There may be a couple of problems but I think the worst of it may be a cutlass bearing problem.
2-cabin 423 has a Yanmar
4JH4E and a Max Prop. To feather the MP we normally 1) have the sails
drawing 2) are in neutral 3) stop the engine
, then 4) put the transmission
into reverse. Once in reverse and the prop feathers we put the transmission
back into neutral.* Normally, before feathering the prop, we hear a whirring sound of the prop free-wheeling.
We have been finding it more an more difficult to move the transmission from reverse to neutral.
We were heading out to start a trip south from Savanah and noticed that when we first stopped the engine
with the prop not yet feathered and free-wheeling, the steady whir is now accompanied by a steady thumping sound. The thumping is strongest just below the starter battery
, or maybe just aft of it.[relevant mostly for 423 owners. I did post in the 423 yahoo group]
Today we could not get the transmission back to neutral after feathering unless we slowed the boat
to 1-2 kts. While the transmission was stuck, I disconnected the shifter linkage at the transmission. The shifter was fine. It was the transmission that would not shift.
We noticed for the first time today that when the prop was feathered and the transmission is in neutral at 5 kts, that the prop still turns at 30-50 RPMs. I am able to stop the shaft with my hand but it starts turning again when I release it. This may not be new. I don't recall
every trying this before.
In July, we had the boat
out of the water
to get the rudder
"bearing" attended to, we asked that the yard check the cutlass bearing. They said they grabbed onto the shaft and there was no play in it.
So, primary concern is that we hear a distinct thumping when the prop is free-wheeling. Does this sound like cutlass bearing issue?
Secondary is the difficulty shifting out of reverse. Has our "putting into reverse to feather" technique damaged / worn the gears? Or, might the prop not be feathering sufficiently, thereby creating too much pressure on the gears to come out of reverse?