Saturday, November 9, 2013

On the hard... again!

So, we are well aware that this is now our third time on the hard this year. To help ourselves feel better about it, we rationalise that coming out in April was routine maintenance. Coming out in June was to repair some damages done in April and we didn’t have to pay for the haul-out or the repairs. So coming out this time is hopefully going to fix the engine problems that have plagued us since we joined forces with Batty. We were hoping to come out on Friday so that we could have the weekend to drop the propeller shaft and do prep for the other work we planned to do while we were out. The yards schedule was a bit hectic but they did get us out on Friday and we are so thankful. 

This combined with the kindness everyone showed helping to de-ground us, was just the start of a wonderful series of kindnesses that we encountered being here. The boat yard is attached to the marina and this was our first experience of marina life. Everyone was just so kind and open to sharing their knowledge, tools, boats, and cars. The guys at the yard put up with my endless questions about painting and helped when I was terrified to use a powertool on the hull. Partly due to our use of kneepads (a wonderful thing!), we were affectionately referred to a yachties during our time there. We were out of the water for a week and the kindness and friendliness that we experience here was definitely one of the highlights.

We had a busy week. Having just redone the antifouling in April, we didn’t need to do the whole lot again but had some extra paint so redid the leading edges and waterline. We removed some bolts that had been through the back of the hull (above the waterline) and had the holes welded shut. We also had an anode welded onto the rudder.

Dingbat’s paint job was crap and is constantly flaking off on deck and getting caught under our fingernails. We wanted it gone so I went at it with the wire wheel on the angle grinder. I spent days on her and she still isn’t done. The parts that were flaking the worst are gone but she is now uglier than ever which hopefully works in her and our favor, hopefully making her a less likely target of theft. 

The big news though is that our engine is fixed! The clanging noise that was constantly there is gone! We are so excited. Our current engine is on flexible mounts so that it can wiggle around a bit while it’s running. Because of this the prop shaft needs to be able to move around relatively freely with one bearing distal to the engine. Our hypothesis is that the previous engine that the boat had was on rigid mounts and so had two extra bearings around the prop shaft proximal to the engine to keep it in place. When the engine was replaced, the old bearings weren’t removed and a new one was put in as well. So we discovered three bearings in there when we took it apart, which is what the prop shaft had been banging against. We removed the two extra and Voila... No noise!
Inside the propeller shaft
Bryce did most of the work, under the guidance of an awesome mechanic. I was the trusty assistant as needed. We were all ready to go back in the water on Thursday afternoon, when the mechanic came to check over Bryce’s work and told him that some screws weren’t tight enough. In trying to fix this, everything was thrown off and made it it tricky so we ended up staying out another night. It ended up not being such a big deal but the awesome mechanic showed up at 6 am the next morning to reassure us and the only payment he wanted was a follow-up phone call, letting him know how it all worked out! Another example of the niceness that we experienced! 

As we were lowered back down into the water, everyone held their breath as Bryce put on the engine and put her through her paces as much as he could while we were still in the slings! The difference was noticeable to everyone immediately! We spent a couple of hours at the work dock reattaching the jib furler, which needed to come down in order for us to fit in the boat lift and then we headed off out into the world.

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