Archive | Heesen Yachts

Keeping your ABT Trac Stabilizers in Top Working Order

To keep your stabilizers in top working order, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended scheduled maintenance to ensure smooth sailing in rough seas. ABT Trac, one of the more popular brands, recommends changing the lower stabilizer fin seals every couple of years but at least every six years depending on use. The components on the stabilizer are constantly working except is absolute calm seas, so the wear and tear can be considerable.

Dropped Fin

When an 80-foot Limon Heesen yacht was hauled at Lauderdale Marine Center, our team at High Seas Hydraulics was tasked with changing out the lower stabilizer fin seals. We first had to drop the fins from the vessel before accessing the lower stabilizer fin seals. It is important when having this service performed on your yacht that you select a yard and a hydraulics company that has the proper tools and training to perform the job.

At High Seas Hydraulics, we believe in investing in our technicians to further hone their skills. That is why we have send some of our hydraulics technicians to ABT Trac for training on their systems. Those technicians are now Factory Trained and Certified to work on all types of ABT Trac systems.

New lower seal

After dropping the fins, we proceeded to change out the old lower stabilizer fin seals with new ones, apply motor oil, check the hoses and cylinders, then reassembling the units before sea trialing the boat to ensure everything was in proper working order.

Stabilizers are an important component in keeping your yacht comfortable and safe when encountering rough seas.

Removing Deck Cranes off of a 121’ Heesen

A 1987 121’ Heesen Yacht was recently hauled at Lauderdale Marine Center and both High Seas Yacht Service and High Seas Hydraulics were called upon to bring some life back into this old girl. After 30 years of cruising the oceans, she was in need of some major overhauls on a number of her systems.

One was to remove a couple of old deck cranes from her upper deck which had long since stopped working. Typically when we remove deck cranes for refurbishing, we carefully dismantle the various components to diagnosis the problem and once corrected reinstall the units back in the boat. In this situation, it was deemed that the deck cranes would probably be replaced with new units so we took a more expeditious approach to the removal.

Securing Crane

Our hydraulics team, working closely with the Lauderdale Marine Center ship yard crane operator, methodically attached a number of straps to the units to stabilize them as they worked to release the bolts from the plates that secured the deck cranes to the boat. We are fortunate to have an outstanding crane operator – Angel – that is slow and patient.  Constant and clear communications with the ship yard crane operator is crucial to this task and can only come with years of experience working on these types of jobs When you think about the loads these deck cranes are responsible for while hoisting tenders or other equipment more than 30 feet in the air, removing the bolts was no easy task and had to be done with precision to keep the unit from shifting and possibly damaging the yacht.

Once the bolts were close to releasing the crane from the deck, our crew needed to quickly re-adjust the straps in order to control the unit as it was lifted into the air. Cranes have a very uneven weight distribution and weigh several hundred pounds so without the proper balance applied by the straps and chain come-along, they could twist or slip potentially hitting the deck or the side of the yacht while being lowered to the ground.

This type of work takes a lot of experience, knowledge of the units and patience to do it right and to do it safely for both the crew and the vessel.

Don’t Overlook your Hydraulic Steering System – Routine Maintenance is Imperative even if there is no sign of problems

We were recently contracted to perform routine maintenance or general service on the hydraulic steering system on a 121 foot Heesen yacht. It is recommended that this type of service be performed every 5 to 7 years to ensure the yacht continues to run at peak performance. A steering failure can be extremely inconvenient.

Hydraulic steering system tank

Hydraulic steering system tank

As part of the process, we drained and flushed the hydraulic tanks containing the steering fluid, removed and rebuilt the steering cylinders and replaced the old hoses with newly fabricated ones that were made on site in our shop.

Part of the general refit on this yacht included installing new hard hydraulic lines. To ensure that the lines were clean prior to filling the tanks with fresh hydraulic steering fluid, air is blown through the lines starting at the tank and ending where the hoses meet the cylinders.flushing the hydraulic lines v2

While the yacht was in for service, it also required work on the rudder system and for that we turned to our sister company High Seas Yacht Service. The technicians at Yacht Service removed the rudders and replaced the bearings and seals before re-installing the units.

Having a Hydraulic shop and experts in running gear under one roof, can often time save the owners, captains or engineers’ time and money.