Zoop! There she goes!
14 January 2012 | My Liberty Bay, Poulsbo
dusting of soggy snowflakes.
Water temp holding here at 42 degrees. Same as Alaskan waters...unless you are near some glacial outflow or the Bering Straits.
It happens. Something bogs down the RPM of the prop shaft and the engine comes to faltering or maybe a rather abrupt halt. You know that a vibration shaking the whole works, could be a gob of seaweed or maybe plastic whatnot. But that engine powering to a forced stop, is commonly going to especially be your rope or somebody's rope when you have just refueled at the marina and have engaged the prop to maneuver peacefully back out to anchor.
So it was for Brent that he was in this exact situation the other day here at Liberty Bay.
The smart thing to do is put things in reverse and gently unwind the wound prop. A rope most likely will coil around the drive prop shaft until the prop hub is jammed tighter than a plumbers monkey wrench with a tattooed arm lock on it. Things did go in reverse for a bit under a lot of strain and then...zoop! Engine ran free as a bird, in forward and reverse. Brent's sailboat now was adrift with a missing prop. The threaded nut holding the propeller in place, had spun itself off the end of the drive rod, allowing the heavy prop to sink to the bottom.
According to Brent that's $1100.00 worth of an important part down there. A fifteen inch brass device.
Brent has some helpful skills. He is a diver. And he has a little portable compressor and thirty foot diver line aboard. The next day he says, he maneuvers his boat to the 'Spot" at low tide, and goes down there, sinking up to his knees in gooey, mucky, glop and slime. He searched for a long time before he gave up the chore.
Brent in his dinghy was visiting alongside Anna's project boat, as the late sky was coloring up for a cold night. I rowed over with Ruby dog, on the way back to shore. Brent was thinking of just putting things on hold until Longship Marine is open again and seeing if maybe Lois has a used prop at the exchange.
Otherwise there's a place in Seattle that can ship over a new one.
Oh, by the way, if you back over, and wrap a buoy line into the prop, consider what the tide is doing. Leaving it for the next morning could mean going adrift with the whole works, or worse, breaking gear or sinking the boat when the cockpit floods at high tide. All the while, the solid buoy anchor point holds the stern below...high tide!