Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cracked

I had mentioned before about how Sabine is sinking, how we’ve been steadily taking on water and how it’s been getting worse and worse over the years. Over the years we’ve been trying to isolate the problem, and still had the bilge fill with water over and over, and we pumped hundreds, maybe thousands, of gallons of water out of the boat in the 6 years that we’ve had this boat.

At a party last month, our friend Cap’n Paul told us to fill the bilge with water from the hose and see where it leaks out, with the logic that if it’s getting in it’s got to get out. Before committing the counter-intuitive act of filling out boat with water there was one spot we hadn’t checked—the propeller shaft.

The prop shaft connects the inboard engine to the propeller—to do that it resides in a tube that penetrates the hull called the stern tube. The stern tube’s point of penetration through the hull is higher than where we would have filled the boat with water, so it is entirely likely that we would not have seen the leak if we filled the boat with water as water only runs downhill. On a lark we asked the mechanics at the boat yard to pull out the prop and shaft and check it out. When they did that last week they saw that the stern tube is literally crumbled into pieces.

At the moment the guys at the yard are ripping out the old stern tube and replacing it with a new one. If all goes well the work will be done by the end of the week and she’ll be in the water again for the weekend. Hopefully this weekend I’ll be aboard cleaning in preparation for the 4th of July, and putting all of our cushions aboard while Todd is in the engine compartment changing the oil and our sailing season will be salvaged after all.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Taoist Biker said...

Kickass!!

June 24, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Sweet!!! Here's hoping it's fixed super-quick!

June 24, 2008 at 1:34 PM  

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