Aannsha’s Blog #129 – The key is the key


Baz was stalling.

I knew it.

He knew it.

In order to move forward with the boat maintenance, he had to tackle the next job on the Boat Jobs List. And this would be the key which opened the door to many other boat jobs on our list, pertaining to the prop shaft and putting the engine put back together. Baz explained those steps in last week’s video.

So why was he stalling?

The first step was removing the key: a small thin stainless steel bar at the gearbox end of the prop shaft that is one part that keeps the prop shaft in place when it’s spinning. This key hadn’t come out with a quick yank when Baz first looked at it and he’d asked for advice on last week’s episode on removing it. Most people said give it a spray with an easing lubricant and then a quick tug and it’ll come out. But if it didn’t, then what?

If it did come out, the next job was removing the prop so he could replace the cutlass bearing. But Baz wasn’t sure if the prop shaft was too long. If it was, that would mean the rudder would need removing first. And that would be a huge job.

Once we do have the prop shaft out, his next concern was how easy would it be to remove the cutlass bearing?

The day arrived

And we both breathed in deeply and began the job. I reminded Baz it was like eating an elephant; one bite at a time. He said yes, but his problem was that he was looking five bites ahead and was getting indigestion.

This video goes into the various methods Baz used to attempt removal of the key. I won’t spoil the fun by telling you how many goes he had – and what eventually was the method that worked. It’s in this week’s video.

Here are a few teaser pics though!

The realities of DIY on your own boat

When I was editing this, I left a lot of the tedious process in. Not to bore you, but to show the realities of DIY maintenance when you live on your boat. We have many followers who are looking at doing a similar thing as us when they retire, and one thing we’ve promised is to show them the ups and downs, struggles and joys of this lifestyle. Removing the key – well the whole engine maintenance including the surprise un-serviced turbo – has provided plenty of the struggles that realistically are presented to liveaboards, especially if they tackle the jobs themselves.

So when I edited this video, I give viewers an opportunity (in a fast-forwarded presentation) to observe how long even the simplest of tasks can take. And why.

Viewers’ comments

We’re very grateful that many subscribers do leave comments on our videos and answer technical questions. It can be a minefield sometimes, working out which of conflicting advice is the one to run with. But in the key removal situation, it gave Baz a wealth of suggestions on getting the job done quickly and easily.

We love comments so much, that Baz even asked another couple this week on how to unseize the windlass hand brake, and which way locks the gypsy. We’re looking forward to this week’s replies.

Cutlass bearing

Once the small thin stainless steel key, and then the prop shaft had been removed, Baz was able to get on with removing the cutlass bearing. But of course, here was another boat part that hadn’t been serviced or replaced in eons, so that would be another big job to tackle. But we’ll leave that for next week.

Gori folding prop

One of our subscribers had asked Baz what size our Gori folding prop is, as he has a similar boat to ours and is looking at getting one himself. So out came the tape measure and it was quite entertaining for me (holding the camera) watching Baz struggle to hold up the immensely heavy prop and prop shaft, and use the metal tape measure which kept slipping off the bronze blades! But don’t tell him that!

Behind the scenes and beach clean up

So while Baz struggles with the task of actually fixing A B Sea, my jobs include filming and editing, and other chores that keep us running, such as food prep and laundry. None of which, by the way are in this week’s video!

I did film a quick clip of me on a permitted walk along the beach one afternoon, and with one hand I managed to collect 8 plastic bottles that I threw in the boatyard recycle bin.

We leave you with a very pleasant look at the sea lapping against the pebble beach here at Sipiada, Evia island, Greece.

If you’d like to see the video that accompanies this blog, just click here.

Next week

Next week, we’ll continue with boat maintenance and show you how Baz tackled the removal of the cutlass bearing. It isn’t how you might expect.

Whatever you’re doing, until next week, stay safe and healthy.

Link to Aannsha’s next blog

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