Thursday, August 26, 2010
A Prop-er Job
Anyone that has spent time working in the boatyard knows that any small step forward is followed by two or three steps back. Part of our to-do list in the yard was to change out our propeller for a nifty new folding version, guaranteed to increase motoring performance, decrease drag while sailing, make us better looking to members of the opposite sex......... you get the picture. I'm sure it will do all that and more, but first it needs to be installed. We also needed to replace the prop shaft seal to decrease the water coming into the boat, so the prop shaft was removed. Turns out the flexible coupler between the prop shaft and transmission needed to be replaced as well, and while the prop shaft was out I might as well swap out the cutlass bearing (a rubber sleeve that holds the prop shaft in place). Without going into too much detail, the new prop fit on the shaft but was shipped with the wrong retaining nut, so a new nut had to be machined and sent to us (from New Zealand). The cutlass bearing wouldn't fit in the shaft tube and had to be machined down to size (thanks Tor). The prop was actually too big and hit on the rudder, so the flexible coupler had to be swapped out for a smaller size. The steel coupler on the prop shaft was the wrong part and had to be machined to fit the flexible coupler (thanks again Tor). Lastly, the seal was too big and had to be swapped out for a smaller version, after which it was still a difficult two person job to install. One step forward, five steps back, but in the end it is all installed and looks sexy as hell. Now I just hope everything works if we ever go back in the water.