March 06, 2012
Sad but true! After months of emailing, pondering, worrying and toiling we now have a new, inboard cutless bearing. Hooray! Eventually, we sought help from a local marine engineering firm. We should have done so sooner but you know how it isâ€¦ Using their marine engineering knowledge they sidestepped the problem of having to remove the forward part of the stern tube so as to remove the old and insert the new bearing (and risk breaking the watertight seal around the main part of the tube in the process) and devised an elegant alternative solution. By turning down the outside diameter of the new bearing shell (itâ€™s a cylindrical bearing comprising a metal tube with a rubberised insert) they were able to install it in the forward part of the tube without having to remove it. Not only did that simplify the installation but, should the bearing ever need replacing again, it will be a straightforward job, avoiding the need to break out any fibreglass (which I now have to reinstate as Iâ€™d already exposed the front part of the stern tube ready for removal before calling in the experts).
Weâ€™ve been in communication with a fellow Oyster 406 owner who had the same bearing replaced on his boat but were unable to ascertain exactly how his was done. I suspect they came up with the same or very similar solution.
The installation now looks like this:
The irony of it is that we only renewed the cutless bearings as the propshaft had to be removed to replace the stern tube hose, which in itself was only precautionary. None of it was essential at this time. Now all weâ€™ve got to do is put it all back together again! And re-align the engine, which is miles out of alignment and couldnâ€™t have been properly aligned when the engine mountings were replaced a few years ago.
The other milestone reached is that Carole has finished removing all the old â€˜Treadmasterâ€™ from the coachroof. I hate to think how many hours sheâ€™s spent doing it. But the coachroof has been prepped and sanded ready for the new Treadmaster which is coming from England and should be here any day. To stick it down we sourced epoxy resin and fillers locally. If weâ€™d bought the epoxy adhesive from Treadmaster we would have incurred a hazardous shipping surcharge of over Â£200.
Will had to go back to England for a business meeting but as it was out Thursday, back Saturday, there was little chance to see anybody. Still the meeting was fairly successful and made it worthwhile going. Ross and Kate very kindly put me up and made me feel very welcome.
Spring must be approaching as an impromptu game of boules was organised last Wednesday with five other boaties. C hasnâ€™t lost any of her skill over the winter months and the ladies team easily coasted to victory amid cries of cheat against the men who still lost.
On Sunday (partly to celebrate the bearing replacement) we had an excellent lunch at Bar Maria, a popular local tapas restaurant with a great atmosphere. We ate a kind of fish and potato croquettes, baby clams in garlic butter, baby octopus in an onion and tomato sauce all washed down with a couple of local beers. It was all tasty, very fresh and beautifully cooked.