We pulled Happy Dance out of the water 10 days ago to take a look at the bottom paint, the propeller, the shaft, and the cutlass bearing….and? It’s one of those good news bad news things. The good news? We still had a propeller. The bad news? It was a bit wobbly!
The projects that have been completed these past 10 days:
Painted the hull. We had 2 coats of Z-Spar BottomPro Gold Antifouling Paint applied, and at $225/gallon you might as well just roll on some liquid gold! There is so much to learn about bottom paint and all the different types, it’s mind boggling. We chose a standard type, and with something that will help protect the bottom in warmer water. Then there is the timing of the application. Most paints require a minimum and maximum drying time allowed before launching. Meaning, if you don’t wait long enough, the paint won’t be cured enough for the water and if you wait too long, the paint will harden too much and start losing its effectiveness. Our paint job was on hold until we had the cutlass bearing in hand so that the painting was timed perfectly.
Replaced the cutlass bearing. I now know that the bearing is there to minimize the friction of the propeller shaft as it turns. The cutlass bearing is basically a slotted piece of rubber (now in brass), lubricated by water, that wraps around the shaft and holds it steady as it spins. Lovely! Our old one was made of some type of strong plastic and it was worn down inside. Now we have a brass bearing that should be better – especially since it came all the way from France! Owning a Jeanneau sailboat is kind of like owning a BMW or Porsche – you have to buy their parts!
Aligned the engine. The motor mounts that hold the engine on the boat had to be adjusted so that the propeller shaft was in alignment with the engine. Thankfully this wasn’t a big deal as the motor mounts were easily accessible and the housing was in good shape.
Replaced the zincs. Here is what I now know about zincs. Any time you have two different metals that are physically or electrically connected and immersed in seawater, they become a battery, so that some amount of current flows between the two metals. The electrons that make up that current are supplied by one of the metals giving up bits of itself–in the form of metal ions–to the seawater. This is called galvanic corrosion and, left unchecked, it quickly destroys underwater metals. The most common casualty of this type of corrosion is a bronze or aluminum propeller on a stainless steel shaft…NOT good! The way to counteract the corrosion is to add a third metal into the picture, one that is quicker than the other two to give up its electrons. This piece of metal is called a sacrificial anode, and most often it is zinc. And that’s why most boaters refer to sacrificial anodes simply as zincs.
Re-attached the propeller. It seems that the propeller had some play in it. We have a Max Prop, which is a feathering propeller so when it is not engaged, the blades automatically turn to become more streamlined. This type of propeller is not standard on our type of boat, and when it was installed by the previous owner it wasn’t done quite right. We’re not sure if the surveyor missed it, or if it became more of a problem after running it. Either way, it was a good thing we had it corrected. About 3/8″ of the shaft actually had to be sliced off in order to re-attach the propeller. Rather scary knowing that the wobble in the prop was a potential problem, but true to form, we’ve been able to discover a problem and get it fixed before it became a debacle!
We are now back in the water and feeling very happy to be home. We had the best accommodations in all of Ventura while Happy Dance was out of the water, and we cannot thank Cindy and Ron enough for letting us stay with them! It was wonderful to feel at home in their beautiful home, while away from our home! 🙂
Now it’s time to get all those little projects done that we had hoped to be completing while here! Marty finished adding shelves in the hanging lockers, which is wonderful! The hanging lockers were basically just wasted space, so now the forward locker is our pantry, and the two lockers in our stateroom are much better suited for clothes storage. Bit by bit these little projects get done and make our home that much more comfy!
We’ll soon be leaving lovely Channel Island Harbor, and heading to Redondo Beach to see more family and friends. Then we’ll anchor in Catalina for a few days before going to San Diego. Marty found out today that it’s Buccaneer Days on the Catalina when we’ll be there, so the AARRRGHs are already starting….someone save me!! 🙂