N 39° 31' E 02° 21'

Winter jobs

December 12, 2011

We haven’t done much lately except work on the boat so this entry is a bit technical, I’m afraid. Why does the list of jobs grow from one winter to the next? I think they fill the available time, a bit like possessions fill the available space. This winter, as we’re on the hard for a fair while, we’ve included a lot of ‘nice to do’ as well as ‘must do’ jobs.

We’re keeping fairly well on schedule. Inevitably though, unexpected things crop up. For instance, on stripping the anchor windlass to clean and grease it, we found the clutch wheels and woodruff key were damaged and have to be replaced. Shouldn’t there be some correlation between the cost of the item initially and the cost of spares parts? So often, as in this case, the parts represent about 5% of the whole but cost 20% of the original purchase price.

The propshaft cutless bearing in the shaft log (where the shaft exits the hull) is a bit of a mystery. So far, nobody’s been able to tell me how it was fitted originally, or how it can be removed without damaging the hull. We’ve had some pretty good ideas from knowledgeable people (internet forums are a great asset, aren’t they?) but no definitive answers. The problem is the diameter of the aperture through which the shaft exits the hull is less than that of the bearing shell and so is the forward end of the shaft log, meaning the bearing is trapped inside. It looks like the fibreglass shaft log may be sleeved with bronze to reduce the space around the propshaft, in which case the sleeve must removed, but how? There’s a sketch below of what we think the stern tube looks like in section.

It also appears that a sea water lubrication supply to that bearing has been removed (but why?) which will probably cause the propshaft to wear prematurely. The consensus is that it should be reinstated, another job to add to the list!

C’s done amazingly well getting the old Treadmaster off but was frustrated at having to wait for new blades for the MultiMaster to come from England. The Treadmaster comes off fairly easily, it’s the epoxy adhesive that’s hard. What’s left has to be sanded off. The cost of the new Treadmaster is increased considerably by us being abroad, well not the Treadmaster but the epoxy adhesive which carries a hazardous goods surcharge of over £200 (regardless of quantity) for carriage abroad. If we’d known that we would have bought it before we left.

There was a split about 9” long in the fibreglass cover to the chain locker. We thought it must have been caused by waves bashing the anchor up into the cover when we were rounding Cape St Vincent as we hadn’t tied it down but on removing the teak decking from the cover and grinding back to sound fibreglass it was apparent that it had been repaired before, mainly with filler, which is why it failed. So we’ve ground it right back with a long taper, and re-glassed it with a good overlap to make it stronger, gel coated it and replaced the teak. Hopefully, it will last this time.

The number of participants in the Thursday afternoon boules game has declined as most have returned to England and the whole marina is now much quieter. The birbdlife continues to amaze. We watched a spectacular aerial display of thousands of starlings, swooping and swirling in incredibly tightly packed amorphous flocks, just like in David Attenborough’s wildlife programmes. And there are so many different kinds of birds – we’re going to buy a decent field guide to Mediterranean birds.

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Jarema December 14, 2011 at 04:29 PM

Hi you two, good to hear you are still ‘working’ hard on the boat! We are doing good back in the UK, weathers turning cold now though! Keep up the good work, and please pat J’s bottom from us!!!! More later. luv Debs & Ian. x

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