This is an old boat - an OLD STEEL
boat - often referred to as the (T)rusty old ketch, well forty years of time has caught her up, we've been plagued by shaft problems since Northern Spain, first the key way shearing off in Gijon and then the bolts pulling out the shaft coupling in Cascais - all well documented on the blog at the time.
This is a chicken and egg scenario , when the key way failed it was down to wear and tear, the key was made from brass, it was sat in a stainless steel shaft with a mild steel housing on top of it , dissimilar metals react and "voila" corrosion of the weaker part via the periodic table ....blah blah blah ....chemistry 101 ( I was thrown out of that school exam for counting tiles on the ceiling - i was bored ok )
Well we have had a vibration for a while , we assumed (wrongly) that there was a problem with the shaft again IE when I welded the coupling on to the shaft I "splurged" more weld on one side the than the other....WRONG AGAIN.
Driven by curiosity I have been into the deepest and darkest of places with a torch and a quiet prayer, searching for the answer ( so wish I hadn't ) I found this !
This my never seen friends is the port aft engine mounting, the one under the heat exchanger, the one hidden from view unless you take half the engine room apart in search of it, well I found it AND I found the problem.
Its cracked ! (Look closely in the angled bit) The plate bolts to the engine with 4 bolts- ( two undid and one sheared off , the other has no head ! )
and then sits on a rubber mount (large nut in centre cut off using an angle grinder)
which in turn is mounted to the hull of the boat, this retains the engine in position and allows for adjustment of the engine so the gear box aligns with the shaft AND NO VIBRATIONS.
I have tried my hardest to get this apart without resorting to the boat yard and yet another crane out, two of the bolts came undone, another sheared off and the fourth is still in there, access is so poor I cannot get in there with a drill to remove the broken bolt nor grind out the one with no head.
My original options were, grind off the head of the fourth bolt, remove the plate, make a new one and refit it using the TWO remaining good bolts into the engine block (sounds of an alarm in my head - BODGE BODGE BODGE) OR lift the engine and do the job properly (no alarms).
Heres the rub..... if I get the engine out I will naturally want to clean the engine bay, its rusty and full of oil and desperately needs paining, (plus Nelson wants his squeaky toy back and I want to reunite my self with a couple of spanners that jumped into the bilge), best way to do that is shot blasting.
Then there is the misaligned alternator (way underpowered) which needs aligning or replacing with a larger out put unit, well if the engine comes out thats easy !
Plus theres the slow drip from the exhaust riser behind the teak trim in the saloon, thats easy with the engine out...... starting to see the picture ?
PLUS .....if I get a shot blaster in he may as well shot blast the crap out of the hull where the paint is flaking off , bad paint job in Portimao thanks to some anti rust additives, not my fault !
Then of course there is the matter of the new windlass that is soon to be delivered, imagine > pain free anchoring in 2015 > go where we want , stay off the grid for months at a time, drop the anchor then decide to move 15 mins later without a rupture !
SOOOO ...with no further ado, decision is made, that my friends is sunset on sailing season 2014 - the T shirts I had made will need to be reprinted, we need more than 3 years to get to Turkey !
Boat out for winter, get ALL outstanding works done - clear the damn list !
Then 2015 will be trouble free.......(ROLLS ON FLOOR LAUGHING)