myHanse.com - Hanse Yacht Owners Website myHanse.com - Hanse Yacht Owners Website myHanse.com - Hanse Yacht Owners Website myHanse.com - Hanse Yacht Owners Website

Welcome to myHanse.com the forum for Hanse Yachts owners throughout the world.

Forum Home Forum Home > Hints and Tips > 505
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Jeffa Autopilot Failure
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Jeffa Autopilot Failure

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
kipwrite View Drop Down
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 14 October 2015
Location: New York
Status: Offline
Points: 71
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kipwrite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Jeffa Autopilot Failure
    Posted: 31 May 2018 at 02:02
My Hanse 505, #123, equipped with a Jeffa DD1 autopilot (photo below) suffered a jammed autopilot motor that locked the steering a few weeks ago in the Gulf Stream.  This rendered my 505 not under command.

I took delivery in May 2016 and we’ve sailed over 9000NM since, between Maine and the Bahamas. She’s just a fantastic vessel, and I’ve gotten fabulous support from my dealer. The Jeffa autopilot had been perfect until it failed.

We departed the Treasure Cay, Abacos, Bahamas for Cape Charles, VA the evening of May 4, with the support of Commander’s Weather.  Roughly 36 hours later we were in the Gulf Stream, sailing NE, in a 7-10 foot, long-period following sea, with ~25kts of wind from the SE, with 2nd reef main, and a bit of Genoa out. She was surfing beautifully. The autopilot sensitivity was set on ‘3’, the middle setting, where it has been set since the boat was delivered.

An alarm sounded on the autopilot, and the helm was immobilized. No amount of effort could turn the rudder. The standby button was inoperative. Powering down voltage at the Wurth panel had no effect. A fuse on the panel had blown (replacing this fuse later had no effect).

We sheeted in the main and rolled in the Genoa, and then removed the floor panel above quadrant. The quadrant and cables and cable tension all looked good (and had previously been regularly inspected and properly tensioned.)

Suspecting a jammed autopilot motor, we removed the bolts connecting the autopilot ram to the quadrant, and then removed the ram, which allowed us to regain control of the helm. This entire operation took perhaps twenty minutes.

We were soon in touch with Jeffa Denmark. After hand-steering all the way back to Stamford CT, our final destination, the autopilot was removed and shipped to Jeffa in Denmark for inspection.

A few days ago Jeffa reported “There has been an overload on this drive and this caused a damage on almost all gearwheels. The big gearwheel, big shaft, complete gearwheel shaft must be replaced.”

There was no evidence of water damage to the motor.

 A few observations about this incident:

1. The drive may have been overloaded, but at no time had this boat been sailed in conditions even approaching its design envelope.

2.  2. The autopilot motor had previously worked perfectly. It gave no warning prior to failure, made no unusual sounds, and never went into a standby mode, prior to failing and jamming the helm. No fuse had previously blown. It simply could not have operated any better, until it failed in a way that could have easily resulted in fatalities, under other circumstances.

3.  3, My crew and I were lucky a) we were able to sort out the issue quickly; b) we were not in an active seaway or near land, and c) our sail plan, the winds and the sea state were such that we weren’t put in danger by our sudden loss of steering.


4.  I understand things can and often do break on our boats, but a failure that renders an immediate loss of steering, while the boat has been consistently operated within its engineering design envelope, and carefully maintained, is not a failure I’m interested in experiencing again.

I declined the offer from Jeffa to rebuild this autopilot motor.

Hydraulic autopilots, as I understand things, will return to standby mode under failure. The Jeffa DD1, replete with gears, locked the steering under this failure scenario.

I had received no warnings or advice prior to this episode that DDI should not be used offshore for an extended period of time, or that it might be subject to this kind of locking failure. 

I have no reason to believe the DDI would not fail again, if used similarly.  

I’ve asked my dealer to install a beefier hydraulic autopilot, with a design and failsafe that releases the helm under failure mode.

My suggestion to my fellow 505 owners is: at minimum, be aware of this potential failure, and familiarize yourselves with how to remove the autopilot ram quickly, should the need arise. Speaking for myself, I'm unwilling to sail with this electro-mechanical Jeffa autopilot motor going forward.

I’m also curious if anyone else has had a similar occurrence?


Kipwrite
Back to Top
Alesea View Drop Down
Sub Lieutenant
Sub Lieutenant
Avatar

Joined: 19 July 2017
Location: Turkey
Status: Offline
Points: 18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alesea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2018 at 10:02
Thank you very much for your comprehensive post and bringing this to everyones attention. We also have a 505, but have not experienced or heard of this particular issue. We are crossing the Atlantic later this year and having heard several stories of autopilot steering failure are in the process of installing a hydrovane.
Alesea Hanse 505 NZL9464
Back to Top
Brufan View Drop Down
Commadore
Commadore
Avatar

Joined: 16 December 2010
Location: Belgium
Status: Offline
Points: 454
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brufan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2018 at 10:35
As far as I know DD1 drive is designed for yachts up to 45 feet.
Strange that HANSE use this drive on a 50 feet yacht !!!
So that could be the main reason why it has been overloaded and failed.

I do have the same drive on my 35 feet (6,5 tons empty - 8 tons loaded).  Except water ingress I had no issue with it since 7 years.
Bruno

hanse 355 - 57

S/Y Spicy Ginger

White hull, 2 cabins, Volvo D1-30, Selden rig, removable mainsheet track system (modifications done now), Simrad-Jefa autopilot.
Back to Top
Rubato View Drop Down
Admiral
Admiral
Avatar

Joined: 12 July 2006
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1672
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rubato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2018 at 17:55
Originally posted by Brufan Brufan wrote:

As far as I know DD1 drive is designed for yachts up to 45 feet.
Strange that HANSE use this drive on a 50 feet yacht !!!
So that could be the main reason why it has been overloaded and failed.

I do have the same drive on my 35 feet (6,5 tons empty - 8 tons loaded).  Except water ingress I had no issue with it since 7 years.

I was going to say the exact same thing. The DD1 is used on my 400e as well. I've taken one apart and while I'd say it's robust there is no way I would think it appropriate for a dual helm 50 foot boat. I feel this is another case of Hanse cost cutting and pushing gear to their working limits and beyond - I've had to upgrade blocks, halyards, sheets, sheaves, and winches over the years for the same reason....

Back to your issue, looks like you came to the same conclusion I would have in your place - replace the unit with something more appropriate. Glad it failed in a non hazardous situation for you and everyone and the boat is fine

Good luck.
Steve


Edited by Rubato - 31 May 2018 at 17:57
Steve

Hanse 400e, #168
Back to Top
415 Singapore View Drop Down
Captain
Captain


Joined: 23 September 2013
Location: Singapore
Status: Offline
Points: 257
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 415 Singapore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2018 at 15:04
Hi we have a DD1 on our 415 too, they can also fail in the jammed position if the autopilot computer fails. We had a new computer installed and they incorrectly wired the power supply which ruined the computer. Next time we tried to leave the marina, the rudder was locked, fortunately I had tried the helm before leaving and more fortunately this didn't happen at sea.
I admire your logic and seamanship in resolving the problem
Good luck
Paul
Paul - Night Train - 415 #136
Back to Top
kipwrite View Drop Down
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 14 October 2015
Location: New York
Status: Offline
Points: 71
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kipwrite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 June 2018 at 11:35
This morning I received a note from Jefa with an important update on my autopilot failure, that should be shared with other owners:

“We have had a look at the picture below and can see that the draglink is mounted in a wrong hole on the tiller arm on the quadrant, it will for sure weaken the drive a lot.”

This was likely a build error as I never moved the drag link, and the autopilot was never serviced.

I’d recommend checking to assure your drag link is mounted to the outer hole on the quadrant.
I’ve pasted below an enlargement of the area of the quadrant in question.


Kipwrite
Back to Top
chillios View Drop Down
Lieutenant
Lieutenant


Joined: 18 December 2012
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 32
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chillios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 June 2018 at 22:05
Hi Kip,

Though I have not had a similar lockup of our autopilot (I've alway's been able to place my unit into standby), after a recent upgrade of our B&G gear, I did have 2 separate planetary gear failures.  

The error in our case was determined to by an error in the max rudder angle setting on our new Zeus plotter.

I'm happy to say that the autopilot worked well on our recent trip from BVI to Newport via Bermuda.

I will definitely take a look at where our autopilot is connected to our quadrant.  

If you find a more robust autopilot that would fit in our limited space, please let us all know.  I for one would be happy to upgrade this unit.

Thanks again for the great writeup.

-Chris

Back to Top
STEVE MCINNIS View Drop Down
Lieutenant
Lieutenant


Joined: 10 October 2015
Status: Offline
Points: 38
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote STEVE MCINNIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 June 2018 at 01:53
Checked our autopilot, it's connected correctly in the outer hole.

S

Back to Top
High Time View Drop Down
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral


Joined: 04 September 2012
Location: Portsmouth UK
Status: Offline
Points: 653
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Time Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 June 2018 at 16:19
I've just checked High Time (415) and the drag link is connected to the inner hole. Curiously I also blew the 10A in-line drive motor fuse last week, after 6 years of faultless operation. I was making a number of +10 adjustments while motoring so I suppose that could have caused a temporary overload on the motor working against the prop wash, especially if the drag link is in the wrong hole. The steering in manual mode is, as always, light and positive so no change there.

It is easy to move the drag link to the correct hole but what is involved in re-setting up the autopilot geometry in the AP24 etc? Can you just use the autotune facilities or do you need to enter any (new) stuff manually?
Roger

High Time (415 #038)
Back to Top
Rubato View Drop Down
Admiral
Admiral
Avatar

Joined: 12 July 2006
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1672
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rubato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 June 2018 at 07:24
Not sure you have to do anything at least to start with. The autopilot uses the rudder feedback sensor to understand the position so it will provide "drive" to the rudder until the feedback sensor arrives at the correct position just like always. 
Steve

Hanse 400e, #168
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.04
Copyright ©2001-2015 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.

Links : www.hanseyachts.co.uk www.hanseyachts.com www.fjordboats.co.uk www.dehler.co.uk www.varianta.co.uk