Monday, July 16, 2012

Boat Projects

Leak near the rear: We traced the water in the bilge to the rudder post stuffing box. This required my crawling into the lazerette (through a cockpit locker) while underway in a big sea - great fun as you can imagine. I had to hang upside down with a flashlight to watch for drips and spurts and yes indeed - there was a good sized drip coming from the stuffing box. I tightened the stuffing box down until I could feel the packing compress - a couple of turns with our biggest plumber's wrench. Hopefully this will give us a dryer bilge!

Feathering Propeller Re-grease:  I noticed that our feathering propeller was feeling rough when I last cleaned it. The grease I had put in before we launched in Mexico must have washed out (it was lithium grease and must not be completely water proof). Doing this while the propeller is above water in a  boatyard is fairly simple. One removes an allen keyed plug from the propellor casing and fits a zirc (grease) fitting, then squirts in grease with a grease gun. Next you replug that hole and repeat the procedure with a second hole, waiting for grease to squirt out the hub and propellor blades before re-capping. As you might imagine, this is not so easy when you have to do it underwater without diving gear.

Rani stood by and handed me bits and pieces as I made multiple dives, first to clean up the allen key fittings so we could back out the plugs and then as I backed them out, fitted the zirc fitting, fitted the grease gun, pumped and pumped, and then reversed these steps and repeated for the next fitting. I only dropped the grease gun once and fortunately we are only anchored in 20 feet of water here. Cleaning the salt water out of grease gun and everything else took as long as the actual greasing.

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