where we go off to see the world, sailing on other people's boats
As fellow cruisers and boat owners know, cruising is fun, but not all fun. There is always a “list” with far too many repairs, projects, and recurring maintenance than time permits. Some are updates and improvements whose immediacy is driven by our desire to have that improvement, for example perhaps that wash down above deck for after the snorkel or dirty job. Some maintenance jobs are prioritized by the need to do it now, or do it later with far greater time and effort such as bright-work as it deteriorates day by day. Then there are the pop-ups…those jobs that move RIGHT to the top of the list because something broke
Today’s was the dingy outboard prop, essentially the motor from the proverbial family car wasn’t working and it needed attention now. All my fault as I passed too close to a mark allowing the prop to strike something in the water. As a result the little rubber bushing tore allowing the inner hub to spin without driving the prop at the same speed, kind of like spinning your tires on the ice…lots of power going out, but not going forward. Here is a quick solution which appears to have worked.
First I drilled three holes through the outer hub, inner hub, and just far enough into the inner bushing to make a small depression. Next we tapped the holes for #10 screws, and filed the end of the screws pointed to try and fit the depressions in the bushing.
Of course we only had tapered machine screws so the outer hub needed a countersink for the heads to fit and allow the screws to reach the inner bushing.
Lastly we started the screws with lots of “Tef-Jel” corrosion inhibiter, remounted the prop, and tightened the screws to again connect the prop to the inner bushing. Yes it worked!! But we still must find a new prop and be very careful not to hit anything again as the connection, now without the rubber cushion, may not prevent gear case or engine damage if we have another prop strike.
But meanwhile the family “car” is back in service! So we’re off to the Chris Parker (a.k.a. Caribbean Weather God) briefings and the tough task of socializing with other cruisers. Ahh…the list may have to wait a day.