Thursday, 11 October 2012

It’s Not Easy on the Hard ….. Oct 2012

2012 Panama2012 Panama
Our (old) Maxprop in various stages of cleanup, certainly looked the worse for wear after 10 weeks idle in the marina, but skipper got it looking nearly as good as new again

04 – 08 October 2012

Just how hard does this need to be??
We booked our haul out for a week on the hard, believe me that is really quite long enough to be perched up above dry ground, climbing up and down a ladder, listening to all the work going on around us in the yard (but to be fair there are great bird and insect sounds too), and that’s without even mentioning the fact that you are obviously not plumbed into sewerage and waste water and we are even closer to the jungle and first port of call for the bugs to attack.  It’s a time of plenty of exercise, lots of mess, constant upheaval and frayed tempers; this is NOT a job we look forward to.

Normally a week is more than enough - the bottom gets water blasted and scraped, then it’s sanded, any areas that need filling (hey sometimes we hit things!!!) are filled with epoxy, sanded and primed, the masking tape goes on around the waterline, we roll on the first coat of antifoul, then the second coat, the masking tape comes off and presto, we’re all done.  Our record time was 3 nights out in Darwin when we had to work our liftout with the tides, now that one was a bit of a push.  The week was supposed to give us plenty of time for our extra jobs too – hmmmm …….. supposed to.

PA040048 Prop problems …..
As I mentioned on the last blog update for quite some time, years in fact, we have had a vibration when motoring in high revs.  When Mark greased the prop the vibration would go away for a while but it is now at the point that the greasing only lasts a very short time and it vibrates even in quite low revs now.  So a new Maxprop was ordered, couriered in and had arrived before we hauled. 

It seemed a very sensible idea to replace the cutlass bearing also while we had the prop off.  It’s been on since we bought Balvenie so it was time.  However the bearing was very firmly lodged between the strut and the shaft and just wasn’t going anywhere.  So the next step was to remove the shaft, now this was starting to get way more serious and professional help was enlisted.
PA030043After much pulling, turning, twisting, lubricating, banging, sweating and swearing – not to mention a scar left in the rudder where the shaft had to “go by”, the shaft was removed, the cutlass bearing changed and it was back on so quickly that I didn’t even have time to climb the ladder, grab the camera and get back down before the shaft was reinstalled.  I thought better than to ask them to pull it out again for the photo!!!!  It had been a very long and hard day, and things were about to get much worse.

Time to play “Spot the Difference”
When we ordered the new propeller we had to specify the shaft size and taper.  Mark knew the shaft size but rechecked by measuring it inside the boat (remember there is a crocodile in the marina so I was not letting him in the water!).  He then read through all our existing paperwork onboard from the existing Maxprop and everything lead him to believe we had a standard SAE 1:16 taper (whatever that is!!).  However it transpires that we are very special and have quite a unique taper, now isn’t that nice.

PA040049 PA040055

Basically this means that the new hub that holds the rest of the prop onto the shaft is way too big, it’s also a little longer and the nut that holds everything in place at the end of the shaft is too big and has a different thread – all a big mess really. P9250031 PYI Inc in Washington who we bought the prop from are being very helpful and we have shipped the lot back (as it all has to be rebalanced) as well as the pieces of our old prop they need to duplicate.  That all weighed 16 kilos, (think hundreds $$$ for air freighting!!!)

Meanwhile we have done the anti fouling, we bought Ameron ABC4  which is the thickest consistency of any type of paint we have ever seen but should not be thinned unless being sprayed on.  It was an absolute nightmare to work with and we are extremely disappointed with the end result.  We may change our opinion on it if it works very well as an anti foul however the finish was so rough we tend to think it will attract all the little nasties as they will have something to hold on to.

This has not been a good week and unfortunately each day is bringing new challenges that we could well do without.  Think it’s time for me to have another sanity break and go spot some more monkeys – when the latest thunder storm stops!!!
It truly is a hard life on the hard!

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