It was time to take Red Roo out of the water and tackle the maintenance she was due.
The priority for this haul out was to replace the propeller shaft stern tube seal which prevents the water from entering the boat along the propeller shaft. The seals rubber bellows were fatigued and had started to leak water into the boat when the engine was running. So it was very important to replace this seal. As this job entails undoing and slipping the propeller shaft out we also replaced the cutlass bearing which keeps the propeller shaft in alignment and takes the torque of the engine immediately in-front of the propeller.
Being 2.5 years since our last haul out we also attended to other below waterline maintenance which included cleaning and servicing the propeller, replacing the zinc anodes on the propeller and on the skeg, cleaning the bow thruster tube and propeller, inspecting the rudder bearings, inspecting the lifting keel, cleaning all thru hull fittings, AND… of course one doesn’t simply come out of the water without doing anti-foul on the hull and a polish of the topsides.
Anti-foul is the special marine paint coating used for the hull that is always underwater to prevent sea growth accumulating on it. It paints on and prevents most sea growth from adhering to the hull. When sea growth attempts to stick/grow the paint falls off with the sea growth to protect the boat, or if it doesn’t fall off we can snorkel/dive and wipe a layer off with a soft plastic scraper or scourer pad. This means for optimum performance a good 2-3 coats all over and more on high use leading edges such as bow, rudders and keel are a good idea. The “fall off” aspect of the paint makes the job a dirty one as anytime you touch it (wet or dry) it comes off on you!
We allowed 7 days to complete this work which included a good amount of “fat” to cater for the unexpected complications that were bound to arise in any or all of the tasks ahead. There are two options for hauling out in Monastir and we chose to do so in the yard at the marina, the price was right, their boat lift straps clean, the workers helpful and doing all the work ourselves we were in control of the results.
We are pleased to report that it all went well, to schedule and plan. It did take longer than expected to remove and replace the cutlass bearing (that thing is a tight fit), but thanks to our friend Heinz who assured us we won’t break it by using muscle & force (and a big hammer) to get it back in. After replacing the stern seal, cutlass bearing and reinstalling the propeller shaft it took Phil a full day to check and realign the engine. Well, he assures me that was what he was doing and not just sitting inside reading a book, drinking coffee and occasionally hitting the hammer on the engine to sound busy while I was outside doing ALL the dirty work of sanding, painting and the back breaking arm muscle torture of polishing the boat.