Things are coming along nicely with this year’s drydock operations.
Shes looking much better, the second coat of bitumen blacking is on, we’re going to continue at a coat a day until we’re due back in the water.
I’ve now removed the shaft from the stern tube to gain better access, now the full extent of the damage to the tube can be seen. There’s nothing left at all of the old bearing, which on this boat was simply a nylon bushing pressed into the end of the tube. (I knew it was crap the last time we were out, but ran out of time to get a fix done).
The stainless shaft, having lost it’s support bearing at some point, has been running on the inside of the steel tube, and has neatly chewed straight through it.
Here’s the prop shaft removed from the boat – possibly the longest shaft I’ve ever seen on a narrowboat at 6′ 2″. Unfortunately, the fact that it lost the bearing has also damaged the shaft itself, this will have to be replaced.
Here’s the end of the shaft that would run in the end bearing, it’s badly scored & fitting a new bearing to this shaft would cause failure very quickly. The taper on the end isn’t much better, and a loose fit in the prop has done some damage there also.
Here’s the old prop – a 16×12 that was only fitted a few years ago. This will be replaced with a new 4-blade prop, as this one is far too small for the size of the boat & installed power. Installing a larger diameter prop isn’t possible due to clearance from the swim, so I’ll have to get a more steeply pitched prop, with 4-blades for increased contact area with the water.