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Barry's Blog #123 - Tired and tetchy

We're tired, we're tetchy, our bodies are bruised and ache from the physical contortions and pushing, pulling and heaving around of heavy stuff… But we're getting there.

As I predicted in an earlier blog we're now on a race to the finish line regarding our boat jobs list. We plan to move out of the studio apartment on March 25th 2020, exactly five months from when we arrived at the boat yard here in the north west sector of Evia island, Greece.

By that date most of the big jobs will have been completed and A B Sea will once again be in a liveable state and we can move on board while she's still in the boat yard.

We did plan to be back in the water by the first or second week in April and then make a quick passage back to Turkey. However on the 19th March 2020 Greece announced a one month closure of all Greek ports and moorings. Docking and disembarkation of and from any private vessels, regardless of country origin is prohibited. This mostly applies to commercial vessels and cruise ships but also extends to pleasure boats and organised cruises etc in Greek waters.

It looks like our plan of heading to Turkey any time soon is on hold. The silver lining to this cloud is that we will have extra time to tick off more boat jobs on the list.

The jobs list

The local workshop in Limni came through in drilling out the end of the snapped off bolt in the turbo charger cowling and they supplied a replacement bolt.

As I was reassembling the air intake/turbo/exhaust unit I was feeling pretty pleased about getting that job completed but as usual just as the finish line came into view I hit a snag. The triangular shaped metal gasket that had been supplied with the exhaust mixing elbow was the wrong size. I felt like banging my head against the wall.

Luckily Juliano in the boat yard workshop was able do some reshaping to make the gasket fit over the 3 studs. That means the complete unit is now ready to be refitted to the engine block but because we still need access to the prop shaft for when we replace the stern gland and cutlass bearing it will have to wait.

Whilst I was doing all that Aannsha was busy on board A B Sea still cleaning the oily diesel soot from the engine bay bilge. Overall we reckon we've put around 20 hours into just cleaning the soot.

Helpful advice and tips

A long time subscriber to our YouTube channel is Jay Perry and he's been extremely helpful in giving us advice and tips during our boat maintenance period. He used to own a Jeanneau 45.2 which is almost Identical to our boat and he did extensive work to most of the major systems on board so he knows what he's talking about.

One of the things he recommended we do while we're out of the water was to replace the cutlass bearing and stern gland.

The stern gland is a small and unassuming bit of rubber that lives at the hole where the prop shaft exits the back end of the engine compartment. It performs a very important task and that is keeping the sea water on the outside of the boat.

In order to buy the replacement parts we needed to get some measurements and that meant we needed to disconnect the prop shaft from the gearbox and pull the shaft out of the back end of the boat. I had a look to see if there were any YouTube videos showing the process but really didn't find anything that related to the system we have on board A B Sea.

Armed with just my common sense I dived into the job clutching my trusty set of spanners and big allen keys. Five of the six hex head bolts came out easily but the final one gave me a bit of a workout, extending the leverage and using the blunt force of a hammer eventually did the trick.

Assuming everything was good I then attempted to pull the prop shaft out from the propeller end but it wouldn't budge. More blunt force was used but it made no difference. Once again I called on Juliano and even he couldn't move it. We did eventually figure out how to shift the prop shaft and I'll tell you how simple it was in next week's blog.

Until then we hope that you and your family and friends are staying safe and healthy during this period of uncertainty.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.

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