The sailors amongst you will undoubtedly be aware that our safety boat went 'hors
de combat' towards the end of last season. The prop shaft was badly distorted when
a mooring rope became entangled around the shaft and finally jammed it, stalling
the engine. The shaft just ahead of the propeller actually twisted under the strain
and the shaft bearings suffered as a result.
Tim Barfield Marine was asked to estimate for the repair and the result was several
hundred pounds at which point it was decided to take another look at what was required
with a view to possibly doing it ourselves. The boat was slipped and the prop safety
cage, propeller, shaft and rear bearings were removed.
Various solutions were proposed including the need for a new, larger and better pitched
prop, a totally enclosed prop shaft and a two rather than three bearing prop shaft
system. Alternative drives systems were considered and finally, after much discussion
over a number of pints on Wednesday nights, it was decided to see if a new propeller
could be obtained. A new shaft together with suitable bearings would also be required;
plus a rope cutter and a sleeve to encase the shaft to stop any future repetition
of fouling the prop shaft.