Hot Work

June 6, 2016

After a number of delays with both US and Mexican customs we finally rebuilt the prop shaft and propeller vari drive system, renewed the rudder bearings and refitted the rudder, all a fairly major task in rapidly increasing temperatures. Working in and living on board in a boatyard is never fun. Trish and I had 10 days of it in La Paz when temperatures were bearable but with the arrival of summer the heat in the boatyard in La Cruz was at times unbearable.

The work was made significantly more complex and difficult by what seems like a fault during the 1997 build with a mis-alignment of the hole in the Skeg through which the prop shaft should be removed. We found that the hole was 8mm out of line and the shaft would not pass through!

How the shaft was installed originally in 1997, removed and refitted again in 2002 is a complete mystery. We had no alternative but to cut out the Prop tube and re-position it in line with the shaft.

I have to give credit to Pedro who runs SeaTec services within the La Cruz yard. He and his team are hard working, innovative and a happy and friendly team. A big thanks must also go to Javier, Pedro's chief mechanic who worked alongside me on the repair and insisted on always doing the worst access jobs (he is about a foot shorter than me)

This picture also shows where the shaft broke, (it has been re-welded to enable us to align the tube and is the wrong way round in this shot)  probably caused by a microscopic crack created when the original shaft was straightened in 2002.

 

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