Good Day / Bad Day / Disappointing Day
17 March 2010 | Hook and Bull Boat Yard
BEAUTIFUL SUNNY DAY HIGH 70s
Saturday the March 13th might as well been Friday the 13th.
At 7:30 AM Jimmy the Boat yard Manager came knocking on my boat and asked if I would like to go in today vice Monday or Tuesday as he had a lot of boats to move around and he needed the space.
So of course I was ready and so was Gypsy Soul. I called a few friends that wanted to watch the launch and started making all preps to launch. Bumpers out, Ropes to tie off out, and un-hook all electric and water. I was ready by 9 Am for the lift to move us to the launch site. After Jimmy moved a few other boats he finally got to us about 11:30.
He lifted us up, and we started painting the few spots that needed to be painted where the stands where. This took about 30 min and then about 45 mins for the paint to dry. So at about 12:45 PM we started to the launch point.
All was going well and I was so excited. We hit he water for the first time in eight years. God she looked good going in. We were all excited and things were looking great. While still in the sling I went abroad to check all the below water fittings and overboard discharge fitting for leaks.
All was looking good when I heard the bilge pumps come on and the high water alarm went off. I opened the engine compartment and found that water was gushing in around the engine shaft stuffing box. I reached down to tighten it and when I did I noticed that water was running over the top of my hand.
When I placed my had behind the battery box to check the rudder stuffing box water was just pouring in around the base of it. I told Jimmy to lift us back out so as to see what the main problem was. After being lifted out and moved back out from over the water we found that the rudder shaft housing was cracked and there was no way to repair or was a quick fix. He (Jimmy) desided to leave me in the sling to see if I could repair over the weekend. As it was we found out that it was not going to be as easy as it first looked. But isn't that all ways the way it is?
So Sunday he re-blocked Gypsy Soul so I could start repairs. What we found was that due to where the rudder box was located, that with the engine installed there was no way to get to the box/stuffing tube. The only was to cut an opening in the cockpit to access it.
How I had planed to later on do this to install wheel steering vice helm steering. Looks like I was going to have to do it now to replace the tube now. SO after being in the water for only 30 min Gypsy Soul was back out on the hard. I was so disappointed and heart broken. 8 years and still something was wrong. But Better now than out at sea. So someone was looking out for me.
Sunday after noon Jim and I got all my tools and we cut a hatch opening in the cockpit. I had already bought a new hatch to install so That went fairly fast. When we got to the stuffing box we found that it was completely cracked and brittle and could not be repaired, the only option was to remove it and install a new one.
This was going to be a fairly complex job as we had to grind down the box, and drill out the old stuffing box. Monday I found that no where locally handled the fiberglass tubing. You would think that in the state of Texas someone would carry it. I ended up ordering it from a place in Maine. So it will not be here till Thursday.
We also found out that I was bow down while I was in the water. Seems that the the 250 ft of chain was two much weight in the bow, so its back to rope for it.
So as it stands now Gypsy Soul is out of the water and we are waiting for parts to arrive. I will try to keep all of you advised and you can go to my Face book and see pictures of the launching and the work to repair.