Monday, October 3, 2011

Falling Footwear

I am learning to loves me some Kintala. She is a pretty boat, a good sailing boat, and has a lot of potential as a live aboard cruiser. She settled onto our dock as the focal point of the effort to downsize our stash of "stuff" and spend part of our lives living with a little more adventure, a little more freedom, than is considered normal in our society. Be that as it may, somewhere deep in my mechanic's soul was the feeling that this big Tartan was hiding something, that, though we have found and fixed a lot of unexpected issues (which was not unexpected) there lurked a shoe that had yet to drop. Kintala may have finally given up her secret.

Saturday we motored out into the lake to act as the Committee Boat for a lake-wide series of races. We sat tethered to an anchor for hours while a fleet of boats romped around us in solid winds blowing 10 - 15 knots. Good for the racers, a bit of a trial for us since we haven't actually been sailing in weeks. Sunday we were determined to sail. But Mother Earth wasn't paying any attention to our determinations; there wasn't a breath of wind. With her jib poled out Kintal drifted in slow circles managing nothing more than collecting another layer of corps bugs. (I sure hope corps bugs don't live in salt water.) Eventually we gave up, put the sails away, fired up the motor to head in, and put the boat in gear.


The sound of falling footwear.

That faint noise we noticed a couple of weeks ago, the one we thought was coming from the engine? V-drive, or maybe transmission, but probably V-drive, and no longer faint. We gently powered back to the marina with me secretly wondering if we would end up calling for a tow. Once home I changed the fluid because we all know that changing the fluid will fix thrashed gears and quiet ugly noises. The stuff that drooled out of the bottom of the V-drive case was full of "shinies", those tiny bits of shaved off metal that mechanics love to see come out of customer's vehicles, (it means a solid couple of days of work and maybe a big commission on parts) and hate to see come out of their own vehicles for the exact same reasons.

I don't know how much such drives cost to overhaul or repair, or how hard they are to get out of a boat. I don't know how much life is left in the drive. Sometimes big chunks of metal grind themselves to death rather slowly, parts that will surely need replaced still having some life left in them. The search is on for expert advise and a plan of action. I fear though, winter is going to include a long, cold foray into the world of overhauling expensive boat bits.


Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as an inexpensive boat bit?

Sabrina and Tom said...

Oh no. So sorry to hear you heard the clunk - falling shoe.

TJ said...

Mmm..inexpensive boat bits...your right, that doesn't make any sense at all...