Refit:  Winter 2008-2009

Winter 2008-2009 Refit | Sunday, October 9, 2008

For the third time since originally launching the boat in 2001, I removed the propeller, shaft, and couplings for inspection and maintenance.  I elected to maintain a bi-annual schedule for this chore, and even though the last time I did it was in 2005 (technically three years ago), the boat didn't go in the water in 2006, so only two seasons' use had transpired.

Notes for Future Reference
-Prop nuts 1-1/16"
-Coupling bolts 17mm
-Setscrew heads 3/8"

Back then, when I reassembled the coupling, I'd once again used this great waterproof grease (an old tube of OMC Systematched waterproof grease that I treasure) on all the threads and inside the coupling and prop taper.  Past experience had proved its effectiveness in preventing these parts from becoming rusted together, as they normally tend to do.  Still, as Heidi would quote (using some of that "accounting humor" that I enjoy making fun of), "past performance is not a  guarantee of future results". 

Therefore, this morning I approached the task of removing the running gear components reluctantly.  And because I tend to look back at my own writings to see how things went the last time, or for other tips borne of past experience, you'll note that I have added some specific notes for myself here, which I'm sure will come in handy in 2010 when I do this job again.

Beginning beneath the boat, I removed the cotter pin and prop nuts.  Then, I used my puller to remove the propeller.  The puller I have works well, but the bolt (used to tighten the back of the puller against the leading edge of the hub, while opposing the force against the end of the shaft itself) is not long enough to work properly on this boat.  This was an ongoing issue about which I was fully aware, and in the past I'd used a number of spacers to make the puller work better.

This year, I chose a small scrap of 1/2" prefab fiberglass to place between the bolt and the end of the shaft.  This actually worked very well, and in a very short time the propeller came right off.


Next, I went up to the cockpit and, through the cockpit hatch, cut the mousing wire securing the coupling set screws, and removed the screws easily--again, largely because of the waterproof grease I'd put on the threads before.   Then, I unbolted the four nuts securing the shaft coupling to the flexible coupling.  Though the amount of swing possible with a wrench on these nuts is limited by the coupling and other factors, the water proof grease allowed them to unthread easily.

the worse part of removing (and, often, installing) shaft couplings tends to be getting the shaft out of the coupling (or into it).  The last time I did this, in 2005, I was pleased to find that a couple short taps with a rubber mallet loosened the coupling and allowed me to pull it right off.  I didn't know what to expect this time, though there were some hints of rust where the shaft entered the coupling.  The coupling was still attached to the flex coupling with the four studs, and was a bit of a tight fit over the studs.  So I grabbed the shaft just aft of the coupling to give me some leverage to pull the coupling off the studs.  Imagine my surprise when the shaft pulled right out of the coupling.  Very nice indeed.

With the shaft out, I easily removed the coupling, and the remaining four nuts that secured the flex coupling to the transmission coupling.  I brought all the parts down to the bench for inspection, cleanup, and repainting.  I inspected the Cutless bearing and determined that it looked excellent.



While I was up there, I decided to quickly change the engine-mounted secondary fuel filter, which initially I'd thought of leaving be.  However, I decided that prudence should rule the day, and since I had several spares on hand I decided to change it.  I'm not sure I had done it since 2005 anyway.  Removing this filter requires removing one of the engine box supports, which didn't take long; afterwards I changed out the filter in a couple minutes.  The old filter looked basically pristine, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Total time today:  1 hour

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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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