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Old 03-06-2018, 18:15   #1
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Engine control panel, bow thruster and windlass problems - Electrical?

Need help troubleshooting what I think must be an electrical problem of some sort on a 2013 Benneteau Oceanis 41.

The history of the problem is as follows:
Initially the bowthruster was working every time when operated from the control panel at the helm.
Then the bowthruster started only intermittently working when operated from the control panel at the helm - it was random, sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't.
Then last weekend we took the boat out and motor sailed for a few hours and tried to drop anchor at a barrier island and the windlass would not operate from the wired remote at the bow. We motor sailed back to harbor and when we got back, again the bow thruster would not come on from the control panel at the helm and when we got the boat back into the slip the control panel for the engine had lost power and we had to shut the engine off with the manual button on the engine.

Then went back out to the boat this weekend to troubleshoot and when we turned the boat on, the engine control panel at the helm had power, the engine fired up, the bow thruster worked and the windlass worked. I checked the two batteries in the bow (one runs the bow thruster and one runs the windlass I believe) anyway and both are good. I cleaned the terminals on both batteries in the bow and reconnected them. Again the engine started up from the engine control panel by the helm, the bow thruster worked and the windlass worked. I also removed the engine control panels and inspected them for corrosion and loose wires and there was none, so I just reinstalled them.

I'm worried the bow thruster, windlass and engine control panel power loss problem may not be fully solved though because the loss of power to the bow thruster has been going on on and off for the past few months and now there was the new problem of the windlass not working and the engine control panel losing power last weekend, so I'm not sure I can trust that we won't lose power to the bow thruster, windlass and engine control panel again and makes me hesitant to take the boat out.

Has anyone had similar problems before?

Any ideas on what to do next or what the problem may be?

Many thanks!
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Old 03-06-2018, 18:37   #2
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Re: Engine control panel, bow thruster and windlass problems - Electrical?

Without a schematic or hands-on the wiring, this is almost impossible to offer real help with.

The best suggestion I can make is to look for a loose ground wire. the reason to suggest that, it it is more likely to be a source of intermittent problems common across systems
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Old 03-06-2018, 19:22   #3
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Re: Engine control panel, bow thruster and windlass problems - Electrical?

Thx Billknny. Appreciate the insights very much!
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