25 September, 2006

Maintenance at River Quays

After the setbacks of the bar and Ulladulla slip I felt it was time to make some progress. I called River Quays to see if they had a free slot to lift Malua out of the water using their travel lift. Friday would be OK. With the weather forecast of wind from the south at 15 to 25 knots it was a great invitation to take off for Sydney. I left Ulladulla at noon on Tuesday with the breeze behind me. This wind continued all afternoon and right through the night. I had the full main up with the genoa on the spinnaker pole. This continued all night. It was a great down wind sail.
I arrived outside Sydney heads at about 5:00am and set a course for Balmoral Beach to put the anchor down for a few hour sleep. The sun was just below the horizon as my head hit the pillow. I slept for a few hours then picked up the anchor and motored under the bridge to Blackwattle Bay under the ANZAC bridge right next to the fish market.
I again dropped the anchor next to Tiaki – Peter and Jenny who I had met during their stop at BB on route from South Australia. That evening we had a great meal at the local pub.
The following day I motored up the river to River Quays who lifted me out of the water on Friday using their travel lift. Was I relieved to have Malua out the water.
No to get on with the reason for all this effort. The replacement of the shaft bearing in the skeg. Stuart had helped me make a set of pullers to remove the flange next to the flexible joint where the shaft attaches to the engine. This came off with ease – a dream. I then removed the Autoprop propeller. Again with a purpose built puller. Now the real job. The bearing in the skeg. The shaft was removed and I put the puller threaded rod through the bearing and set up the pipe spacer on to the skeg. By turning the threaded rod the bearing slowly moved out of the skeg into the pipe. It was a tough job – taking almost two hours of solid effort. Finally the skeg dropped out. I had catch a taxi to D H Porter to swap the bearing I had for a narrower one. This then was forced back into the skeg with the puller reconfigured the other way round.
No push the shaft pack through the new bearing. It would not fit. The compression of the bearing in the skeg had reduced the size of the hole. Simple process of reaming out the hole to suit the shaft. A great fit.
Next was to reattach the engine flange, dripless bearing and the propeller. I regreased the prop. During all this activity I was washing the antifouling and applying 14 liters of Micron Extra to the hull. That was two coats with a bit extra on the leading edges and around the rudder.
On Monday morning I was lifted back into the water and motored to Blackwattle Bay to wait for the compass adjuster.

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