Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Propellor removal......

A couple of weeks ago D and I took advantage of a day of good weather, spring tides and no other duties that couldnt be rearranged to bring Bonita up Faversham creek for the winter. Remarkably, we managed the trip without going aground, although there were moments when we only had 0.1m or less under the keel. So what work is planned for this winter? For the last couple of years I have been worrying about the wear on the folding propellor. There doesnt seem to be any corrosion, but due to the metal wearing down there is quite a lot of lateral movement of the blades in their housing. How much movement is too much? How much wear can there be before there is a risk of a blade falling off? There are no easy answers to these questions, but I have previously had the experience of one blade coming off a folding propellor and its definitely a situation thats best avoided. Fortunately on that occasion we were able to sail back across the estuary to our mooring. Its not necessary to have her lifted ashore to take out the old propellor and shaft - working from the dinghy at low tide it can be removed as the boat sits in the soft mud, and a wooden bung hammered in to keep the water out. We will see if the new prop goes back as easily, as Bonita will probably settle down a bit deeper into the mud over the next few weeks.
The picture shows the old propeller and shaft after being bought ashore and much hosing down. This is a Gori type of folding propellor that I bought in 1989, so I hope its replacement will last as long. When I looked at it in the comfort and security of home, the wear didnt seem quite so bad after all, but the man in the shop who makes his living selling propellors said it definitely needed replacement. Its a significant expense so I hope that maybe the boat will perform a bit better under engine with a brand new sleek propellor. Well, perhaps it will.

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