Doctors train for years to enable them to have a good bedside manner and vets train for even longer giving them the ability to calm raging water buffalo just like Crocodile Dundee. Just how long marine engineers have to train to give them the ability to not only fix boats but keep owners happy is beyond us, but it would seem that those at Crinan Boatyard have taken the course, got the t-shirt and then upgraded the t-shirt to a full three piece suit.
So poor old Ruffian in her disabled state was pulled out the water and with the sea water dripping off her fine smooth bottom the damage started to become obvious. There were sharp intakes of breath from all around and all anybody could say was 'Ohhhhh. Best get Derek and Alan to have a good look at this.' Derek being the yard manager and Alan one of the engineers. Clearly this was not good. So over they came and accessed poor Ruffian.
The way that Ruffian's propulsion system, outside that of sailing, works is that the engine drives a gearbox, the gearbox is then connected to the shaft, the shaft goes outside the boat through a gland and then through a bronze bracket, called the p bracket and a propeller is then bolted onto the end. From initial inspection we had bent the p bracket, bent the shaft and 'squished' 2 of the beds that the engine sits on. After a little more inspection we had some good news in that we hadn't bent the shaft, only the p bracket and it looks like the engine and gearbox are all OK (but we can't confirm this until we launch).
The p bracket is however a bit of an issue. There is however 'some' more good news.
Being that Ruffian is a Sadler 34 she is classed as a production boat and therefore bits such as the p bracket and all the other components can be purchased off the shelf. This means that we're not going to suffer from long lead or setup times getting the bits. The p bracket does however take some fitting. This is not only bolted into the boat, it is also covered in glass fibre, epoxy and then flowcoat. Basically it's not designed for replacability.
Come Wednesday after the country starts again after the jubilee celebrations we are hoping that work will start in earnest and Ruffian will slowly return to her former working glory. We've then got our fingers, toes and even our arms crossed for good luck, that she'll be placed back into her natural environment of the sea some time in the week afterwards enabling us to continue our adventures.
Ruffian coming out of the water and her crew feeling a little dejected.
There are worse places to be 'stuck' as amazing scenery and sunsets are abound.
One of the benefits of being in dock is that we get first dibbs on all the fish and lobster that is landed.
Like a fish out of water. Ruffian all chocked up on the hard.