Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Getting The Shaft!

Well, we got the shaft!  Luckily, in this case ... it's a good thing!

I mentioned in a previous post that Ken had to cut out our old shaft after taking a look at it when removing the packing from the stuffing box.  Ken ordered a new shaft from a local machinist, who seemed really knowledgeable ... saying that he makes shafts all the time.  In order for the machinist to make the new shaft, Ken brought him the old shaft and a new coupling that he bought from a nearby marine supply store, Alario Brothers.  Since we were at the mercy of the machinist and his schedule, Ken opted to buy the one-part coupling that was in stock instead of the two-piece coupling that would have to be ordered .. and cause us to put off the machinist.  

Ken picked up the new shaft the week before Thanksgiving, and the machinist said he tried to remove the old cut-off shaft from the old coupling with over 3000 lbs. of pressure .. didn't work.  We definitely did the right thing in cutting the shaft!

Since we were buying a new shaft and coupling, we decided to go ahead and buy a new stuffing box with the packing already in it and a new stuffing box hose kit from Catalina Direct.  We could have also ordered the shaft from them, but we didn't want to take the chance on getting the measurements wrong.  It was nice to be able to bring the old shaft and new coupling to a person for just a few bucks more than ordering online!

The new stuffing box is pre-packed with a composite fiber packing material instead of the traditional flax packing.  It's described as "a high-tech non-asbestos replacement that is impregnated with virgin PTFE in-suspension and internally saturated with a proprietary lubricant.  Sounds good, right?  Anyway, it's supposed to leak only once every 3 minutes instead of two-three times a minute and we're ready to give it a try.

The items from Catalina Direct came in last night, so we're anxious to install our new shaft, stuffing box, hose and coupling.  Fingers crossed that this goes without a hitch .. and maybe we'll be back in the water in a week or two?!

Ken and I spent our "Black Friday" and post-Thanksgiving weekend washing Nirvana and sanding the areas of the deck that needed re-painting after our monumental deck painting project.  With a small brush, Ken touched up the one side of Nirvana that needed extra paint on Saturday.  Sunday morning we paid a visit to Nirvana to see how the touch-ups looked.  We were nervous to see the results, but we were actually happy with what we saw ... what a relief!  The boat still had a lot of morning dew on it, and we didn't want to touch the deck since the paint hadn't fully cured.  We're anxious to get back to the boatyard to see the deck once again and get Nirvana ready to motor soon.  After the shaft, stuffing box and coupling are installed, we just need to wax the hull and give the bottom a quick paint job .. a breeze compared to what we've already done!  Luckily, the thru-hulls and cutlass bearing still look good since being replaced during our last haul-out in 2010.

Speaking of "Black Friday", we stayed out of the stores and in the boatyard but ... I did order a Wonderbag Non-Electric Cooker during a "pre-Black Friday" sale on Amazon.  I'm excited to try this "slow cooker" out on the boat, and I got it for a great price too!  Ken & I got an even better deal during "Black Friday" from West Marine.  We each ordered an Offshore Inflatable PFD that was $100 off ... times two makes a pretty good savings.  Hopefully we won't have to try these out any time soon, but better safe than sorry!  

Hasta luego .. until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

1 comment:

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

It will be interesting to see how your new stuffing box works out. I got my new Wonderbag and "fluffed" it up. The thing is huge - looks like a gigantic pumpkin. I haven't tried it yet, but am looking forward to seeing how it works. Thanks for flagging up that they were on sale. Cheers - Ellen

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