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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
Back to Martin's Marina
10/10/2007, Saint David's Bay

Saint David's Bay is a nice little Bay. It is pretty quiet, especially considering that there is a boat yard there. The boat yard has a bar and restaurant, though the restaurant is survival only in my book. There's a nice boutique resort with a great restaurant and their own dinghy dock on the east side of the bay. The anchorage is not crowded and everyone is friendly. It is a pretty place.

The bad bit is that the wind comes from the east with the swell bending around from the south. To top it off the weather report was predicting intense squalls in the area this evening. We were paid up for a month at Martins Marina and decided that we would have more fun on the dock during the squalls than in the rolly Saint David's anchorage.

So off we sailed...

Back in the Water
10/09/2007, Grenada Marine

Blue Star went back in the water and all was well.

Anode Baggage
10/08/2007, Grenada Marine

This is a nice shot of the fishing line we found spooled around the drive shaft of one of the sail drives when we changed the anode.

The Culprit
10/07/2007, Grenada Marine

Grenada Marine did a great job hauling Blue Star on time and getting the bottom painted quickly. We also got some critical sage advice from Craig, the gentleman who runs the mechanical area.

When we unbolted the motor we discovered that the starboard motor mount bolt on the engine side was sheered off. The following is speculation but our best guess at the issue.

This likely happened a year and a half ago when the engine was originally damaged by a mismatched folding prop installed at the factory. The dealers replaced the motor and then had to pull it and reinstall it due to another problem. We are guessing that this is the window within which the mount was broken. Regardless you can tell that the motor mount was broken a while ago due to the high gloss polish on the bolt.

Enter tropical storm Felix. So Blue Star is docked beam to the wind and swell and with one motor mount missing. This allows the motor to rock port to starboard, which doesn't happen much... unless you're beam to a tropical storm. The gasket around the sail drive was probably weakened by the loose motor over the prior months but the violence of Felix caused the crack to sheer through the gasket. Voila, hole in boat.

Saildrive Reinstall
10/06/2007, Grenada Marine

When we went to reinstall the saildrive Jay really wanted to do so by lifting the drive leg up from the bottom. The problem was the hull manufacturer cut a rectangular hole for a round drive plate. Almost, but not quite big enough. The laminate in the area that needed to be trimmed out was thin almost as if it was supposed to be cut out.

Jay is not shy. He grabbed a saw and started hacking on the hull. A moment later the hole was large enough to reinstall the drive leg from below (not to mention remove it from below next time!). This made reassembling the drive much easier.

Jay faired the newly exposed glass and gave it a good epoxy coating.

Saint David's Bay
10/05/2007, Saint David's Bay

We sailed over to Saint David's Bay and anchored just off shore from Grenada Marine today. Saint David's is on the eastern most end of the south side of Grenada. Jay brought Blue Star over yesterday to haul out and we wanted to be close by so that we could help with the work.

Grenada Marine
10/04/2007, Saint David's Bay

Jay on Blue Star fired up his Yanmar engines a couple of weeks ago right after Felix and was alarmed by an alarm. The "water in saildrive diaphragm" light was flashing with the buzzer howling.

When he checked he found that his port gasket around his SD50 saildrive had failed and needed to be replaced. A small pool of water was sitting on a level with the top of the gasket. No damage to the gasket was visible and no one wanted to mess with it until the boat could be hauled.

The only place that can do a beamy cat in this area is Grenada Marine and they were packed when Jay first inquired. Today, two weeks later, was the day they could get him out.

I wanted to give him a hand and learn as much as possible along the way. So I joined him in Saint David's by car. The haul out went fine and the GM folks did a nice job. Once blocked up we set about getting things set for the yard guys to do a coat of paint while we pulled the gasket.

Hah. Not so easy. Jay did most of the work with me spotting and helping out here and there. First we had to remove the prop. Next we had to unbolt the bell housing, then unbolt the engine to slide it forward. Next we had to lift the drive leg/bell housing assembly up and out of the boat to work on it.

It was about a million degrees out and the sun just baked straight down into the engine room. Working under the boat was better but the lovely smell of Micron 66 made me feel fairly polluted all day long.


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