Sunday, June 10, 2012


The exhaust repair hasn't gone quite as planned. The new part ordered, paid for and delivered, isn't the right part. In fact is doesn't even fit in the bilge. But the desire to get this boat / V-drive / retirement project back on track is nearly an obsession, so I took Saturday to slap a repair on the old one. Normally I would be deeply disappointed to discover my repair wasn't perfect, or at least better than the original. The side that was leaking that I fixed actually did turn out pretty close to perfect. Unfortunately the other side that someone else had fixed, that I re-fixed using fiberglass rather than plumbers putty, wasn't. Ergo exhaust can still has small water leak.


But not rats enough to stop progress. Next step? Run engine. With a little stroking here and a few gentle words spoken there Kintala started making engine noises and spitting water into the lake; something that last happened 245 days ago! There were a few minor coolant leaks to track down and repair, but I must say our old engine seems happy in her bed of new mounts.

Next? Shut down engine, engage transmission, turn over whole drive train with starter looking for water leaking into the boat, (bad) and the shaft spinning true, (good). No "bad" but...not sure of the good. As the shaft turned there was clearly some eccentric movement right at the collar for the drip less seal. Not much, but enough to catch this aircraft mechanic's eye. In my world power shafts spin upwards of 20,000 rpm and we measure "true" in .001s of an inch. A shaft spinning out of true enough to see with the naked eye means instant, utterly catastrophic failure with nearly unimaginable energies engaged in an orgy of self destruction. I'd like to say I was a little disappointed but in reality I was close to despair. If this is as bad as I think it might be we are in deep and murky waters. A badly bent shaft or trashed cutlass bearing, or both, will be very difficult to handle here in Carlyle. Just getting the boat out of the water is a huge, and very expensive, undertaking; one we have planned to do just once when we get ready to leave. If Kintala needs such work she may well be just a project boat; floating at this dock for the next year or more; the drive shaft / bearing repair added to the list of things we take care of after we ship her out of here and get near big water.

That means no coving out, no sailing, nothing but working during the week to buy parts I need to work during the weekends. That wasn't really part of the "project" though, if I'm honest, worse things have happened to better people than I.

Then again....

...I have seen much stranger things in the marine world that are apparently considered "normal" and run for hundreds of hours and thousands of miles - as is. A small parade of friends who have been around boats a lot longer than yours truly peered into the dark area of the bilge while I motored her over. Some where aghast, some shrugged allowing as it would need fixed "sooner or later", and some wondered what I was worried about. So I'm going to let it set for tonight. We went sailing with Joel and Emily last night; a perfect mid-night run; one-tack-to-the-dam, one-tack-home. Then we had ice-cream. Then we got just a couple of hours sleep and started today...which turned into a trial. I'm feeling beat down, beat up, beat on, and just plain beat.

Tomorrow I'll go after it again.

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