Friday, December 26, 2014

Another season begins...Saint Augustine Marine Center.

Well I must apologize.  Most of my posting has been on facebook under Lew Hill   It has been over a year since I last posted here.  Since then we have wintered in the Bahamas again spending most of our time at Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay and Treasure Cay.  A very pleasant winter.  More recently, we arrived in St Augustine on Dec 5th only to find that they had installed the new Yanmar engine and put us in the water only to find out that the shaft seals were leaking on both sides.  They had to haul us out again.  Ordered new shaft seals and when they arrived, we see that one of the reasons they were leaking was that one shaft itself was worn and actually pitted while the other one was worn but might have been salvageable.  My rule of thumb is that is something is happening on one sure to check the other one.  We decided to replace both shafts.  In order to get the shafts out, the rudders had to be removed which meant lifting the boat or digging a 5 foot hole under the rudders as a place for them to go.  So we lifted the boat and removed the rudders which are now lying on the ground.  While the shafts are out, might as well polish the propellers since we had to take them off anyway.  One of the cutlass bearings was showing noticeable wear while the other was showing a little.  Might as well replace them while it is easy.  Oh, I forgot that in order to take off the shafts, we had to take off the couplers, a junction that connects the shafts to the transmissions.  Both of these were in need of replacing and it took a lot of grunting, etc. to get them off.  Not by me, you understand but by our man Allan at the Saint Augustine Marine Center  AKA SAM.  Then we waited for parts which arrived about 2:00 on Dec 23.  This is important because SAM closes for the holidays at 12:00 on Dec 23 and doesn't reopen until the 29th.  All in all we have spent almost a month living on the boat on the hard in the boatyard.  At least we have had electricity for the heaters.  The boat is now provisioned for the winter and, knock on wood, we might even get into the water this year.    So we have a new engine in the port hull.  All new hoses and connectors on both engines, new shafts, cutlass bearings and couplers.  If things had to go wrong, better it happen in the hoist at the marine center than 60 miles out into the ocean.  
But all has not been hardship.  There have been several parties at Rivers Edge Marina,  Florrie has had ample time to explore St. Augustine, the SAM yard threw a really nice Xmas party for their employees and those cruisers who are here.  We have met several couples also in the yard and watched them bring in a huge crane to lift a 65 foot catamaran and put her in the water.   BUT I am ready to be on our way.  After we get put in the water, we will still have to check everything about the new engine before we take off.   Hard to wait.

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