanics at High Seas Yacht Service.

Our customers have come to rely on the High Seas family of companies for one stop shopping to get the job done right in a timely and efficient manner.

NAIAD Shafts; Common Problems – Unique Solutions

Newly cladded NAIAD Stabilizer shaft

Newly cladded NAIAD Stabilizer shaft

One of the most common problems we see on mega yachts is crevice corrosion and wear on stainless steel shafts, whether those shafts are propeller, rudder or NAIAD stabilizer shafts. Stainless steel shafts can be damaged by excessive wear in contact areas, such as bearings or seals due to long life or misalignment. Shafts can also be damaged from crevice corrosion or stray current corrosion.

The solution to these problems can range from cladding the existing stabilizer shafts or fabricating entirely new units. Cladding or shaft weld-over, is the process of repairing a worn or damaged area on a shaft.  This type of work is done by our on-site machine shop, Straight Line Marine, which is the only shop in Florida that is ABS approved to perform this type of work on propeller shafts.  Replacing a large NAIAD stabilizer shaft would cost thousands of dollars, depending on the size.  However, the cladding repair is less than a thousand dollars.

This was the case on a 145 foot Trinity yacht that we were working on rebuilding its NAIAD Stabilizer System. When pitting or crevice corrosion becomes too extensive, it prevents the lip seal from establishing a tight fit thus allowing sea water in or oil to leak out of the system.

We removed the shafts, cladded them and installed new lip seals in the NAIAD Stabilizer and the owner was good to go.

Upgrading a NAIAD Stabilizer System for better Fit and Performance

NAIAD Stabilizer lower bearing housing

NAIAD Stabilizer lower bearing housing

While performing routine lip seal maintenance on a NAIAD Stabilizer System on a 120 foot Custom Yacht; we found excessive amounts of corrosion on the external side of the housing. The corrosion was so bad we could not remove the plates in order to replace the seals.

An important component to the comfort and safety of any vessel, the principle behind NAIAD fin stabilization is to counteract the tendency of a vessel to roll with an equivalent and opposite righting moment applied in exactly the proper phase and proportion. These righting moment forces are typically generated from a pair of underwater fins, although other control surfaces are also available. Wave forces are thus prevented from aggravating the vessel’s natural tendency to roll.

Specially design hydraulic press

Specially designed hydraulic press

Once the fins were removed from the NAIAD Stabilizer, the corrosion on the shaft and in the bearings was so significant that the shaft could not be removed using the most common methods.  In order to get the shaft out, we built a special hydraulic press to drive the shaft out of the boat. With the shafts out, we then worked with NAIAD to upgrade the system to the next larger size unit.

Upgrading to the next size required a new housing which required fiberglass modifications to resize the hole in the hull.

What started out as a routine job turned into a complete replacement and modification to the yacht in order to guarantee continued high performance and comfort at sea.