Bottom Prep for Paint, and A New Prop Shaft

I spent an afternoon on the hull this week, sanding in preparation for new bottom paint. I quickly smoothed the entire port side and worked over the rudder. I’ve got a bit of epoxy to apply over some exposed bits of the stainless gudgeon that I replaced a few years ago. Occasionally some of the epoxy fairing compound will chip off and expose some of the gudgeon. It’s an easy process to recoat and fair.

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I’m sanding right up over the boot stripe too – time to refresh that paint as well.

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I also picked up the new prop shaft from the machinist. He did an excellent job, and balanced my prop as part of the bargain.

The new shaft is at top, of course. He fitted the prop and coupling, then included new keys for the keyway.

The new shaft is at top, of course. He fitted the prop and coupling, and included new keys for the keyway.

The next photo shows a close-up of the old shaft where it passed through the stuffing box. I’m not sure you can see the pitting clearly. I’m confident that I’ll have better success adjusting the stuffing box now, since it won’t be constricting a shaft with an imperfect surface. I also feel a lot better about any accidental prop-line fouling. I’ve heard the stories of broken prop shafts. I think my old shaft was a prime candidate for such an event.

Close-up of the old shaft where it passed through the stuffing box. I'm not sure you can see the pitting clearly. I'm confident that I'll have better success adjusting the stuffing box now, since it won't be constricting an shaft with an imperfect surface. I also feel a lot better about any accidental line fouling. I've heard the stories of broken prop shafts. I think my old shaft was a prime candidate for such an event.

The shiny sections are where the machinist took of material to balance the prop. I have noticed a bit of vibration with the throttle wide open - I open up the throttle a couple times a year for a short while, just to make sure there isn't a problem doing so. Hopefully, this will smooth out that vibration.

The shiny sections are where the machinist took of material to balance the prop. I’ve noticed a bit of vibration with the throttle wide open – I open up the throttle a couple times a year for a short while, just to make sure there isn’t a problem doing so. Hopefully, this will smooth out that vibration.

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2 comments
  1. Johadel said:

    I really don’t miss the bottom painting part of sailing at all!

    Have you considered using one of those “Lasdrop” stuffing boxes instead of the traditional unit?

  2. The painting’s nor so bad- it’s the prep I don’t like;-). I’ve got the hull in a condition where it’s easy to prep and paint now. The bottom and is smooth, and there’s no huild-up of bottom paint. Really, it only takes a couple of days with a couple hours’ work each.

    There isn’t enough room behind the tranny for a dripless seal, and my prop is so near the slope of the skeg that if it was moved aft the distance required for the seal, the tips would contact the hull. I don’t mind adjusting the packing nut. It only takes a few minutes once or twice a year.

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