We have finally been able to haul out to replace our port sail drive and change out the propeller shaft on the starboard saildrive. The plan was to pull the port engine and saildrive out, tidy up the engine, heli-coil the threads on the bell housing, service and then reinstall with the reconditioned 2nd hand sail drive we bought from Cap Coast Marine in Yeppoon (shout out to Kelly & Josh). We were also planning to pull the prop shaft out of the old port sail drive and replace the broken one on the starboard side.
Other planned work was 4 new skin fittings and moving the paddle wheel log from under the front bunk to under the front cabin floor for easier access, and a full clean and anti foul.
Of course like always with boats, its not quite gone to plan! When we went to remove the sail drive, 2 of the mounting bolts to mount where it goes thru the hull, broke. Without going into all the gruesome details, that was a long and arduous job on Dave’s behalf to finally be able to remove the two broken bolts without having to carry out open heart surgery on the fibreglass mount.
Then we broke the port propeller shaft trying to get the locknut off that holds the prop in place, so we could no longer use it in the starboard sail drive as originally planned. Luckily I thought of getting the broken shaft machined to insert a 16mm thread in the end of it so it would be functional again. We called on the services of a friend, Tommy Niven, who also happens to be a very talented machinist and he threw it in his lathe and had it fixed within a couple of hours!
Next we picked up the engine from the machine shop and when Dave went to put studs in the bell housing, he found that they had not drilled the holes out straight when they fitted the heli-coils, so we had to load it back in the ute and take it back to the machine shop.
Jobs that so far have gone to plan has been the water blasting to prep the hull for anti fouling and the fitting of the new thru hull skin fittings.
Well after a long hard weekend Lumiel has fresh anti-fouling, I put two coats on the waterline and leading edges, as well as a coat above the water line all by brush. Then I rolled on 2 coats over everything – so most of the hull has 2 coats and the high wear areas have 4. It was bloody hard work on my own, 35º and about 90% humidity, and because the anti fouling paint is so thick its physically hard work as well. Anyway, all done now and we only have the port engine to reinstall and we should be pretty well ready to go back in the water. We have been out for 2 weeks tomorrow, which is how long we expected everything to take allowing for a few hiccups.
So today was the day to put the port engine back in, we picked it up from Darkys Mechanical in the morning and then after fitting the new engine mounts we winched it up on the boom and manoeuvred it back into the engine room. Its a huge plus with the Bahia that we can use the boom to winch the engine and saildrive in an out with it, we have a huge 24v right angle drive, milwaukee drill modified to work as an electric winch handle that makes the job easier, but its still a pain in the arse to line up the engine and saildrive in the engine room, Dave the contortionist diesel fitter did all the hard work while I offered useless advice, something i have had years of practice at. Anyway, by the end of the day, the engine was back in, coupled up to the saildrive and one more day of fitting all the ancillary equipment should see us afloat again on wednesday morning.
As predicted we were back in the water Wednesday morning, it was a very exciting moment to be back afloat again and we had no real issues, just a couple of adjustments. It was a great feeling to have 2 engines and saildrives fully operational again!
We ended up being out for 2 weeks and 2 days, which was pretty close to our goal of 2 weeks, especially considering some of the issues we ran into!