wordsfromanneli

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Uplifting

Another year, another haulout. Earlier this year, you may remember that the Captain put on a new propeller while the boat was on the grid. That means it was sitting on a cement pad near shore. He waited for the tide to go out and let the boat settle on the pad. Then he had to work quickly to exchange the props before the tide came in again. At high tide the boat floated again and he could drive off the grid.

Now, weeks later, it is time to do more serious work on the boat to get the propeller shaft lined up and the propeller balanced and a few other jobs. For this work, the boat needs to be in a shipyard, on dry land, where it can be worked on without the pressure of worrying what the tide is doing.

I’m always fascinated by the way huge boats can be lifted right out of the water and parked in a lot.

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A travel lift drives over this “bay” and its belts will hang in the water.

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In the photo below, you can see the belts that will cradle the boat.

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Here is the travel lift, ready to drive alongside the “bay.” Once it is in place, the boat slides into the slot over top of the belts.

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Then the heavy lifting starts.

newcastle liftout 2015 -1

newcastle liftout 2015

Once the keel clears ground level, the lift drives it over to its place in the parking lot. Braces and beams are put in place to prop up the boat, and then the work begins. Among all the other jobs, the hull is cleaned up. The old sludge is powerwashed off and new anti-fouling paint is slapped on. Long hours of work lie ahead. The boat will be sparkling by the time it leaves the shipyard, but not until the Captain feels his age.

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I used to think the 39-foot troller was a pretty good size, but looking at it beside this pleasure boat, it looks quite small. It’s big enough when you have to do the hull cleaning job though.


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A Proper Prop

No wind or rain today! Here’s a chance for the Captain to put the troller on the grid and exchange the old prop for a new one while the tide is out.

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He’ll have to work fast before that water rises again and floats the boat. As soon as the tide has dropped enough to give him a working surface on the grid, he begins.

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The old prop needs to be pulled off, but that isn’t so easy. Nor should it be. It’s meant to be on there good and tight. Not something you want to have wobbling on the shaft or twirling right off the shaft and whooshing away into the deep. It’s hard work but the wheel puller (fishermen often call the prop a wheel) that he puts around the propeller puts physics to work and with a bit of elbow grease and a few grunts, the old prop pops loose.

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This boat is going nowhere until the new propeller is put on. You can see the gadget that helped pull off the old prop lying on the ground next to blue kneeling pad. The propane bottle on the left was used to heat and expand the hub of the propeller, making it easier to release it from its tight fit on the shaft. Like holding a stubborn jar lid under hot water to make it easier to open.

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The new propeller is placed on the shaft. It’s a bit like changing a tire only harder work. The blocks of wood under the bottom blade will stop the prop from wanting to turn as the wheel nut is tightened to hold it in place.

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Whew! That was hard work. The Captain drops the pipe wrench on the ground while he stretches his legs and gives his arms and shoulders a rest. But OH! Look at the back of his coveralls. Which washing machine will want that mess in its tub? Bottom-of-the-boat scunge and copper paint. So much fun for Ahab’s wife.

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The annual spring cleanup of the hull of the boat is yet to come. A proper shipyard will be needed for that job. For now, Ahab’s wife will try to enjoy how shiny the new propeller is and forget about how grungy her Captain looks after a hard day’s work.

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If you have made it to the end of this post, I would like to invite you to check out my other blog http://annelisplace.wordpress.com  and comment or follow it if it interests you at all. That blog is dedicated to writing-related posts, and introduces authors and their books. All of you are readers or you wouldn’t be reading this post, so why not see what else is out there in the reading world?