|Life goes on in a rainy boatyard.....not always so glamorous!!!|
Cindi's recovery has gone reasonably well. She continues with her excellent physical therapist, undergoing all types of manipulations and exercises, including acupuncture for both the back (helps heaps) and arm (ummmm...not as much). The back is much better. Her arm break didn't set quite correctly, so she's looking into options. Possibly see a surgeon when we're back in Seattle for Thanksgiving to look into arthroscopic possibilities.
Boat projects have grown as we take advantage of our year off in NZ, and the great exchange rate to get work done. Here's the update (sorry, may be dull, but it's what the Bravo's do these days!!!)
Propeller shaft: While repacking the stuffing box (important bit that keeps the sea water out of the boat, a good thing), we noticed a fair bit of corrosion of the shaft under the packing, a bad thing. When stainless steel is wet without oxygen, it is prone to crevice corrosion which can extend deep. Apparently we've been hauled out of the water so long, with water trapped in the stuffing box but not circulating, that it was the perfect breeding ground for this sort of thing.
Calling in a trusted mechanic for a look, he took a quick glance and right away said "I sure as hell wouldn't trust that thing to go to sea"!!! Not a good thing. So we needed a new shaft (1.5" diameter by about 9' long), new cutless bearings, and a new dripless shaft seal. Done!
Rudder: While working on the prop shaft, we spent a lot of time at Bravo's tail end. Looking at the rudder one day we noticed a lot of hairline cracks on just the port side. Grinding off all of the antifouling paint didn't give us a clue.
|It ain't pretty work!!!|
|Waddaya think.....remember "Back to the Future???|
Not sure what the deal was, but it couldn't be good. A rudder is not something you want to fail when it's blowing like stink in a big sea, which, of course, is when it most likely would!!! So we decided to remove the rudder and do a bit of exploratory surgery. Not an easy job.
Finally, using the jack out of our van, (aka Dirt Bravo) we lowered the beast to the ground. Inspection proved really puzzling.
|Fred Flintstone rudder repairs underway. See the bog depth on the right.|
We chipped away the excess bog to figure things out. It took Adam a few days of chiseling, at the Fred Flintstone Academy of Rudder Technology (fFART). Then we drilled a bunch of holes into the rudder to figure out what the internal condition looked like. The stainless steel looked ok, but there were some large voids where there would ordinarily be a rigid foam core. WTF???
The only thing we can think of is that the port side of the rudder was facing the sun for the whole summer. With the black bottom paint it did get very hot, every day. Perhaps the expansion/contraction of the thick bog finally did it in, causing the cracking. Until we get a better explanation, that's our story and we're sticking to it!!!
|Pencil lines show extent of voids that we probed with a wire|
|Propped up and ready for foaming|
|Kris pouring in one of many foam batches|
|Foam fully filling all the voids|
|4 layers of biaxial glass all around|
|Baking the whole rudder in makeshift autoclave to post cure the epoxy|
|Planning the new sail|
|The fabric is plotted by the computer onto the fabric, ready for cutting|
|Another barrel of IPA ready for bottling!!!|
We're now off to Seattle for our annual 3 week visit, then be back to Whangarei in early December. With any luck we'll finish up the projects and be back in the water before Christmas. Plan is to cruise around New Zealand until May.....stay tuned!