Winterization and Storage: 2005
After an early haulout on September 9 (we were going traveling in
September, so had to pull the boat early), I prepared to put her to bed
for the winter. After unloading nearly all the gear on board, I
took advantage of a nice day in early October to winterize the engine
and cover the boat. It was a good thing I did, too, as the weather
deteriorated shortly thereafter, leaving us with 2-3 inclement weeks of
rain and misery with nearly no breaks.
When I rebuilt the boat, I vowed to disassemble the
drivetrain (propeller, shaft, stuffing box, coupling) every other year for
inspection, maintenance, and to keep these components free from corrosion that
might make removal difficult if ever needed. I was true to my word in
2002, and took apart the various components, cleaned them, painted the
couplings, and reassembled everything with lots of water proof grease on threads
and mating surfaces to help with later removal.
I should have disassembled everything last year, in
2004, but with a busy fall I postponed the chore. Therefore, I felt I had
to disassemble the shafting this fall, so I proceeded, hoping that everything
would come apart nicely; couplings are notorious for welding themselves to the
shaft, making removal difficult.
removing the propeller--sort of a chore since my prop puller requires some
modification to work on my boat, which lessens its efficiency--I attacked the
coupling. The nuts securing the coupling to the drivesaver, and the
drivesaver to the transmission coupling, came off easily, thanks to their
coating of waterproof grease. Next, I removed the setscrews in the
coupling, which also backed right out easily. Finally, I regarded the
coupling itself, and was preparing to head to the hardware store for some
threaded rod and spacers that I had determined I would need after the last
disassembly in 2002. However, I decided on a whim to just try hitting the
coupling with a rubber mallet, just in case.
Imagine my surprise (and pleasure) when the
coupling immediately began to slide off the shaft--and was free in 30 seconds.
Incredible--and an excellent testament to the success of the waterproof grease.
It worked better than I had ever hoped it might, and I became an instant
convert. I took the components into the shop for inspection, cleaning and
maintenance, and later reinstallation.