A trip to the Boatyard in Muros

Maggie was hauled out of the water on the afternoon of Tuesday 15th September. On first inspection of the propellor shaft the temporary repair was in good order so this was ruled out as a cause for the shaft tube heating up.

Removed the temporary bushing and then carefully dismantled the propellor noting the current pitch settings as the blades were removed.

Next item removed was the internal Volvo Shaft seal and once it was pulled back from the tube a piece of the old cutless bearing came out. This was the reason that the stern tube was heating up as the location of the debris was blocking the water flow which lubricates the stern tube bushings. To ensure that all traces of the old bearing was removed the propellor shaft had to be taken out.

The gearbox coupling proved to be very difficult to remove. The pullers failed to remove it so had to try a different method using the gearbox flange and four bolts to create more pressure rather than the single bolt of the pullers.

To take out the propellor shaft from the stern tube we had to drop the rudder. This involved securing the steering cables so that they remained in place in their pulleys, supporting and dismantling the quadrant and putting blocks underneath the rudder before removing the pin in the rudder stock to ensure it did not fall onto the ground.

Once assured that all debris of the old cutless bearing was removed from the stern tube we then began putting everything back together starting from the inside. Fitted a new Volvo shaft seal, put back on the gearbox coupling (much easier job than removing it), then moving to the outside, installed the new cutless bearing and reassembled the propellor with a pitch adjustment from 14.5 inches to 16 inch pitch. Also, checked the engine/shaft alignment.

Lastly the rudder was installed with a reconditioned lower bushing to eliminate play in the rudder shaft.

On Tuesday 29th September Maggie was launched back into the water. We went for a spin around the Ria to give the boat a good hard test and check all was working as it should. The drive shaft ran very smooth with no vibrations, the propellor pitch adjustment resulted in a reduction of 150rpm for the same boat speed and the steering was very snug after the refurbishment of the rudder shaft bushing.

We dare not go outside the Ria for fear we might meet a playful pod of Orcas who seem intent on playing with sailing yachts along the Spanish coast as they migrate north. There have been as many as nine incidents reported along the Galician coast with some boats suffering damage to their rudders resulting in the need to be rescued and towed to port. Here in Muros there is a French boat that had major damage to their rudder and took our place in the boatyard. A frightening experience on all accounts but according to the local scientists it is just play by a pair of juveniles based on the video evidence. There have been many published news articles so it is worth having a read about it.

Overall we were very happy with the facilities and helpfulness of the staff at the boatyard. We enjoyed our time in the apartment but we are glad to be back onboard and have a safe berth at the marina. Now we wait to see if we get a suitable weather window to complete the last leg of journey home to Cork.

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