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Haul Out and Repairs

After consulting some friends over at Boatered, I decided the prudent course of action was to haul her out to have the prop shaft alignments checked, repack the stuffing boxes which needed it anyway, and repair the dinged props and put them back on.

My good friend who recently sold his 65' Viking accompanied my on my birthday to Pittsburg and over to the yard at Bethel Harbor while Heather and the Bean chauffeured.

We got over there and they wanted to look at the stuffing boxes in the water. We got in the engine compartment and the port side was full of Pepto Bismol. Sometime between the Moke idle down and heading to the Travel Lift, the transmission cooler failed. We hauled it out and the bottom looked quite good as I had been worried that it was about time for a new coat of paint. I can wait for next season on that.

I left it in the yard and got a call Monday the 18th. The shaft on port was just fine, but I had asked them to look at starboard as I couldn't turn it by hand when it was in the yard. It looks like the engine is out of alignment. Its weird because starboard was coming up to nearly full RPM at full throttle. They said it looked like it had been out of alignment for quite some time, but that would be kind of odd as I had had props switched out in late March for the trip from Seattle and I'm sure the diver/shop manager would have noticed then.

Later that week I dropped the props off for work and found out that the worst damage was actually to the starboard prop. It fits with a detail of the grounding incident. Namely, when I heard the first sound of trouble, I yanked the throttles all the way back. That wasn't much further as I was already slowing, but I didn't think fast enough to put the engines in neutral and a beat or two later the starboard motor shut down. Its quite possible that I glanced off the stump on port and the still running starboard tried to lift the boat via the prop on the same obstruction. That might explain the alignment issue.

Its all a bit disquieting as the only thing found wrong with port was the water intrusion from the failed transmission oil cooler. That might be enough to take 300 RPMs off of the top end, but I had checked the bilge, transmission, and stuffing boxes while underway in the Moke just because I was worried about such things. It also leads me to ask how a grounding caused a transmission cooler failure. Maybe it was the long period at low RPMs?

No matter. I plan on picking my props up mid week and having them put on and getting the boat back in the water in time for Labor Day. The repaired props will allow me to rule those out as I suspect that my spares may have been damaged between being taken off in Seattle and being put back on in Railroad Cut. At best everything will be back to 3000 RPMs at full throttle and the smooth ride of those tuned props. At worst, I will be able to rule out all the gear below the water and can address anything left from dockside.

I'll be convoying with Bravado all Labor Day weekend anyway and her top speed under power is about 7.5kts. We'll be on the hook in Potato Slough around what I believe is called Bedroom 3 after sailing in Jazz Cup to Benicia.


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