Assessing the Damage
05 April 2012 | The Marina at Emerald Bay, Great Exuma
Bud went diving to take a look at things and remove the zinc from our prop shaft so we could pull the shaft back to remove the transmission. When he got down there he tried spinning the propeller by hand. He turned it about a half turn and then saw that the side of the Max Prop was blown apart and the gears for the feathering blades were exposed. So the Max Prop is totaled. If we’re lucky, that’s the source of the damage and not the transmission. He called the folks who were coming out tomorrow to remove the transmission to put a hold on that. They didn’t have anyone who could remove a Max Prop under water, though.
Bud went back down later in the afternoon to try to pull the propeller off by himself. The zinc on the end was totally missing (so maybe we haven’t solved that problem either) although the zinc on the shaft still looks okay. Only four of the six bolts at the end of the propeller were still there and he removed them. The feathering blades wouldn’t move at all. He took a small sledgehammer down and managed to force them to fold. The bolts holding the sides of the gear case were all gone and that case is what he’d seen was partially open. However, things were so jammed inside he couldn’t get the case to come the rest of the way apart. He tried to force a small, loose piece out; he tried to pry the case off with a heel bar. No luck.
We called the boatyard back to confirm that they could pull our boat out of the water if we get it there. They also said if we can sail it into the harbor they could come and tow us the rest of the way to their yard. So now we have to wait for a day when the wind and tides are right (sometime after Easter) and have the boat towed out of here and sail her back to Elizabeth Harbour with no engine. Not something either of us is looking forward to. All part of the experience I guess, but I don’t like the anticipation.
I tried polishing my two remaining hamburger beans today by way of distraction. They are incredibly hard. I used 100-grit sandpaper to start, then a course, then fine sanding sponge, then 600-grit, and ended with 1200-grit. I decided to take before and after photos, but not until I’d done mine. So I took one photo of mine polished and Tracy’s unpolished, and then a photo of both of them polished. I put those in the gallery. Bud suggested a rock tumbler might work on the sea beans and I might wait and try that for all the heart beans I have. It took quite a while to do just these two beans and I’m still not satisfied with them. Anyway, it gave me something else to do besides worry about how to get the boat fixed.