How the Matrix Rose Refit Avoided Major Modifications

Let’s Get This Beauty Back In Full Operation!

Some of the more interesting and challenging jobs that the team at Broward Armature and Generator are working on are some of the older motors on the custom motor yacht “Matrix Rose”, built by Nishii Zosen – Sterling in Japan.

The grand old 146.98 ft Matrix Rose was first delivered to her owner in 1986, and was last refitted in 2008 ( She was previously named the “BBC Challenge”.

The beautiful Matrix Rose is a 146.98 ft. custom motor yacht motor yacht built for comfort and luxury cruising.

The current captain and crew of the Matrix Rose came to Broward Armature with some challenges: a couple of windlass motors and an old bow thruster, each not operating properly and in bad shape. (A bow or stern thruster is a transversal propulsion motor built into or mounted to either the bow or stern of a ship or boat to make it more maneuverable.)

The beautiful Matrix Rose is a 146.98 ft. custom motor yacht motor yacht built for comfort and luxury cruising.

Custom Made Bow Thruster: A Replacement Could Require Major Modifications

The Matrix Rose crew was not sure that the 100 HP, 230v motor for the bow thruster was even operational; they had no diagrams, manuals or other support from the company that made the motor, Shinko, a Japanese company ( They brought the bow thruster to Broward Armature as a “longshot”, to find out if it could be refurbished, because marine refit specialists know that there can be many complications that arise from replacing a custom-made, 30-year old unit like this.

“If you buy a new bow thruster motor, when you try to drop it into place you often find that you have to adapt and modify the space to get the new motor to properly fit and align,” says Mike Brochu Jr., President at Broward Armature. “A new unit usually has different dimensions, and can require expensive and time-consuming modifications to fit it properly into place.” The Matrix Rose crew wanted to avoid this kind of major modification, if possible.

The news was good. When the Broward Armature pros took apart the old Shinko bow thruster and cleaned it up, they determined that it could be fixed and refurbished to work like new. The Matrix Rose crew was very pleased to hear that the unit could be made operational once again, and that they could avoid a major modification. They approved a work estimate and the work is being completed at Broward Armature.

Two Windlass Motors
Next up: two windless motors: each 3 phase, about 15 HP and about 250 lbs. After disassembling and cleaning the motors, the Broward Armature technicians found that they were in bad shape.

The windlass motors were not being used with the brake. On a large windless motor, there is a brake that locks the anchor chain in place. When you turn the power on, it causes the brake to open up and release the chain. Once the motor is shut off, a spring locking mechanism is released to lock the chain in place.

“Both brakes had not been used in a long time”, explained Mike Brochu. “The wire on the brake coil was damaged severely, and we had to do some forensic analysis to determine how it should be wound; how many turns should be done to make the coils the proper size to fit in the housing.”

Again, Broward Armature was able to save the windlass motors: they were rewound and reconditioned to work properly. The crew of the Matrix Rose was very pleased to hear this news, knowing that new windlass motors would require more cost, time and possible extra modifications to be fitted into place.

“We love to come to the rescue of a boat captain or marine maintenance team”, adds Mike. “Our team feels great to know that we had a small part in seeing a beauty like the Matrix Rose take to the seas again in good repair.”

Smooth sailing, Matrix Rose.