More to the story: I rebuilt almost everything in the boat except the head
and the engine
. After we moved her to the small float ing dock
beside the travel lift dock
, I started the engine
and ran it for a few minutes then put it in gear
forward (still firmly tied) to check the transmission
. Good in forward. Put it in reverse. Seemed to do ok, but not quite what I expected. Ok, good enough to move her the 100' to the other dock that they wanted me on to reach the mast
with the crane.
So I untied the lines and put her in reverse and started moving, but very slowly. I was beginning to be concerned that reverse would not be adequate for this boat. Transmisson slipping? I would have to check this carefully. I finally reversed far enough that I felt comfortable motoring in forward to turn around and get to the other dock. She did just fine in forward until I went to apply reverse again as I was approaching the other dock then - no reverse at all. Ok, we can deal with that in this 20 knot wind
A little more forward to make a 360 and a different approach to the dock - and no forward. Complete loss of propulsion
and too far out to throw a line to anyone.
Gee, what a great start here. Naturally, I am under the watchful eye of the Coast Guard personnel who were also there for maintenance
on their 47' which was by now out of the water
Ok, so now I am aground. At least I did not drift into other boats or pilings, rocks of other such unforgiving items.
I had killed the engine and went below to see what the problem was and found that the flexible shaft coupling had parted. Hmmm, what to do about this....
I found that I could slide the shaft forward about 1/3" to engage the coupling with the allen head
bolts. I put the engine in forward (I was aground in such a way that I was pretty sure that I could move off forward), started the engine and was moving forward. This time I nosed gently to the dock where we stepped the mast.
Lesson learned: Don't assume that the shaft coupling is good just because it looks good.
But really - what better place could I have chose to break the shaft coupling if it were going to break?